Thursday, February 01, 2007

Well, Rough Guides Hasn't Failed Me Yet

Inside the Citadel in Hue
Just as I was about to drop my 15,000 dong in the beer bucket, my cyclo arrived at my hostel to pick me up and bring me to the bus station for my overnight bus ride. I meet a pair of Swedish girls (whom I will now call Roxette), and a pair of French grannies, now known as well, the French Teabags.

The French Teabags are on their way to Ninh Binh, just 2 hours south of Hanoi, to experience nature, rice paddies and mountain trekking. No thank you, we got lots of that where I come from. Roxette, on the other hand had the same destination as I did, Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam.

The bus ride is uneventful, until the bus driver decides to mock the passengers dying to get a piss. He pulls over to a petrol station and as soon as the passengers rise from their seats to deboard the bus, he steps on the gas and the bus careens off, throwing the now-standing and the almost-standing passengers hurling backwards. He did this about four times, and all we can do is scratch our heads. Okay, I was laughing like a hyena, hehehe, and they couldn't see me because it was dark.

Save for a brief chat with Miss Israel (first time to see a traveler from the Philippines, got scared in Cambodia, and returning from Laos), I spent most of the time sleeping.

Hey, it was an overnight bus ride, and I was bored.

Wasting no time, I check in a guest house, take a bath, change clothes, and book a tour to see the tombs. Rough Guides hasn't failed me yet - my hotel in Hanoi was 7USD and had free internet, breakfast and hot showers. My hotel in Hue had the same amenities, but had a bathtub! Sweet!

The food selection is amazing too, as I ate over at Cafe on Thu Wheels, and the selection was reasonably priced. You even get to choose which CD to play from her selection.

Take the recommended sites/hotels/eateries from Rough Guides, I think they make a great fit for solo travellers and backpackers.

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