Saturday, October 29, 2005

Hoi An

Well we decided not to stop long in Hue as the buses to Hoi An ran quite conveniently so we spent 4 hours in Hue and saw the citadel and then got back on the bus.

Hoi An is tailor town, there are around 200 tailors in an area the size of a supermarket car park, it's also a nice town and a world heritage site to boot so suze and i have been chilling out and buying a few clothes. I came away with 1 pair of shorts and 1 pair of trousers,now i have 2 pairs of trousers and 4 pairs of shorts and i'm about 30 quid worse off, seems reasonable. Suze has spent about 70 quid.

We hired bikes today (20p) and went down to the beach, however we didn't really comprehend that we were going to a beach and didn't take swimming gear or towels or anything, strange indeed. It wasn't very nice weather so it didn't really matter but we got to cycle past houses on stilts and rice paddies which was cool. Tomorrow we're off to Na Trang which is a beach town,hopefully the weather will be a little sunnier, it's about 30c here but quite cloudy and humid. We may get scuba lessons there or we may wait til Thailand, it all depends on the weather.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


We got back from Sapa this morning (at 4.20am for all those who think this travelling lark is actually fun). It was pretty cool, we did a 2 day trek with a stop over at a hill tribe village. We didn't really interact with the family that much but had a good evening with a few beers.

The actual town was a bit dead as it's off season but we found the one bar that seemed to be worth going to.

Now we've killed another day in Hanoi and we're getting the overnight bus to Hue (pronounced Hwey) in about half an hour. Should be a fun ride. We got the overnight train to Sapa it was fine on the way out there as we were knackered from Halong but not so fun on the way back. I'm looking forward to pressing on into Vietnam, apparently the people are more friendly in the south, we shall see.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Halong Bay

Well it had to happen, the first illness of the trip, i don't know if it was the beef noodles the night before or the beef soup that morning but i wasn't a happy bunny from about 2pm until the next morning.

We took a cruise around Halong bay which is a very pretty part of the world, though it does all look quite similar after you've been there a while. We did some kayaking which was cool and i was sick in a world heritage cave, classy i know. We got back about 4 and now we're waiting for our overnight train to Sapa.

It's nice to see i have such computer literate (geeky) mates, next time i have a bit of time i'll put up some more photos. That probably won't be for about 5 days though so you'll just have to sit on your hands or something.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Hmm, i can't seem to get pictures working properly. I've tried uploading an image from this machine and from macca's ftp server and from yahoo pictures but it isn't appearing in my blog. If anyone knows what i'm doing wrong or knows a way to insert photos directly through HTML that would be cool. You can see the bananas image at leedsruletheworld's yahoo photos.


Ah, it's time for another exciting update of the travels of suze and Ash, this time, Hanoi!

Hanoi is crazy, i mean mad. When Suze and I first stepped out of our hostel (great hostel btw, thanks binx) we just stared about in bewilderment wondering what to do. Someone gave everyone here enough money to buy a scooter so they all zoom about beeping their horns constantly, and they don't stop for pedestrians either. The way to cross the road here is to keep one eye on the traffic and slowly walk across the road so that they have time to steer round you, if someone stops then something's gone wrong. It's a bit unnerving but you rarely have to wait to cross a road, you just keep walking.

I was planning to pick up some Malarone malaria tablets here but when i went to the only place i could find that stocked them they told me it would be $55 to see the doctor and $9 per tablet! And i need about 70 of these things. So i went to another chemist and bought 70 doxycylcine for a fiver, i might get sunburnt but at least i'll have enough money to eat, bargain!

We've booked two tours starting tomorrow morning, the first is a boat trip around Halong Bay which is apparently reet pretty, and then after that we're doing two nights in Sapa which is an overnight train ride so that'll take about 4 days. Sapa is mountainous so we'll be trekking and staying with a local family one night, should be a laugh.

Last night we ended up sitting on the street drinking Bia Hoi which is perfectly good lager at 6p for about 2/3 of pint so we both got pissed for the grand total of about 70p. A decent meal here is about 1 pound but i imagine if we eat on the streets we can get it a good deal cheaper than that. I've nearly got photos working now, hopefully blogger will upload them soon and then you can all see Suze in a traditional conical hat carrying bananas, i know you can't wait!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hong Kong


It's our last day in HK now, we've been taking it easy and not been rushing around seeing all the sights in the whole province. We were planning to take the train to Hanoi but when we went to book our tickets we found out that one of the trains we needed only runs on a wednesday and a sunday! Basically it would have taken about 3 days which might have been bearable if it was really cheap but it was going to be about 100 quid. Well we bit the bullet and decided to fly, 200 quid, 2 hours. I guess my poker money will be coming in handy.

Hong Kong has been cool, after the trauma of booking our tickets we went across the bay from Kowloon to Hong Kong island and stumbled across Lam Kwai Fong, the bar district where they were doing a rio carnival style thing, loads of people on the street dancing and drinking with parades and shows going on. We also went up on the peak last night to see the view. The weather has been hazy for the past few days so the views weren't as good as they can be but it was still good.

