Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Motorbiking like a local.

Today we got out of bed early in order to get the sunshine whilst it was still up, before the rain kicked in, we then rented bikes on a hunt for a new hotel (wonder why eh?), we ended up getting very lost and stressed with no hotels that were affordable in sight. The motorbikes really hurt my back too. Eventually, as we were about to cave and head back to sunflower, a man on a motorbike approached us and told us to follow him, we ended up a really nice hotel for the same price, a private room and pool etc. It’s really good apart from the moody staff!
After a quick dip and sunbath, we napped, got some food, collected our laundry (after getting very lost again and road rage with Olivia beeping like a local) rolled around and headed out at 10:30pm to ‘Why not?’ bar, where we told there would be lots of people and a great time… Totally misled. The night was awful and there was just hardly anyone there. We had to pay a lot to get there, and even more to get back as there were no real taxis with meters around, only men on motorbikes. We got the unlimited drinks at this place too, but didn’t put it to good use really. We left just before 1am, came home and slept! Far better idea. We did bump into this group of guys again though that we’ve met in every place since Luang Prabang like over 2 weeks a go. So we spoke to them for a while, that was nice. The one I was talking to is on his gap year and is going on to do History at Exeter and we had a lot in common so that was a nice chat, but other than that, worst night yet really!
I was very stressed and looking very ugly haha.
After a lovely swim and a fresh shower, I was ready to hit the road again.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sickness from cheap booze.

Well Hoi An…. You’ve well and truly fucked me over. I did nothing today, I slept for 1 hour then threw up from 9am till 3pm, horrific and consistent. UGH. I can’t tell if it was the 10 or more red bulls than I drank, or the 2 pound bottle of vodka that I bought and drank that killed me…. Either way, I’ve never been so sick in my entire life :(.
Olivia didn’t get out of bed once today until 9:30pm! A new guy we had just introduced ourself to, who was staying in our room, even went out and got her oreos as she was too lazy to move. I just rolled around and got up all the time to throw up. At midday, I thought I was a little bit better, and I needed to leave the room so went for a swim and a chat with some of the others. I ended up being sick in the soil at the side of the restaurant - not cool.
We went downstairs at 9:30pm to get food, but I still couldn’t eat, so just came upstairs and went to bed. The lads were at it again though. At 5am one came in yelling his head off doing hop scotch on the floor and screaming ‘top chopper’ (my nickname), whilst the other came in at 6am with a girl and had sex with her on her period, leaving a nice stain over the sheets. Vulgar men. It meant once again, I had very little sleep and wasn’t feeling entirely refreshed in the morning! 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Hội An, party central.

