13 hours on a public bus through Laos and Vietnam is as cramped and sweaty as it sound. Instantly, the fellow in front thrust his seat as far back as it would go which, co-incidentally, was the point at which his chair back ground painfully into my knees, where it would remain for the next six hours.
When we arrived in Hanoi at four thirty AM we stepped off our bus into light but insistent rain. We were instantly surrounded by motorcycle taxi drivers. They poked and prodded, whistled and shouted.
At 6am, Hanoi is astonishingly busy. Hundreds of joggers and exercise buffs surrounded the lake, and in the morning mist people did pull-ups on every available sign and lamp-post. What a place.