|Firstly, I am going to attempt to check a few spellings in this episode. I'm not going to name any names but you pedantic people know who you are!! Degrees don't necessarily mean good grammar people, and spell check doesn't work in vietnam!!
Day 17: So anyway, we decided to head for water today. It is soooo hot in Vietnam that Tom is getting through a fair few T-shirts in one day. We made our way to a nice hotel and hung out there for a few hours waiting to get the over-night train to Hue. No mishaps (unbelievably), hence in true english style, nothing to report really.
Day 18: Arrived in Hue at about 8.20 having actually slept on the train (quite a feit for me). Found a nice hostel and decided to hire a motorbike for the day. It cost about 10$ for an automatic for a day and we fancied finding the beach (about 10k from the city centre). I was feeling a bit sceptical about the whole idea, no insurance, and a strong reputation for vietnamese rip offs, but hey we went ahead anyway. We made our way out of the city, took a few wrong turns and happy days we had a flat tyre. Luckily for us there were garages every mile or so and we broke down right out side one of them. We were becoming so wise to vietnamese rip off merchants that we thought this far too convinient. The mechanic actually didn't rip us off though!! charged us about 10,000 dong (about 30p), so Dan and Tom were happy. Continued to the beach. It was dead. No-one in vietnam was stupid enough to go out in the midday scorching heat. We realised this later when at 4pm the beach was absolutley packed with locals. Had a great day swimming about in the sea, warning off packs (I mean packs!!) of vietnamese children selling crisps etc and sunning ourselves while all the (more sensible) locals stayed in the shade. On the way back to the hotel (as is so often the case) a re-inactment. We re-claimed our motorbike with yet another puncture. This time Tom had to push the bloody thing for 10 mins down the road in the blistering heat. Needless to say we weren't the happiest campers in the world when we returned the bike, convinced they had wanted us to crash to get more money out of us.
Day 19: We thought we'd take it easy today. Wondered about trying to find one of many advertised museums (all of which appeared to be closed).We went on a random boat trip for an hour up the perfume river. An old lady roped us in, the family appeared to still be wearing pyjamas when she threw them out of their front (boat) room and ushered us in, really nice though to have our own private ride. Eventually we decided on finding another pool and pretended we could afford to stay in the nice hotel for the day. Not sure we blended in that well though! I don't know what it is about us backpackers, but the richer holidaymakers can most definatley sniff you out. Prehaps it's all the mosquito bites, or just generally looking bedraggled. We ate from a street food stall that night. Somehow Tom and I have managed to get colds in the heat, and the numerous chillis in our dinner did some reparatory work.
Day 20: We got up early for a boat trip to some famous pagodas and tombs. All of which I cannot remember now that I'm sat at the bloody computer (Tuc Duc Tomb was one!!). They weren't really tombs though, more like really nice gardens. Motorbike taxis from the boat to the temples and then they charged us more to get in. You never actually get what you think you're buying here that's for sure. The gardens were lovely, oriental buddhist temples, lakes, lilly pads, little bridges the lot. On the way we passed through insense making villages and fishing villages and the temples were pretty awe inspiring. Only trouble is once you've seen one you've pretty much seen them all. You don't really want to sit on a boiling hot boat (inside) for the next 6 hours and visit more and more tombs. It wasn't that bad, but I wouldn't recommend a whole day of 'tombing'. Especially when they feed you the smallest lunch of plain rice and beansprouts (cheap-skates). When we got back we went back to the nice hotel with the pool. Not because we want these luxuries you understand, because we need them. The swimming pool was a saving grace after the boat, we loved it. Tonight we have just been to a local bar. We met a vietnamese girl there called Tram and she filed us in on her intentions as far as finding a western husband were concerned. She was lovely, and we told her we'd be on the look out!!