After a very hungover 4 hour bus journey to Hội An, we found the popular sunflower hostel and slept for the afternoon. The name Hội An actually translates to 'peaceful meeting place', so lets hope its good fun! Eventually we rolled out of bed, got ready and went downstairs to meet some others. The hostel is very expensive at $10 a night and nowhere near as nice as some of the other places we’ve stayed in, but the social aspect to it is what makes it worth the money. Everyone goes there, and it’s a great place to socialise.
Four of the guys in our eight man room remind us of the inbetweeners/ grammar ‘lads’, they had matching tailor made shirts done with the most outlandish patterns and mismatching colours. Gary, who I actually met in Hanoi, I’ve nicknamed Jay because he’s always on about sex and the stories sound like bullshit haha. But then there’s simon, the nice guy with the girlfriend who is tamer than the others, and the other two well… they’re just strange. One smells really good though… Guys, note - get clinque happiness, that spray smells good! 
Callum and I decided to go down to the shops to buy a bottle of vodka to get the party started, it was 2 pounds for a large bottle but we split it between us and did shots/ drunk it with everyone whilst Olivia went to the nightclub volcano. Eventually, we caught up and also got to volcano. Looking back, it’s kind of like a cheesy year 6 disco but I can’t quite pinpoint why. I met two really nice brothers travelling together, and the rest of the night was spent dancing.
The night turned for the worse when Olivia decided to get ridiculously drunk. I can’t blame her though as we paid just under 3 pounds for all you can drink, but she wasn’t too sensible about it. She ended up slipping over and smacking her head, whilst another girl landed on top of her. Some girl started giving her mouth to mouth for reasons unknown to myself and I found Harry to help me and we took her outside. But classic stubborn drunken Olivia refused to come home, insisted she was fine, and stormed back into the club for more drinks. By this point I was just pissed off at her so decided to go home.
I couldn’t afford a taxi, so another guy paid for one to come back with me. I let him come to my room but made it clear I didn’t want anything, he said that was fine as he had a girlfriend… He didn’t stick to his word and attempted to get with me, so I got really angry and just ran out of the room like ‘errr, just going to find my friend’, then I found Will out in the corridor (a guy from my dorm), and so he went into the dorm and asked the guy to leave for me, bless him. He is an asshole but can be nice. I went downstairs to use the computers then a guy runs up to me saying ‘I think your friend is dead’, so I go over to the sofa and Olivia is passed out with policemen who had taken her home, and I had to get 4 guys to carry her up 2 flights of stairs and put her into her top bunkbed!
Eventful night… Peaceful meeting place not so much! The guys also had an interesting time. Harry woke up on the street, and Will had sex with a girl on the balcony of the hostel. Que sera sera hey!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

No way Huế.

Today we arrived in Hue, the old capital of Vietnam. Originally, despite being told by other travellers to skip it, I was super excited to visit it having learnt so much about it during my A-Levels, in particular about the Tet Offensive here. Yet, in hindsight of the day spent here, I wouldn't ever return and I agree with other travellers, it's not really worth a stop.
We finally got off the bus at about 8:30am and it was the worst trip ever. I took a valium and slept till 2am where the driver decided to turn on all the lights. It was then just super uncomfortable and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Because we were supposed to be arriving at 7am, I thought better of taking another one as I didn’t want to be all sleepy getting off the bus. So, I ended up just tossing and turning for ages, getting extremely frustrated at the crazy level of beeping that the driver decided to do towards other drivers.
Hue was not what I had expected at all, I was very disappointed with it. It was quiet and really boring. This guy Harry that we met through Orla shared a taxi with us to Hue backpackers, run by the same company as the hostel in Hanoi. It was nowhere near as nice or as fun. We had to wait around for hours before we could check-in at midday, so we all got big breakfasts and Olivia slept on the sofa. I was shattered but just couldn’t sleep.
When we finally got inside, we all showered and met this other guy, Luke, who was on his gap year, so he joined us for a walk to the citadel, the only thing to do in Hue! We stopped for lunch on the way and all got to know one another, they were both really nice. Luke was going on to do Economics and Harry studies medicine at Imperial College London.
The citadel was really expensive to enter (£4) and so not worth the money. We walked around really bored, but thankfully we had the guys to talk to, who were also uninterested and eventually, after going to a boring fine arts museum, we decided to go back to the hostel.
We ate cheap pizza and then decided to begin drinking when happy hour came on. I got 6 vodka and mixers and harry allowed me to pour extra into mine from the bottle he had which was good. We played this stupid game that I fucking sucked at because it involved maths and they were all good at it… Just called ‘fizz buzz’, so you say fizz on a multiple of 3, and buzz on a multiple of 5, but if it has a 3 or 5 in the number, you also have to say fizz or buzz. So the number 15 would be fizz buzz buzz. I sucked and which meant I got very very drunk!
Afterwards, we met a few Canadians who also wanted to go out but no one seemed to be around! So, all of us went out, there was no-one else out but us, but we still had a really fab time. Got back to the hostel at god knows when, and crashed out hard after some fun and laughter. There were a load of really annoying (but slightly funny) french people in our room too who I wanted to hit in the face but managed to refrain. Pretty sure there was a 3some going on in the bunk next to me, that was interesting!
image
image
Opposite our hostel…
image
Harry, Luke, Me & Fred - Lovely chaps - Great night!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Communism.

