Wax on, wax off

Sapa Travel Blog

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Today we're off to Sapa, in the Northwest of Vietnam. It takes about 8 hours via overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, and from there about an hour by minibus, to Sapa. It’s right up in the mountains, so could be quite cold, a vast difference from Hanoi!


We check out of the Elizabeth at 11:30AM, and leave our luggage there, and we have yet another day to kill, with a slight hangover. The whole day is spent mainly hopping from bar to bar, looking (in vain) for a pool table. I never thought it would be so hard to find one in this country, but in Hanoi, apparently it is! The day is broken up slightly by the biggest transvestite sighting ever. Imagine if you will, a man, with a chin, wearing a dress, with a blatant wig, and earrings, and you get the picture. Hilarious stuff, wait until I get the pictures on here….


If that was the funniest part of the day, the scariest part came shortly after, when we went up to the highest point in Hanoi, to have a drink, where you can see over the whole lake, and most of the rest of the Old Quarter. I got a bit of vertigo, looking down, so we finished our drinks quickly, and had a few more beers by the lake.


Also, we finally found dog meat! It was listed as Dog Burger in the restaurant we went to, before catching the train. A must, upon our return.


The hotel has got our tickets for us upon our return, and also booked a taxi. I’m really impressed with the Elizabeth hotel, and would recommend it to anyone. Just don’t book any tours through them! Or the train to Sapa….


Speaking of the train, apparently $50 buys you a bed, within a 6 seater compartment, the top ones of which Burg has a ticket for, look stupidly small. I have the bottom one luckily, and we are sandwiching an old American man, who asks us where the Queen is, due to us being English. He is a very funny man. On the other side are three Vietnamese, who it seems can sleep anywhere, and these bunks are probably huge for them!


The night passes uneventfully, as we play shithead (or chedhead according to the American) and drink shots of whisky for the loser. Until, out of nowhere, the Vietnamese man on the bottom bunk does a karate chop in mid-air, and kicks Burger’s knee!! Bad dream, I ask?? Burg offers him some whisky, but he just apologises, and goes back to sleep! Maybe he had a bad dream, maybe he though Burger was trying to rob him (or worse), who knows? But we had a laugh about it, and ending up drinking the whole bottle. I don’t remember being asleep, but I must have passed out….and how Burg got up to the top bunk, God only knows….
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photo by: Paulovic