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Tracey’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 05 Jan 2008

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

MapHi, I travelled from Hong Kong to China and took an overnight train to Guilin where I was on the top bunk of a triple bunk (very little room up there). Arrived early in the morning and then had to wait until the specific counter at the train station I needed was open. I tried to book my train to Vietnam but the guy in front of me in the queue bought the last two tickets. If I knew Chinese I would have noticed the sign stating there were few tickets left and could have got in the queue earlier than the man. So I was told to book a ticket to Nanning and from there I could book the train to Hanoi so that is what I did. From Guilin I took the bus to Yangshou - a very beautiful area with limestone mountains. I took a bike tour (just myself and a chinese guide who spoke no English). In the beginning the guide was on a moped which I thought wasn't very fair but later he swapped it for a bike. On the tour I cycled through country villages and was taken on a bamboo raft up a river and the guy on the raft also did not speak any English. He was like the paparazzi trying to take photos of me. Then got back on the bike and went to Moon rock. I had a lady to walk all the way up the hill with me who tried to sell me postcards and water. Bike riding was quite crazy in the town but I managed to stay alive. I have got used to crossing the road now by walking across and hoping that all the motorbikes, bikes, cars and vans will go around me. It is even worse in Vietnam. In the evening went to a fish show where a man on a boat would take his pet cormorants out fishing. I was then walking back through town when some students took me to there school to speak English to them. The next day I went on a boat up the Li River which was very scenic. Yangshou is a very touristy area with lots of people trying to sell you things and take your money some way or another. After being there I feel it hard to trust anyone. Nanning was quite different as it was not a touristy place (the guide book says there is nothing to see there). No one tried to sell me anything but had Hello called to me from all directions. I was the only white westerner I saw until I took the train to Vietnam - I think we are rarely seen. Forgot to say I went to the meat market in Yangshou - saw quite a few things I didn't know where they had come from but did see a dog hanging up. Just as I walked by I heard a dog squealing - perhaps another one had fallen victim. I was told there might be snakes there but I didn't see any but when I walked the streets of Nanning I passed a snake in net bag.

Hopefully will update again shortly