I was awoken at 7am by a girls alarm clock who decided she needed to do her morning yoga and meditation. Who books a hostel and gets up at that time, let alone carry around a yoga mat with you? It was the weirdest thing ever, but hell, she was so flexible it was creepy.
Anyway, by 8am, we decided to get out of bed and go get the amazing free breakfast here then head to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and museum. I love taxis out here, they’re just so cheap. I’m going to have a heart attack getting taxis back home I swear. It’s going to kill me paying 30 pounds for a taxi from Colchester to Capel. 
It’s strange what a vast area of land they’ve devoted to Ho Chi Minh in such a busy city, it was just a weird place in general. Of course, the North love their communism so it makes sense really. The museum we went in was a bit boring, only photographs with captions, but it cost less than a pound to get in so we were not phased by this. 
Site of his Mausoleum. 
Afterwards, we attempted to go into the mausoleum, but, just our luck, it was closed for cleaning that day! We therefore then strolled through the humidity to Lenin park which just possessed a large statue of Lenin, again, another sign of their devotion to 'communism'. Some Vietnamese guy came over and started chatting to us for ages about how hard it is for the poor to stop being poor, and how due to Communism, the rich just keep getting richer. Weird, because it defeats the point of communism, but it was just really sad listening to his story.
Eventually we got a taxi to pizza hut and I ate so much it was fabulous. We went to the super market after and were just stared at by their 10 million security guards, very uncomfortable situation. I also find crazy that a pack of cigarettes out here is 10p more expensive than a mars bar… so it’s 80p. What. Crazy.
We’re now back at the hostel but we leave tonight at 5:30pm and arrive at 7am in Hue on an overnight bus. God I love travelling. Bus after bus after bus. But on the plus side, new city after new city, with new people, new stories and new adventures. Roll on the rest of Vietnam!!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Magic & kayaking in Ha Long Bay

Today we left for Ha Long Bay at 8am after having booked it yesterday for £80. All I can say is - wow. Just wow. I mean, it was totally stunning and just, it was pretty perfect. There are close to 2000 islets/ limestone karsts in various sizes and shapes thingys. In a way, I’m kind of sad I’ve seen so many amazing sights whilst I’ve been out here because it detracts from the beauty of places like this. Woe is me hey. What a tough life. Too many beautiful sights.

It took four hours to get there. Everyone on our tour boat was great, we were happy because there wasn’t one person we disliked unlike the other trips we’ve been on, so it made it sad to think about saying our goodbyes. When on the boat, we went to the top deck laid on the deck chairs and sunbathed whilst the guys played fooseball but then the sun went in :(. It was still hot, just cloudy. We went into a cave and holy fudge was it beautiful. It was HUGE, and so impressive. It was a shame because none of the photos were coming out, not that they could do it justice, but I wish I could show someone or even attempt to explain it but it’s impossible. It was so sweaty walking up there, couldn’t wait to go swimming.

We were then taken to a ‘beach’… a 50m strip of sand with way too many people on, it was hilarious. The water was disgusting too, but the guys just played volleyball. We weren’t there long. We then went back to the boat for a ‘medium party’ before dinner to have some wine and dance. I tried a lot of food at lunch actually, everyone back home would be impressed. I tried tofu, fish, weird rice things and a few other things I’d usually never ever touch. I was proud of myself haha. Dinner wasn’t great though, so I got stale bread instead.

Afterwards, we begun really drinking. We played ‘loaded questions’ which was actually quite boring so I ended up going to the top deck alone, stepped over the barrier and just swung my legs over the edge having one of those laughing surreal moments where I’m like ‘Holy fuck, I’m in Vietnam, in Ha long bay, drinking vodka with the best people ever, how am I ever going to return to real life?’

