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Vietnam and down

VIETNAM | Tuesday, 19 December 2017 | Views [218]

Good morning Vietnam! Good evening actually. I should have stayed in town but thought it would be better to be close to the airport, 35km fromantic town. The next morning I took am shared taxi into town and dived into the main sights. I wasn't disappointed. The Temple of Literature was the highly with a peculiarly Vietnamese style of design distinct from the Chinese influence elsewhere.  The Mausoleum was closed but didn't interest me that much beyond the beautifully kept gardens and pomp. The streets were busy,  lively if not mad and it was hard to walk the pavements with do many motorbikes. Street vendors many with heavily laid bamboo poles hustled for a living. It would have been good to stay a couple of nights but I felt well immersed.

All too soon I was on a plane and landing in DaNang a taxi ride away to Hoi An. It was dark but first impressions were good. Narrow streets with restored shops and atraction so,  many eateries and colourful lanterns lighting the streets.  A Japanese bridget added character and the markets around the riverside thronged with tourists.

I took a 3 hours bus to Hue to see the royal citadel and ancient Palace. The bus had sleeping conpartments 3 to a row and 2 high that were a bit too small. As ever, the bus stopped unecessarIly at a tatty, random place. No doubt the driver got a free meal. I enjoyed the mad dash to the citadel and 3 pagodas either side. The buildings have been restored with Unesco help and more is ongoing but there was just enough authenticity to be impressed. I liked the separate 7 story pagoda that overlooked the swollen rIver. 

The poor dogs tied to a far too short lead kept me awake both ends of the nIghtfield.  House on a slab with no bedding I felt very cross. I vented my anger on the workers not least because I was told they would be brought in at night. I spent 600 doing the next day on baskets and bedding but doubt they will keep it long.

The flight to HO Chi Minh was another short one and ok despite the breezy weather.  A taxi got .enough to my booked hotel where no English was spoken and check in was interminably slow. It transpired they wanted or were obliged to take my passport to the police station.  Not seen that before. The red mIst descended and I sought accommodation elsewhere fearful of criminal design. Will be pleased to get out of Vietnam now.

 It was a short flight to Singapore but I arrived too late to do much more than visit a local Japanese meal close to the good enough Perak Hotel. I tried to cram in as much as I could in the one dayou remaining. I started with the colonial buildings including St Marys. Sadly, Raffles is closed for rent furbishment buy i enjoyed the botanical gardens with its stunning orchid garden and the sculptured Gardens of the Bay with its choreographed domes beatifully.

A 4 am alarm call got me to the airport for a 720 flight to Kuala Lumpur. It was hot and humid but I managed to leave my bags at the airport and dash into town. Another colonial square and cathedral. A mosque and some stunning high rise buildings. But with an overnight flight to Melbournein knew I needed some rest so found a hotel for a few hours. Too rushed and hot to visit the gardens and bird park although I did pop into Holy Trinity KL and the Asia hub.


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