First impressions of Vietnam and they're not good!

Trip Start Aug 14, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Vietnam  , Dien Bien,
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We woke early and everything went to plan: the small minibus was there, we had seats and we paid the agreed price. Unfortunately it took an hour to leave the town picking up people, dropping off empty fuel cans and picking new ones up, (if we were to crash, god knows how big the explosion would've been) tipping the builders on the unfinished bridge so that we could go across, stopping so the driver could chat/smoke and all the while, the women (who we guessed were Vietnamese due to their garish loud conversations) were shouting over the noise of the old rickety bus on unpaved roads. Not ideal at 6 am!! It was like being back in India an not a great impression of Vietnam after the lovely laid back Laos!! Anyway, after two border checkpoints, we eventually got to Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam.

Unfortunately the only good thing about this town was that the airport had a flight to Hanoi to save us a 10hr bus ride. There was no nice accommodation, we found only two places in the whole city which served food where we knew what we were eating, barely no one spoke English (which we can't blame them for, but was unusual for us) and there was nothing to do. We booked flights but it meant we had to stay two nights in this pretty unfriendly town. We were pleased to be leaving from their barely used airport after two nights there.
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