11-04-08 to 11-04-21 - Vietnam
Hanoi and Ha Long Bay

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Susan's Blog
The trip from Hue to Hanoi was interesting, and not in a good way. We paid a little bit extra to get a sleeper bus with air conditioning. Technically this was correct. It had AC, but that doesn't mean they will actually turn it on, which is extra special comfortable since as an air conditioned bus the windows don't open. Each rest stop was a relief since it was actually cooler outside the bus. As you can see in the picture the sleeper bus consists of 2 levels of bed arranged in 3 columns. Except of course at the very back where no aisle is needed, and it is 5 berths, with nothing actually seperating them. So Susan and I ended up sharing a medium sized bed with 3 strangers. I was about the third biggest guy on the bus, and the two bigger guys somehow also ended up in our shared bed. I woke up regularly being spooned by a large swedish guy. Literally, as in feel his breath on my neck, being poked by his baseball hat, close spooned. Althoug if if I'm going to wake up being poked by a large sweed, I suppose I should be thankful it was only his hat.

I'm guessing if you have onee of those apartments, you don't get to do much sleeping in.
I can't decide if being a vietnamese electrician is the hardest or easiest job in the world.
I'm not sure why, but at some point Susan jumped in a cab and yelled at the driver to "FOLLOW THAT BUS"
Temple of literature
Everyone knows, buddha loves choco-pies
Ngoc Son Temple
For some reason, Susan insisted I get a street haircut.

Rob and Sandra, I told the charity about your situation and you should have some money on the way.
Ha Long Bay - Beautiful, as long as you don't look too closely at the water. I suspect about 90% of the world's plastic bags and bottles end up floating somewhere amongst the thousands of islands of Ha Long Bay. With all the caves and overhangs, the kayaking was quite spectacular, although the short portion we had a guide for was a fiasco. Normally we are all on our own, but for one particularly long cave we went through in a group. The guide failed to mention to anyone that the cave had a wicked current due to the rising tide. A little hint to stick to the right and watch the current would have been helpful, instead as soon as you are about ten feet in you get caught in the current and neatly slammed into the wall as the cave makes a sharp turn. Since no one was warned, and no spacing left between boats, there was soon about a 5 boat pile up. It got worse from there. Once we were in the cave proper we found out, the headlamps provided sucked, ours worst of all. The entire trip through consisted of me trying to control the kayak in the current by the stray light from the boats behind us, while Susan held her paddle in front of her so she wouldn't get brained by a stalactite. After finally getting through to the other side it was almost worth it to see the looks on everyone's faces when the guide said the only way back was the way we came, this time fighting against the current. It was a long, hard, dark paddle back, but it was worth it to hear the guide yell to the boat to send someone to help get one couple through who couldn't make it, and realizing it was the smug ozzy who had gone out of his way to tell everyone he had his own kayak at home.