We saw lots of dead things today - hence the title of this entry (thought up by Matt)
22.03.2007 - 23.03.2007 28 °C
No-one seemed very keen on the 2 main things that we had planned for today - to hire a Vietnamese English-speaking guide and to see Ho Chi Minh lying in state - but we spiced things up a bit by racing through the town to the mausoleum on the back of 3 motorbikes. The kids loved it, in spite of the rain.
We queued for about an hour (very strict security etc) to see the great man (who has been dead for nearly 40 years now and had gone a bit yellow).
Then on to a very traditional market with our guide called "UK". Incredible array of fresh fruits and vegetables, live fish and shellfish (including bowls of live eels and crabs).
Saw Vietnamese speciality which is grilled dog - none of us have plucked up enough courage to eat even the heavily disguised dog kebabs yet!
Learned a huge amount about Vietnam from "UK", including the fact that the Vietnamese people are heavily penalised if they have more than 2 children - hence their interest in our three. Also learned that the loud radio that is played all over the city every morning at 5am is the News! Funny how you learn to sleep through it.
Long day, but said our goodbyes to our friends at the hotel
and then caught the night train to Hue at 11pm which was quite an experience - nearly got ripped off by someone masquerading as a guard, then found our cabin for the night - 4 beds. But we managed and all went pretty well on the 10 hr journey south.
Awoke to rural scenery and a 15 degree hike in temperature - much more tropical 'feel'.
Nice guesthouse (8 GBP a night for all of us). Everyone tired and irritable - Jackie went to find jam sandwich for Matt, David took off on a motorbike to let off steam and then we gave up and went to the poshest hotel in town for a relaxing swim and then out for a pizza. Will try harder tomorrow!