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james_emma’s Travel Diary

Friday, 08 Dec 2006

Location: London, UK

MapHello all,

We'll we survived the humidity, heat, traffic and harrasment of Sth East Asia and have landed safelly in London to the cold, wind and whinging poms! No actually we really loved Asia with the people and their food and culture and London so far has been relatively mild (0-10%) and the people (well most anyway) fantastic.

Our last couple of stops in Vietnam were in Hue and Hoi An in Central Vietnam. We trained down to Hue and had a day seeing the sights (ruins, making of insense, old collosium where the Elephants used to fight the Tigers and Jaguars! and practising monks) before hiring a bike and setting off on the 130km journey to Hoi An. Something which I really enjoyed however I'm not sure Em was so thrilled on the back!

Hoi An was fantastic with a relaxed atmosphere, beatiful river and beach settings and really amazing shopping. We got a sh..load of clothes made which did'nt in any way help our already (severly) overweight baggage situation however we got away with 10kg of overweight baggage from Singapore to London (after i had to leave my ski's in Singapore), so all worked out well! So after 4.5 days in Hoi An looking around, relaxing, shopping and enjoying the local food and liqour we jumped back on the bike (Boris the Black Beast) and headed back to Hue and onto the train for the 12 hour journey back to Hanoi. This would'nt have been so bad if it wasn't for the snoring Vietnamese in the carrage with us however I must admit that their offers of rice wine (and almost insistance on me drinking it) made the night alot more bearable for me. Em however put the night in pretty roughly...

Back to Hanoi to the organised chaos and the final bit of shopping (well and truely over that!) before flying back to Singapore. We left behind a thriving (economically speaking) country whose living conditions, culture and relaxed way of life still absolutly amazes me and really reinforced to us their dependance on the tourist dollar. Of concern is the level of internal growth and the consumption of their natural resources (partically timber), something that we witnessed on our bike journey, and their apparant lack of respect/infrastructure/education in relation the environment. Anyway enough of that stuff, they are lovely people, really make you feel welcome and would recommend anyone to go there.

Back in Singapore where we had a couple of days with Sincas and Anna which included a slap of golf, some great Italian and Indian food and a compulsary night on the turps. This night out made the flight to London a bit easier for Em however I couldn't pull myself away from the inflight movies and games of Tetris (I was determined to get my moneys worth!).

Into London and we've done a few of the touristy things and given the poms a heap for their pathetic performance in the 2nd test, actually the've been giving themselves a heap making the experience even more enjoyable! We went about half and hour south of London and spend the night with our boss (France chalet job) which was quite an experience. He is quite an interesting fella (!) and our suspicions were confirmed that our patience to put up with whinging and demanding people will be put the test. I just hope we beat them 5-0 in this Ashes series to provide us with a bit of ammo!

Anyway we're heading over in the Chalet mini bus on the 14th Dec for our first guests (the owner and his family/friends!!!) on the 22nd. Looking forward to the challenge but more so the snow, of which there is minimal at the moment, (which is a little concerning) but theres a long way to go yet.

Better run, over and out,

James and Em