Those pics are so amazing, I can't wait to get back. My heart is bleeding for more of the smiles from the locals. The shine of a simple life in a country like Vietnam was not lost on me.
Overall, the north is much better than the south. Maybe it's the variety of culture, maybe it's the views. Very possibly it's the lack of f***king tourist buses. As a newcomer and tourist, the constant waving and helloes are a never-ending source of enjoyment, but I think second time round it is the fact that most are living a life that is largely untouched by an industrial world. I'm still hooked on the place and definitely want to get into some more of the Minsk lifestyle for a bit.
The guides gave something to the guys that they'll never forget... thanks. Now I'm already working on the best way to get back and get myself a Minsk to explore the rest of the north and surrounding countries. Hope to sink a beer with you then.
Tarrin Buttimer from Australia