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Friday 4 Apr 2003
Hue, Vietnam

Decision time... plus some Royal Tombs

I stayed up a few hours weighing up the pros and cons of heading to Hanoi (a main issue was that I had only 5 days left on my visa... the SARS outbreak is pretty much under control there from what I hear), so finally I thought "sod it, Im probably not going to be heading to SEA for another 5 or 10 years (cuz I want to head to other countries next time I travel) so I might as well get an extension on my visa and explore the north for another two weeks!"... so thats what Im doing!

I have a ticket to Hanoi already for the bus, but its 16 hours overnight on a cramped seat with no toilet! So instead Ive bought a train ticket on a sleeper carriage overnight to Hanoi tonight leaving at 9.30pm and getting in at 1pm tommorrow (only 21 dollars too).

Ive also just got my passport back and they gave me A FULL MONTH extra if I decide I want to stay on, but my Laos visa has to be used before 28 April, so Im going to have to leave it at two weeks more in the North!

Im not spending any time in Hanoi though so Ill avoid the outbreak... Im going to get a train to Sapa tommorrow and update this site when I get there!

Apart from that, I took the moped for another day and went around the Royal Tombs (most looking rather like stage sets for the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon film!) which was pretty cool... I also took some small unmarked trails (one part required that I take the moto across a rickety old bridge made of bamboo above a 50 ft gap...erk) and came across a Tomb/Temple that was not on the tourist trail but still looked awe-inspiring so I had it all to meself!

Next message from the North in a day or two... (Im not sure if Sapa has net access)

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