Soon after, despite our tour guide yelling at us not to, a few of us stripped down and leapt into the water, it was literally so much fun. At one point, Jess on the top  deck said ‘I’ll give 100 USD to whoever jumps of the deck up here’, two of the guys stripped off and leapt in, the guide went mental and threw a stool at one of their heads in the water before helping them out. We were in hysterics. He wasn’t hurt, just shocked, but it was so funny. Despite his anger, we really wanted to go back out.

Around 2:30am, whilst lots of the others had gone to bed, Jess, Emily and I all went in and just swum round in the warm rain. The water was a perfect temperature, it was a full moon, and a storm was around us in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. It was such a surreal moment and I’d live it all over again if I could. I was just so happy. I mean, I felt bad for the tour guide, stressing him out, and breaking all the rules that you’re really not supposed to do, but that’s what made it more fun. It was just crazy. When you looked round you could see flying fish everywhere, one hit me in the face and it was just hilarious. But the lightening kept getting a lot closer, so we had to get out, we were pulled up by some Vietnamese man who dragged us, so I have cuts on my knees, but it was a long way to be pulled up. 100% worth it. I realised I had my ipod on me though, so I broke that. No music on this trip. WAHHH.

Eventually, around 3:30am finally went to bed after having a chat with Ben and Dylan in their room for a bit. It was just an amazing night.


image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image


Day 2: Kayaking Adventures.
Waking up at 6:45am was not my idea of fun… I’m coping well though, I don’t get hangovers anymore despite drinking far more. I've also learnt to handle lack of sleep a lot better. Training me up for university! Breakfast was good this morning, I ate an egg again, be proud, be proud. Had toast etc. Then it was really sad because we were so rushed we didn’t really get to say goodbye to the others who were staying 2 nights! We could only afford one, so we were quickly hustled onto a boat that took us kayaking.

It was a lot of fun, there wasn’t many places to go, but it was amusing despite just going in circles with the other girls and looking at the rock formations closer up. Again, another surreal moment (when am I not experiencing those though!).









Eventually we went back to the boat, did a quick cooking class on spring rolls, then ate them with some other food (yes, I actually ate it, vegetables and pork), and then got the bus back to Hanoi, crashed out for a bit then went out for dinner. Ha Long Bay was a great experience, a must do!

This evening, I wasn’t planning on going out, but at 9pm I decided I was too bored to stay in so let Massato convince me to come to this live music bar and Emily agreed too. We had such a great time, it was just one of those nights where it’s perfect because it’s so chilled. I didn’t want to buy any drinks as I’d spent a lot of money recently, but in the end Massato bought Emily and I some drinks which was really kind of him. We had a hilarious chat, mainly about prostitution, spanking, choking etc. Oh and what a grand life Massato leads. He is a director, but mainly in Paris where he lives, but he did the XX ‘Crystallized’ music video and worked with Richard from the Verve.

He was telling us about his first main job for FHM whereby he just got to travel round for a few weeks with 6 of girls to photograph them etc. The funniest story was about the threesome he had in a hotel he was paid to live in for 4 months and the hotel staff came in to give him breakfast and he was just laying there with 2 girls… I couldn’t think of a better life for a guy haha. He said I could go stay at his place in Paris if I wanted - man I'd love to.

Another girl on the boat though, Jess, she’s worked on a lot of major films. She helped with Django unchained, Hunger Games, Crazy Stupid Love etc, just to name a few. That means she’s been in the same room as Ryan Gosling and Leonardo Decaprio. WTF. Insanely jealous. Her brother, who was also on the boat, kissed Katy Perry at the NFL finals haha. Interesting bunch of people we met! (As always).

Anyway, back to the bar. We sat on the streets on the tiniest stall ever just chatting, laughing and having a wonderful time but then it was closed down at midnight by the police which was a shame, so we wandered back slightly tipsy and I just crashed right out :).


Massato's Mark Walburg face haha.



Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Hanoi Women's Museum

This morning we managed to get up in time for the free breakfast - scrambled eggs and a baguette, yummmmmyyyyy. We then decided to take a walk to the cathedral just down the road, it was nice but unfortunately shut. We were going to walk to the women’s museum because we love walking around Hanoi, it’s definitely the best way to see it and it’s pretty easy to do with a map but it was literally so humid we couldn’t handle it. It was really overcast, but walking was just killing us in the heat. Far worse than yesterday.
Instead, we got a taxi to the women’s museum. It was definitely worth the 30p entrance we paid. The bottom floor had a video on street vendors in Vietnam and it was so sad, at one point I was actually welling up I felt so sorry for them. It was on about how they make so little money, like 10 USD a week, and have to leave behind their families to try selling anything they can to make enough to feed their families, then return with the money once a month.
One floor was about marriage and birth, there were some really hilarious signs that we laughed our heads off at. Who comes up with these crazy rituals? We then went and looked at female fashion, had some hilarious ‘hole in the wall’ picture face things and tried rice turning in the rice section. The upper floors were a bit boring so we ended up skipping a few.
The Cathedral. 

Afterwards, we walked round for ages getting lost in the rain trying to find a cafe and the Museum of Revolution. We found the Vietnam history museum but everyone said was really boring so we couldn’t be bothered to go there. Eventually we were really fed up and just tired and too hot so decided to get a taxi back to the hostel, crash for a while, made some new friends and joined the pub quiz.
I nailed the pub quiz, definitely. Hehe. It was a lot of fun because they were actually questions that were answerable! Not ridiculous ones like those you’d find on a grammar school quiz. I won our team 2 free rounds of shots. One was on what the largest island in the world is, and the other on what the symbol of Hanoi backpackers is.. Everyone wrote bull, but I guess buffalo. Woohoo. Also a question on JFK’s assassination came up and I’ve been reading a book on how conspiracy theories shape modern history so I was so up on that knowledge haha. But no, I had quite a few drinks and just got merry, then went out with a girl to get chips after. It was a good laugh and just a good night in general :).

Travel thoughts

I have no idea about the future, I used to think I had it sussed out…
Now I’m clueless.
Travelling has changed a lot and somehow changed nothing at the same time.
I don’t know how to explain what’s happened, but my view of life has changed so much. Now I’m here, I feel like I could take on anything. I realised that my ambitions can be fulfilled if I work my ass off, but yeah, you’ll have to sacrifice things to get it. 
I don't know what I want to do in the future, but I do know this will not be my last time travelling, or in Asia. I will return to Vietnam one day.

Monday, 22 July 2013

I want to move to Hanoi.

