Saturday, January 01, 2000


August 18 - September 5

We flew into HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City - Saigon) on the evening of August 18th. We spent several days there followed by 2 days in the Mekong Delta. We then took the Reunification Express up north and met Jarah in Hanoi. We spent several days in Hanoi, then made a break for Cat Ba Island / Halong (sp?) Bay. We were back in Hanoi in time for the 60th anniversary of Vietnamese independence. The next day, we took the overnight train to Hue, saw the sites for a day, then started the unexpectedly long 2 day bus journey to the border with a surprise overnight stay in Dong Ha.

Day by day:

  • Thu Aug 18 - arrive HCMC, met Becky at exchange, to hotel, out for beers in honkey land
  • Fri Aug 19 - up late, move to new hotel, pho lunch, SIM cards, train tickets, ATM, relax by river, jason nap, mike to rex for beerz, dinner at local (bia hoi) place
  • Sat Aug 20 - up late, jason to park for exercise, mike taping on motorbike then to markets and pagodas, internet at juice bar, meet lee (sp?) and arrange mekong trip, french dinner, local disco, mike to bed early, jason meets up with becky and off to club lost (name?)
  • Sun Aug 21 - up late, pho lunch at market, race track, jason nap, mike to cafe juice for internet / TV and sleep
  • Mon Aug 22 - up early, drive to Mekong, lunch by water, trip to floating market, stop to see popped rice, stop for tropical fruits, drive to Cam Tho, check into hotel, dinner out in local joint, back to hotel
  • Tue Aug 23 - up early, pho breakfast, boat to floating market, stop to check out local plants and animals, back to Cam Tho, eel hotpot lunch, drive back to HCMC, internet in juice cafe, board train to Hanoi 23:00, wee (sp?) and sleep
  • Wed Aug 24 - wake up on train around 8:30, breakfast provided by hosts, hang out, nap, dinner, hang out, reading, sleep
  • Thu Aug 25 - up at 05:00, arrive hanoi around 06:00, meet jarah at hotel and check in, early run around lake, coffee and croissant, encode, dim sum buffet lunch, drop off laundry, hanoi hilton, pagoda, back to hotel, out to snake village, back to hotel, out to cafes to drink snake wine, back to hotel early-ish for sleep, craft french blog article
  • Fri Aug 26 - out to internet cafe, lunch there, back to hotel to get passports, go lao embassy, snack at cafe, pick up passports again, to train station to get tickets, back to hotel, out to highway 4 for croc dinner, back to hotel, d20 and blogging(nerdcore)
  • Sat Aug 27 - up at 09:00, bread and jam for breakfast, over to Ho mausoleum, war memorial, pho lunch, split up from jason and jarah, cybercafe to print erin's address, over to post office, met tuan and di (die!) on the way, coffee, post office, chinese chess board purchase and lesson, green tea, chinese chess club, dog dinner and bia hoi, back to hotel early to deal with media issues
  • Sun Aug 28 - train to haiphong, taxi to dock, ferry to cat ba island, check into hotel, organize boat trip the next day, dinner at bia hoi, beers on the waterfront, finish off playing jenga in honkey pub
  • Mon Aug 29 - board boat around 09:00, wait for engine repair, leave port around 11:00, small boat to dry cave, small boat through stone bridge, swim back out, anchor for dinner, chess, early to bed, rat attack
  • Tue Aug 30 - up early, breakfast on boat, swim to small beach, attempt to snorkle, diving off boat, monkey island, return to cat ba, wash up, com dinner, back to hotel, mike and jarah out again for karaoke cat and dog with tho and friends, back to hotel around 00:00, jarah full of whiskey
  • Wed Aug 31 - breakfast at hotel, motorbike up to national park, climb mountain capped by observation tower, bike back to town along the shore, fish dinner on boat, out to suspicious club, jason to bed, jarah and mike to karaoke, back to hotel around 00:00
  • Thu Sept 1 - up at 10:00 and breakfast at hotel, friends came by dock to say goodbye, ferry to haiphong, taxi to bus station, immediately caught bus to hanoi, taxi to hotel, dinner at kangaroo cafe, get snacks, pulp fiction at hotel
  • Fri Sept 2 - up early to prepare hats, check out island on the lake then over to Ho masoleum, back to hotel, mike to pick up laundry, meet jarah and jason at lakeside cafe, to hotel to retrieve camera and hats, walk around the lake and entertain the locals, mike back to hotel in sweat duress, jarah and jason stay to catch fireworks, all meet back at hotel around 22:00, jason and jarah back out to cafe for a beer and coffee, then back to hotel for about 00:00
  • Sat Sept 3 - up around 09:00, most of day in cybercafe, mysterious meat meal on street, hang out in hotel lobby for a bit, board train to da nang
  • Sun Sept 4 - up around 09:00, get of train in hue at 10:00, get bus tickets through laos, bun bo (noodle soup) lunch, citadel, cafe by river, mike gets some immodium, ho chi minh museum, cafe by river, bus up to dong ha, get stuck, jason and jarah to tunnels, mike stays at bus station to sleep
  • Mon Sept 5 - up at 04:00 to catch a mini bus to the border, exchange money there, met by woman who takes us across to laos, some visa issues resolved by application of cash, cross into laos around 08:00 or so

Photo Albums
Mekong Delta
Cat Ba Island

Video Clips
Riding Pillion
Lunch in Ha Long Bay
Bomb-Ass Tower