Good bye Vietnam and South East Asia

Trip Start Jun 15, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Well, although we're really really sad to be leaving South East Asia again we have had the most incredible trip and it's felt like much more than a month given how much we have done.

Lots of people say that they want to go traveling so that they can get it out of their system but I don't think that is actually how it works. We have now spent nearly 3 months in South East Asia and we have far from got it out of our system. If anything it has just added massively to the list of places we want to go and things we want to do, even in the countries we have visited we have a long list of other places to visit so I think we need to find a way to get paid to go traveling. The moment we got to the airport to head back to Sydney Katy said "Indonesia next?"... tempting!

There's something really amazing about this part of the world, when you travel around the countryside there are lots of people still living in exactly the same way as their ancestors have. They worship their ancestors, spend nearly all their time working the land to feed their families and seem to lead very simple lives. It's so far removed from the way we live in the west but nobody could say that one way is better than the other as most of them seem pretty happy. In fact you can very easily see the effects of where the west have got involved from the wars with UXO's (unexploded ordinances) and the devastating effects of chemical warfare like Napalm/agent orange, both of which still have an impact today. One of Laos' biggest problems is that as they try to work more land, they have more tragedies usually with children being blown up by unexploded bombs left by the Americans from the war. It's tragic because pretty much everyone we have met along the way has been just trying their best to get by in a poor country and lots of completely innocent people have really suffered!

What I still can't get my head round is the political systems though. Both Vietnam and Laos are technically Communist/Socialist countries, and yet don't seem to actually live Communism. Uncle Ho would turn in his grave if he saw what it's become (although he definitely can't turn because he's been embalmed)  as Vietnam in particular seems like a capitalist society to me. The only real difference is that they only have one government party but then everyone seems happy enough with that. We asked a guy in Vietnam what they do if they want change, and he said it's really easy, you write to your local representative, he escalates it to his superior and so on until it gets to government... you just have to be patient! (No kidding!)

Anyway, we've loved this trip from the beautiful ancient Vietnamese towns to the incredible countryside and meeting all sorts of people... what a trip! 

Now we've spent all our dong we return to reality, and a shock return for Katy who has to go back to work the very same day that we get back. Shame!

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