I love Hanoi. I love it. I love it. I love it. I don’t know why, it’s just magical in a lame way. It’s so busy and crossing the road is a matter of life and death. You have to walk out in full traffic and pray they stop for you, make a dash for your life!
This morning we went on a mission to find Hao Lao prison, Olivia is trusting my map reading skills… Pah. Crazy woman. Anyway, we finally got there and it was seriously sad experience. It’s where the french colonialists imprisoned the Vietnamese, and later where the Vietnamese imprisoned the American pilots during the Vietnam war. It’s all well reading signs about what happened at the area you’re looking at, but it’s easy to forget they’re not just stories. It’s real life. People really were tortured like that. There was this block where the body went and a bucket where the head fell into with a big blade in between, it’s called a guillotine. It was horrible and I actually felt like crying at the thought of it. After an hour and a half we left and headed back to the hostel.
I skyped my mum and Sophie for an hour each which was wonderful. The wifi here is really strong so I love skype right now. What is really annoying though is that I have to sit on the steps outside the hostel room as people inside were asleep. Eventually we decided to go get some dinner and, me, being a classic westerner, really wanted a pizza hut so… Took the challenge on of walking 30 minutes to this huge shopping complex. It was such a humid walk but was great to take in the city by foot. We're scared of getting taxis here in Vietnam as they're renowned for ripping people off. 
The complex was amazing, so modern, so out of place in Hanoi, and the pizza, yum! I’ve had nothing but disgusting meals the past 2 weeks, it was wonderful having something so familiar. They do the strangest flavours… You can get crab flavour. What?
When I get back home I’m going to forget it’s not acceptable to beep at everyone on the road. It’s constant horns and motorbikes everywhere. I’ve never been anywhere so hectic but I now feel like you could throw me anywhere in the world and I’d make it out alive.
**Update 2:30am**
We ended up going to the bar top and getting really drunk, met a guy with a beard that I fell in love with, no change atm! So I spoke to him and his friend most of the night. We went over to Hanoi Backpackers 2 and the place is HUGE! It was heaving, and a lot of fun, but difficult to make new friends as everyone was in huge groups and the music was too loud so that was a shame.
We then headed to some shady nightclub, it was great, but I was so tired. I didn’t really want to go out in the first place, but decided I would regret it. I left the club really drunk around 1am, got a taxi back to the cathedral and literally pegged it down the road because the taxi driver didn’t know where my hostel was. It was creepy! When I got back in I skyped Matthew for a bit… and well, that bit of my life is pretty much over now. It was fun, it’s a shame but yeah, moving onwards and upwards. He is still a lovely guy but… as I’m sure anyone who knows us understands it's not working.
It turns out that the nightclub we were in first got shut down soon after I left. If the police come along, they just close places playing loud music, so they were moved to another night club, which then was also shut down, so everyone came back around 2:30/ 3am anyway. It was a nice evening though regardless.


