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Kirky’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 29 Jun 2005

Location: Hoi An, Vietnam

MapIts been a while so I'll try not to ramble.

Having stayed in Houay Xai for another day, finally the overcrowded bus left for Luang Namtha. Another 9 hours being bounced around so much that I now fear I may never have children. There was more to come and a record was to be set for the longest bus journey. The local bus managed to complete the Luang Namtha to Vang Vieng journey in a record 18 hours, helped along its way by 3 breakdowns and 2 punctures. Seriously, you wouldnt have it any other way, arriving in Vang Vieng at 4am.

Vang Vieng is known for its caves, limestones karsts and the joys of tubing. Floating down the Nam Ou in an old tractor tyre inner tube whilst supping a Beerlao and stopping at the numerous bars along the river. Then its a case of on your return trying to avoid being dragged into one of the numerous bars playing Friends around the clock. You can be guaranteed to see some people not move all day, shame that.

A brief stop in Vientiane, the Laos capital. Bicycle is by far the best way to see the towns over here, and off I went to get sunburnt in the first half of the day, and then absolutely soaked in the daily downpour in the afternoon. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

I've since made my way over to Vietnam. Heading South to Savannakhet from Vientiane for day and then taking the local 'cattle bus' to Hue in Central Vietnam. They were unfortunate to just miss out reaching the old record, this was only 16 hours with 4 hours spent sleeping in a shop front at the border crossing.

First impressions of Vietnam are fantastic. Hue was beautiful, and along with a couple of travelling companions we saw the main sights by motorbike tour. The stay was only marred by having to watch a diabolical Lions performance in the first test against New Zealand.

I'm now in Hoi An, 2 suits to the good and thankful to the local doctor for sorting out one hell of a dodgy stomach. Heading further South tomorrow to Nha Trang.