DO NOT GO TO THE PERFUME PAGODA ITS A CON
the problem with this little blog of mine, is that i normally end up doing it when i am really tried and frequently when i am starving. so if i have been giving out the wrong signals about travelling i am sorry - make no mistake i am really enjoying myself and liking getting to know random cultures of the places i go and the people i meet.
some of the stuff i forgot yesterday:
hanoi is a maze of little streets with a complete random mix of shops. on an average street its normal to have a little 'normal' shop, next to a motorcycle shop, next to a steel merchants - who will be welding in the street, next to a hotel, next to a rubbish tip, next to a 'high class' bar, next to a undertaker, next to a carpenter - who again will be doing his trade in the middle of the street. its just so strange, but now a little bit appealing. when i first arrived i didnt like it but now i have grown used to it and warmed to the city. when you get on the back of a random, normally drunk, guys motorbike and speed through the streets it makes you feel like you are a local and that you belong- maybe thats why my feelings have changed. had another one last night after meeting up with a couple of people i met on halong bay / cat ba island tour. after i had argued with him about the price for 5 minutes he set off and straight away offered to sell me books, a bike, local illegal booze, drugs and a woman for the night - in that order and within a minute. i declined all ( i was knackered! )
yesterday i went to see the perfume pagoda which is a couple of hours drive west of hanoi. again it was boiling and as the traffic was its normal crazy chaotic self it actually took closer to 4 hours to get there. to all people travelling in vietnam - DO NOT GO TO THE PERFUME PAGODA ITS A CON. i have no idea why the lonely planet has it as one of the must do things in vietnam. when you arrive a little old lady rows up the river, which did have the potential to be roomantic if you were a couple in love, which i am not so it just dragged and i could feel myself burning in the morning sun. when you get there its a little village next to the river and then you wander around looking at a few caves and then walk to the top on a steep path. the hills etc were pretty amazing but just very similar to that of the entire countryside of laos. the perfume part of it is supposed to be the flowers inside the caves, the only perfume we could smell was that of urine. added to this was the fact that there were a number of americans in the group who - shockingly - wouldnt stop moaning about everything.
one of the highlights of the day was the fact that i saw some strange rice paddies. they have graves right in the middle of the fields and just work around them - they are scattered all over the place and not clustered together - i guess it is the ultimate recycling !
despite what i said at the top of this update about enjoying myself, travelling has turned into a bit of a hassle at the moment. due to lucy, as above, and the fcat that i havent had a long sleep for a week and have been up everyday early, after late nights. my plan is to get to hue and chill out for a few days before i do anymore tours. hue is a good place to do this i am told and they also have the vihn moc tunnels which are the orignal viet cong tunnels they used to spank the americans.
i am going to start to put links at the end of these updates, as i am i cant find anywhere to upload my photos. so it will give you an idea of the things i have been doing.
perfume padoga -