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Showing posts from December, 2017

32. TO BE FAMOUS...

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I really don't know who they thought we were but L and I were hot stuff! We'd pulled up on the side of the road to check the map, not wanting to continue and take a wrong turn at the fork out of the town, when suddenly out of nowhere, we found ourselves surrounded by 20 Vietnamese. Their cameras, phones and selfie sticks poised. 
There was absolutely no holding back from this holidaying Vietnamese family. We had their arms around our shoulders and their faces pressed against our helmets, in what was turning out to be a 'revolving door' of a photo shoot. In a sort of frenzy, every family member eagerly waited their turn for a photo with us, their 'celebrities'. Vietnamese instruction was being shouted by the posers next to us, to the family members with their phones taking the photos. It was such a bizarre situation that I completely forgot to GoPro what was unfolding until at least 10 minutes into the surreal experience but having got some footage of the later…

31. RIDING VIETNAM. 1770 MILES. PART 2.

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It was foggy...The famous Hai Van pass was not offering any breathtaking views this morning! This was not what I was expecting and especially not the amount of tourist busses, trucks and day rental motorcycles also riding the pass! We crawled up to the summit chocking on the clouds of black smoke left behind from the trail of coughing busses travelling in front of us at 10 mph. Frustratingly the fog coupled with the hairpin bends made it too risky to attempt overtaking. At the summit the road widened into a chaotic buss park with loads of roadside food stalls and hundreds of meandering tourists. I wasn't expecting that! We didn't stop and instead left the busses behind. The ride down was more of what we'd hoped, quiet, and luckily the fog cleared allowing us to actually see! To be honest a pass we did a few days later which turned out to be much better, zero traffic, clear blue skys and breathtaking mountain views. It was only missing the brilliant blue sea, but the sea h…

30. RIDING VIETNAM. 1770 MILES. PART 1.

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A $3 bus from Hanoi's main airport avoided the $20 taxi, the compromise however was an unexpected 40 minute walk from where, as his last passengers, the bus driver decided he wanted to drop us off! This did however allow us to get stuck into the night time hustle and bustle of Hanoi's streets, which had increased 10 fold on the traffic chaos scale compared to Thailand's Chiang Mai and everywhere in Lao. We were constantly being asked to buy things as we made our way across the city towards the Old Quarter, all the while trying to focus on not being run over. L managed to munch through numerous samples from ladies selling trays of donut holes, each a little disgruntled when he then didn't go on to buy any afterwards. 
Our time in Hanoi saw us make an impromptu decision to sit through a bizarre water puppet show (google it). As we happened to be walking past the little theatre the show was just starting and inquisitive as to what exactly a water puppet show was, we boug…

29. WALKING WITH ELEPHANTS...

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Never in the entirety of his life back in the U.K had L (or myself for that matter) forgotten to retrieve a bank card from an ATM...until now. In a country with a cash economy, this could prove quite problematic especially as this was the sole account we used to withdraw the cash from. On the plus side we had just maxed out and withdrawn 1.52 million Laos kip, (which L didn't forget to retrieve from the ATM) so we had some cash to be going on with, it wasn't dire straits just yet. Returning to said ATM several hours later, confirmed the card was no longer there. We thought that with any luck the machine would have eaten it, instead of it ending up in someone else's pocket. We were relieved after a phone conversation between our guesthouse owner and the bank confirmed this. L was told to present himself at the bank tomorrow morning at 9am, so we held off cancelling the card. Guesthouse owner kindly took L on the back of his moped into town. Stood outside the bank L was qui…