Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004
Subject: After long silence...
Well we've made it to Hanoi and can finally use the internet again! In both Hoi An and Hué the connections were such that we simply had to give up - we were lucky if we could connect to Yahoo at all, much less read or write any mail. Prior to that we were completely incommunicado for a few days - three days on a fantastic motorbike trip through the Central Highlands, followed by a couple of days at a remote beach resort (where, however, the weather was British - grey, wet and at times chilly).
In Hoi An we found an amazing tailor, who completed exquisitely-made, beautifully-fitting, ridiculously cheap clothes for both of us in less than a day (linen suit for Chris, silk jacket for Mary - now we have to find somewhere special to wear them).
After an exciting but tiring overnight train journey, we arrived an hour early (04.00!) in Hanoi, where the sun's now shining on us.
Off to Ha Long Bay tomorrow, where we shall spend two nights on a junk. Then overnight on the train again, north to Sapa, where we go trekking among the hill tribes and spend another night in a "homestay", before returning to Hanoi overnight by train. On our return, we hope to visit Ho Chi Minh, who is currently in Moscow for refurbishment - so he should be looking spruced up.
Sorry about the (relative) brevity this time, but it really is time for lunch and we have to make sure we get some tickets for the famous Water Puppets. We'll try and do the last part of the trip justice after we get home.