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Soeren(R)

21.12.2005, 10:03
 

NEWS 45 - Halong Bay, DMZ and Merry Christmas...

Dear friends,

at first I would like to wish everybody all over the world a Merry Christmas. I put this message at the beginning, because a lot of people won't make it to the end of the text... ;-)

After our trip to the north we went to the coast from Hanoi to the famous Halong Bay (UNESCO World Heritage). Here in Vietnam everybody does such trips with a tourist agencies. Often it is cheaper and you do not have to bargain all the time. But we do not like this tours so we did the trip by ourself. At first we survived the Motorbike-Taxi in Hanoi to the bus station...and went by bus to Halong City. There we caught a boat to the CatBa Island. A tour-package-group was also on the boat and so we could see how they got 20min (!) to do some kayaking... At least this point of the package was done...:-D
The 5hour trip to the island was really nice. The Halong Bay contains of 3000 karst islands. Very beautiful. We stayed 2 days on the island. On the first day we rented a kayak and went by ourselves between the islands for some hours. We were lucky and had sun. That was also necessary because water entered the kayak... We found a lonesome beach and just relaxed there for some time.
The second day we did some hiking with a local guide through the jungle and came back by boat. Halong Bay is really worth a visit.

pictures: http://www.vamos-fugir.de/Fotos/05_12_18_halong_bay/index.htm

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Meanwhile, we arrived in Hue almost 600km south of Hanoi. In Vietnam the weather is very bad this december and a bit more south the people are suffering floods and landslides (>40 deaths). Also here in Hue the weather is very bad and cold. Yesterday we went to the DeMilitarized Zone (DMZ). Of course will you ask, WHAT??? Vietnam has a history full of wars and the most famous propably is the war against the USA, what actually was a war between North and South Vietnam. The North was communist and the South "imperialist" as a result of the WWII and the French occupation. The French left Vietnam only in 1954 and after a hard war. After 1954 the DMZ was the border between North and South Vietnam, a 5km Zone south of Ben Hai river. Later it became one of the most battled areas in the world and the USA "tested" a lot of weapons. We visited this region to know more about what happend in this war. In Hanoi I already visited the army museum where you can see some captured helicopters and shooted F111. The war ended in 1973 and today you can find a totally changed landscape in the DMZ. All over you can see craters from the bombs and areas without forest because of the chemical weapons... Most famous are the tunnels of VinhCo where the north Vietnam population built a tunnel system to protect against the bombardments of the USA. Amazing. They lived five years there...
Our guide was a veteran from South Vietnam. He also explained some interesting things from after the war. All "higher" South Vietnamese soldiers went to eductaion camps between 3 and 13 years depending on their grade in the army. Also nowadays, nobody from the south receives pensions from the government. For me his explanations seemed to show, that the country is still divided. Travelling around you can not feel this except that we can not see the famous Vietkong (North) military hats for selling anymore.
Who wants to know more about the Vietnam war look to WIKIPEDIA:
german: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam-Krieg
english: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War

Anja with Motorboy:
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destroyed american tank:
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Today we went with boat the perfume river up and visited some temples. Here in Vietnam you also can find a lot of Buddishm and also 10% of the population are catholics. We walked back about 9 km and got totally wet. The weather is really bad... Probably we will skip the middle section of Vietnam and go directly to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). We met travellers coming from the south and they told us about destroyed roads and floods.

Soon you will hear more!

Anja and Soeren

Soeren(R)

21.12.2005, 10:20

@ Soeren

NEWS 45 - Halong Bay, DMZ and Merry Christmas...

Look these pigs...they are alive...

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I enjoyed this little friend on the drawings....

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Anja

22.12.2005, 15:15

@ Soeren

No rain today

Well, just wanted to tell you that it stopped raining. No rain today!!! I even got my shoes dry again.

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