Trip Start Sep 26, 2004
16Trip End Jan 15, 2005
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After a 5 hour bus ride from Savanakhet, Laos I arrived in Vietnam. Things seemed to change almost as soon as I crossed the border. Different scenery was the first thing I noticed. Vietnam is hilly and mountainous and very lush. Banana and palm trees everywhere. The bus crossed close to the DMZ and we went right through the town of Khe Sanh. It was a remote outpost, but the siege there made it a famous base. I was going to take the DMZ tour from Hue, but others said unless you were a real military historian, it was a long day with not much to see. The bases and battle grounds are pretty much all over grown. I would have liked a tour of the tunnels, but their wasn't a separate tour for them so I skipped it. Maybe next time.
After crossing the border I ended up in Hue, a city near the east coast
The news of the Tsunami made me think of where I was a few weeks ago. I did visit islands close to Kho Phi Phi. That island was almost completely destroyed. All the islands are packed this time of year with travelers and backpackers. Very scary to think that there was no warning and the waves just came in and washed sunbathers and swimmers out to sea. Others drowned in their hotel rooms or were crushed by debris. Awful stuff.
I'm now in Hanoi for a week waiting for my train to Beijing. I met an Australian girl on the moto tour of Hue and she and I were going to explore an area north of Hanoi called Halong Bay. After that maybe a trip to Sapa and an overnight with a hill tribe in the northern mountains near the Chinese border. That tour includes New Years Eve in a fancy hotel. Not sure yet, as I missed my connecting bus today and am a day behind the group. My bus broke down twice and was 3 hours late getting to Hanoi from Hue.