I'm really lookinng forward to Vietnam, just booked a double room (at Darling backpackers Binx) for $4 a night. Planning to do trips to Sapa and Halong Bay. I feel like we're going to be really travelling soon instead of doing expensive city breaks.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Himeji Castle and Hong Kong

Hello there, we made it to Hong Kong. Japan was really cool but it really is expensive so it's nice to be here where things are a little more reasonable.

We visited Himeji castle which was pretty cool, and visited Kobe as we had a couple of hours spare, not much to report but there's no trace of the earthquake that happened in 95.

We went back to Tokyo and visited a sacred area called Niko, it was nice but we weren't too impressed with having to pay for our trains.

Now we're in Hong Kong and planning to take it a little easier, Japan was quite hectic so we're going to spend a few days here and then mission it to Hanoi on the train. It'll probably take about 30 hours.

Finally bought a CF card for my camera but still haven't got a cable, but i will very soon. I'm not feeling very creative at the moment, i'll write more soon.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Kyoto and Osaka


Finally got back to free internet, phew (100 Mb/s i might add, we're so behind)

So we left Tokyo with some intrepidation, we told the guy there which hostel we'd managed to book and he sort of snorted and said "ah, Uno house, veeeery cheap but not very clean" Great!

Well we arrived and it was, as an estate agent would say, quaint and cosy. Basically you had to step over other people most of the time and instead of beds there was Tatami matting, but it was a roof over our heads so we survived. Kyoto was nice, there was some parts of old japan which had managed to not get burnt/bombed/built on over the last century which was nice to see. We saw a Shogun palace which had specially designed floor boards which squeaked as you walked on them to reveal intruders (that was their excuse anyway).

We also saw Kyoto train station, mental! Basically imagine a massive wedge out of the ground made up of escalators with shops on them. There were about 14 large stories, each one had restaurants and shops and there were partial ceilings. I can't describe it, some day i'll get some photos on here, anybody got some web space i can host them on? (Macca?)

Today we baled out of our lovely hostel and came to a hotel in Osaka which is much more pleasant, we have beds, and walls and other luxuries. We ate Sushi today, just a bit to try it, it was quite nice but just not as filling as a good old bowl of soup noodles. We're going to a proper samurai castle tomorrow and then we're going back to Tokyo before our rail passes run out and we actually have to pay for the bullet trains, urgh.

Oh yeah, i bought a compass today and it pleases me, but suze thinks it's lame, pretty much sums it up really, Bye!

Friday, October 07, 2005


Wow, Japan is great, nice to back in a fully civilised place where the drivers stop at red lights and occasionaly someone knows how to speak a little engrish.

Arrived last night and managed to do most of the notable districts of Tokyo today (i'm shattered). We have inter rail style passes which we used to go on the overground trains today. First stop was Ginza where we went round the Sony demonstration building. (i was thinking of you Matt) Saw the next generation of HDTV's and MP3 players (and MD, when are they going to learn). I want an HDTV, they are sweet. There was a 70 inch one, nearly as tall as Suze!

Next stop was Akihabara, the electronics district. Wanted a 1GB CF card for my camera but they were twice as much here as in England, cutting edge my arse, i guess i'll wait til hong kong and try there.

We also checked out the international forum and a lovely lovely department store before getting some noodles for dinner and traipsing back.

Unfortunately there's no room at the inn tomorrow night so tomorrow we need to try and get some accomodation in Kyoto and then bullet train over there (3 hours by bullet, 9 hours by regualar) Lets all hope there's some room or it'll be some sort of sleeper train for my bed!

Hope everyone is well, let me know what you're up to.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Hello from China!

As far as i can tell my blog is not viewable to those within China, no doubt due to my radical political ideals, but i've managed to read all the comments posted (via email) so thanks for those.

It's my last night in Beijing, had a cool time so far but there is certainly a language barrier here, Beijing is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world but all the tourists are bloody chinese, and we came during national holiday week so there were plenty here this week. Still it hasn't affected us too much, the Great Wall was very busy but i think that's pretty standard.

So first things first, i arrive in Beijing safe and sound but my bag didn't! Great start, i made a report and fortunately it turned up at my hostel the next day but it was an anxious 24 hours. I didn't fancy replacing all my stuff in Beijing. Jetlag kicked in and we slept from 7pm til 12pm the next day. That day we went to Tiannenmen square, apperently the biggest in the world, i can believe it. We found a cool night market where any food you could wish for can be purchased on a stick including octopus, grasshoppers, scorpions, starfish, silkworms and seahorses!

Next day we went to the great wall, WOW, it is a crazy structure, we walked up a section for about half an hour and we were knackered, i'll put some photos up once i've bought a USB cable which i forgot to bring.

Well we're off to Tokyo tomorrow, pretty excited about Japan but it's going to be pricy, i think my total expenditure in China is about 50 quid, my rail pass in Japan is 140 alone but it'll be worth it and i can always go back when i actually have some money. Keep the comments coming and i'll keep writing, it's in your hands!