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In Hanoi there a a lot of shops called Made in Vietnam and they stock a wide selection of clothes that are made in Vietnam, the manufactures give their clothes to the shops to sell at a knock down price, so I bought a North face jacket with a built in fleece for forty pounds, I posted it home the next day but kept the fleece as the weather was really cold at this point. We all did a pub quiz that evening and came third, most of the questions were about Vietnam so after reading Lonely Planet every day we did alright.
The following morning we woke up and headed out to book the bus ticket into Laos and when we came back Justin's flip flops wee gone off the dorm floor and all that was left was a really old pair that were worn to the ground, someone had taken them. I was really mad at this point I just thought how can people be so desperate where they take someone’s flip flops, he had worn them solidly for 3 months. We had chatted to everyone in our dorm at some point or another. Just as we were leaving the dorm to try and buy some more an English guy walked back in the room wearing Just’s flip flops I couldn’t believe it. I asked him "Oh have you seen any black flip flops as he has had his pinched" and he looked really awkward and said “Oh dear I seem to have put the wrong ones on” What was he thinking? It’s the first time someone has taken something that belonged to us. I just couldn’t believe he did it when he was staying in the room. We took ourselves out to a brewery for a pint of ale that night as we prepared to leave Vietnam and head to Laos on a 24 hour bus.
It was great to end out Vietnam adventure in Halong Bay to see the thousands of limestone islands was amazing. It has much to offer from crazy moped cities to fantastic beaches. Unlike Cambodia the cities were well developed and fast moving and then when you turn a corner and head out of the cities you see the real Vietnam where poverty is everywhere, villagers don’t have schools for their young and live in such basic conditions. It doesn’t matter where the people live or how much money they have they are friendly, the older generation maybe less so, they assume you are French or American and don’t have much time for pleasantries, but given they lived through the war I really didn’t hold a grudge with that.
My favourite town had to be Hoi An I could have spent a week there wandering through the beautiful streets. But the thing I have taken out of Vietnam is the history, finding out more about the battle for communism and the US’s struggle to take hold of North Vietnam. A very dirty was by all accounts! Vietnam has defiantly been the best history lesson I have had and would recommend everyone to take two weeks out of work and travel from Siagon to Hanoi. What a great adventure!