Saturday, 20 July 2013

32 Hour Bus - Better than expected!


This morning we were out of the hotel by 11am and went to Gary’s bar, my favourite bar in Vang Vieng, and I had a cumberland sausage baguette. It was a total let down but I had a really nice chat with the bar tender as nobody else was around. He was telling me the only reason some bars are still allowed on tubing are because they are above the police, not the mafia but on a similar level. The police really respect the guy that runs the bar. He reckons in october, peak season, more bars will open but it’ll never get back to what it used to be, which in a way he’s thankful for because so many broken bones and dead teenagers :(. We then went and got stocked up on food for the trip, and went back to the hotel to wait for the mini bus. We changed all of our Lao money because we were told it was very hard in Vietnam as nobody wants the currency.
**Update, hour 6, 7pm**.
We left at 1pm and well I’m petrified and unable to control my laughter at the same time. We’ve just boarded our sleeper bus after enduring 4 hours of a mini bus driver who thought he was in grand theft auto and had infinite lives. I’ve never been so scared, his driving was reckless I wanted to pee myself. He overtook everything in sight and drove so fast. At times he squeezed between vehicles and motorbikes with a cm to spare, I seriously thought he was going to kill someone.
We got a tuk tuk to the bus station and saw lots of Vientiane along the way. For the capital, its seriously run down, really dodgy areas.  Its really sad because there were a few really beautiful buildings, all government owned by the looks of it. Must be a lot of corruption because they were the only nice areas, its clear where all their money goes! When we arrived at the bus station we stood around in a lost haze, staring around in the rain wondering what the hell to do until we were allowed to board the bus. When on the bus, we had no idea where we were supposed to be sitting. Nobody spoke English and all just stared at us as we’re the only white non-asians in the entire bus station. Eventually someone understood what we were asking and showed us to our seats. I say seats, I mean bed cubicle things. They are not made for fat people or people like me who have long legs. They are kind of propped up seats with a box at the bottom to put all your valuables in and your feet. That’s one thing I resent, having to carry anything valuable I have on me at all times wherever we go and keep a constant eye on your stuff. A man at the full moon party was telling me how some guy grabbed his penis, as he reacted, he was so focused on his penis that the man stole his iphone out of his pocket! Sneaky people.
Anyway, back to the bus, there’s about 50 people on here, and some clearly paid less for a ticket as they’re just laying in the aisle and you have to jump over them as there is little space to move anyway. I went to the toilet on board and almost vomited, there was urine all over the floor. It was a western toilet thank god, but still totally vile, I had to squat over the toilet anyway! I agree with Joe, going to the toilet on third world transport should be an olympic sport, such a difficult challenge, not half as bad as the ones on the over night train though. Vomit central. Ugh. But, I can’t complain, this is a pretty snazzy bus. The TV screen is directly in front of us but unfortunately they’re only playing Vietnamese music videos which are so cheesy and all the same, its also so noisy I had to put ear plugs in and it still hardly masks the noise.
**Update, hour 20, 9am**
I’m relieved to say it definitely doesn’t feel like we’ve been travelling for twenty hours but I think that’s all down to my new best friend valium. I don’t know what I would have done without it! I took two when I got on board, slept till 1am where we pulled into this lay by and then the driver went to sleep for a bit, but turned off the engine so I couldn’t sleep I was boiling hot! That many people on a bus without air conditioning is hell. Anyway, an hour later we set off again and I fell asleep till 6:30am when we arrived at the border and had to all get off.
As usual, nobody helped Olivia or I, we walked round like lost puppies, confused and again, with everyone speaking to us and chatting in Vietnamese or lao. The border was only just opening so there were huge queues. Men kept pointing us in random directions and trying to talk to us with little luck. We were surrounded by people pushing us around trying to get to the window to hand their passport to get their departure stamp from laos so they could get an arrival stamp from Vietnam. After a lot of confusion, we got ours back and wandered around lost looking for our bus or the Vietnam stamp. We ended up having to walk a few hundred meters up and down hill through some muddy construction work before we were at our destination.
Its weird that in order to get the new stamp you have to bribe them, give them an extra dollar, otherwise they wont do it. Hello corruption. Anyway, after we stood around for a bit longer, tired and stressed, still clueless what to do. I was slightly panicking as we still couldn’t find our bus, eventually it pulled up and  threw all our bags out, we had to take them to a scanner, but I have no idea how they could tell if there was anything dodgy in peoples bags because they were all thrown on, no queue, no order. We could have got away with not scanning it at all. Our hand luggage wasn’t checked either. Just chaos. Our bus then got searched for a while and we were herded around like sheep, pointed in every direction. Eventually sat on the floor and awaited to re-board the bus finally, 2.5 hours later and a hell of a lot of stress. We both smell so bad, yuck. Not to mention everything is muddy. Oh well…. not long left. The sights out the window re so beautiful its hypnotising, makes time pass a lot faster.
**Update, hour 24, 1pm**
I just slept the whole time again, as I’m sure I will do in a minute. Everyone just got off for lunch but we stupidly have no money and there’s no ATM, so we stayed on the bus and he locked us in! So we’re boiling to death right now. Thank god there’s not long left. Its actually gone far better than expected but if it hadn’t been for valium, right now id probably be crying my eyes out having a break down!
**Update 8:30pm**
Overall, the journey wasn’t half as bad as I had expected. Worst case, I’d probably do it once a month if I had to. It wasn’t so painful because I just slept. Being awake for that long though would kill me.
The Street Hanoi Backpackers is on.
We got a tuk tuk from the bus station but were really weary about being ripped off, it worked out fine though, about 3 pounds each. Most expensive one we’ve got but it took us to the right place and it was A/C taxi and it was actually a really far journey. 
Finally arrived at our hostel, Hanoi backpackers, the nicest one we’ve been to by far. It’s huge, so clean and very spacious and the toilets aren’t a mess and yeah. It makes me so happy. They also gave us a free beer on arrival. It has a rooftop bar and happy hours with 2 4 1 vodka and mixer for a pound. Also free beer from 3pm - 4:30pm every Sunday (which is a shame because we just missed it).
We went up to the rooftop bar but everyone was too drunk already it was kind of annoying, so we decided to go for dinner at 10pm, went just across the road, then chilled back in the room. I argued with Matthew (no change), and eventually just fell asleep.