Tonight is my last night in Vietnam. Tomorrow I fly to Luang Prabang in Laos. The bus trip was extremely long, so I decided to fly. It is a 22 hour trip to Vientiane and from there you have to take another bus to Luang Prabang. No thanks. I’d love to explore the Laos countryside, but 40 hours on a bus over a distance you could probably drive on a well paved road in 4 or 5 is something I do not look forward to. I’ll probably take a bus back to Vientaine and then to Chang Mai in Thailand.
Ha Long Bay was beautiful. The night on the boat was very peaceful, even if the whole operation is designed to shovel tons of tourists through. I went overboard on photos, but I hope to have them up soon. I have my Vietnam photos up through Hoi An now on the website.
The last few days in Hanoi have been very nice. The temperature this time of year is very pleasant, if not a bit cool. None of the heat and humidity you’d expect for SE Asia. After two weeks of rain in central Vietnam, it hasn’t rained once in Hanoi. I hope that keeps up.
Last night I went to the Hanoi Night Market and wandered around for an hour. TONS of small clothing stands selling jackets for $1 or sneakers for $3-5. These aren’t rip offs either. They are the real things, which I can only assume come directly from the factories in Asia.
From everything I’ve heard, Laos is the cheapest place in SE Asia, which is saying a lot. My last six months has been a trail of getting cheaper and cheaper: Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and now Laos. Literally, each place was cheaper than the next. Thailand will seem expensive when I get back there.
The airport situation in Bangkok is cleared up, which is good. I was worried about getting a flight out. The next two weeks will sort of bring to an end this chapter of the trip. I’m looking forward to jumping to an entirely different part of the world and everything that entails.