Vietnam Wrap-up

Well, I suppose it’s time to sit down and jot the rest of bits about my adventures in Vietnam!

Backing up a bit to give some info for a future post about Chiang Mai, I met some pretty cool kids while I was traveling in Hue. They were from England and we spent a couple days hanging out, riding bikes and they taught me the art and geometry behind pool. I was reunited with my love of potatoes through massive quantities of chips (french fries). Remember these fellas when I get to a post about Chiang Mai…..

Left to right: Joe, James (“Chief”) and Simon

Setting off to slide down the white sand dunes.

After leaving Hue, my friend Tim and I headed back south to Mui Ne. We roughed about 24 hours or so on a series of buses doped up on Valium before arriving. We met some pretty awesome people whilst staying there, and ended up staying a day longer than planned. That’s generally how things go when you’re traveling, though. Mui Ne was pretty cool, particularly the jeep tour five of us took around the city. In Mui Ne, there are white and red sand dunes which are absolutely magnificent. I found out pretty quickly that I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the desert… Specifically because sand is incredibly difficult to walk long distances through. When you arrive at the dunes, there are kids who try to rent out sheets of plastic to you so that you can slide down. Great concept, good business strategy, but I reckon they’d get some more business if they had a tow to the top of the dunes. That is probably the most aggravating, futile task. Your feet just sink in as you’re trying to hike up, you’re sweaty and all the sand is just sticking to your skin. I basically had pants made of sand, or really long sand socks.. however you would like to put it. Regardless, we finally made it to the top of this sand dune and slid down. It was great for a one time gig, but the initial marathon up put me off another go.

Now, I’m tired of writing… I’ll just post some photos with captions for you:

Tim, myself and Marie at the Cuchi Tunnels in Saigon. The Vietnamese dug these during the war to get around. There are 200km of them, and after crawling through 100m worth, I can vouch they were definitely built for Vietnamese sized persons.

 

Scuba Diving in Nha Trang. This marked the beginning of the end of my camera… Well, sort of. It decided it wants to turn on/off when it is in the mood. I look happy in this photo, but I’m not too happy the underwater bit broke my camera. Side note: Thailand bests Vietnam in the diving category.

 

This is what 85% of the buildings in Hoi An looked like. I believe they’re somewhat French influenced, but I loved the yellow everywhere. This guy had an interesting hobby… He sculpted roots and made them look like faces. Looking at photos, they seem quite creepy. Skills, though.

 

Vietnam wasn’t too kind to my rucksack. When you ride the buses, they throw your pack underneath… Along the way to your destination they’ll sometimes pick up people with strange styrofoam boxes. Sometimes these boxes have fish in them and leak out and drench your bag and it’s contents with fish juice. Hey it’s bound to happen at least once in your life. I had this happen twice, though! Seven bus journeys and two of them had to be followed with a good washing. Thanks, Nam.

 

In Hue, we rented bicycles and rode to the Citadel. We were exhausted from the heat, so we sat around and played interesting games.

 

There was a wedding photo shoot at the white sand dunes. It’s baffling to say that the colors in this photo were not edited in the slightest.

 

Also on the jeep tour in Mui Ne, we visited the “Fairy Streams.” Again, the colors in this photo weren’t edited at all. Absolutely vibrant.

 

I wasn’t intending to stay in Saigon another night before leaving Vietnam, but good thing I did! Ended up running into my good friend Colin, was extremely random. As you can see, the “bar stools” in Vietnam are quite small.

 

Overall, I liked Vietnam. Mostly for the people I traveled with and met.¬†Alright, that’s all for now… I promise I’ll get a new post up sooner!! xx

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Good Morning, Vietnam!

I’d firstly like to apologize for not updating in, what I’m now realizing, about two weeks. I’m currently writing this post on my iPhone, so I’m not sure how long it will actually be!

When I last blogged, I was in Bali having an awesome time on Kuta Beach. After Bali, my friend Matthew and I went back to Singapore. He had to go back to work, and I had a few extra days to spend before heading off to my current destination, Vietnam.

For now, I’ll be brief about Vietnam, but rest assured, I’ll give you the full story once I’m back in Thailand and have a computer to sit at.

I flew into Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) and met my friend Tim in the city. We spent a day sorting out our plans for where we want to go with the time we have, and have successfully taken the most awesome and least efficient path. We booked an open bus ticket to Hue, which is right (maybe just south of) where the Demilitarized Zone was during the Vietnam War. The open bus ticket allowed us to go from Saigon to Nha Trang to Hoi An and then Hue. We were able to spend as long as we wanted to in each city because of the open ticket. I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite things about traveling is meeting people. The people I’ve met on this trip have dictated the amount of time we have spent in each city. The plan is to head back down south tomorrow. This is where the inefficient route comes about. My friend is also a teacher in Thailand, so we have both got to get back for work. Except, as you know, I’ve still got to find work. Best to apply in person in Thailand. Right, so, going to head back down south, living on buses to make the quickest route, and then make our way into Cambodia.

I really like Vietnam. Aside from a woman at the market force feeding us food we didn’t ask for and slapping us with a ridiculous bill, everything here has been quite nice. I’ll have to give you more details (and photos!) once I get back.

Speaking of photos… My camera decided to stop turning on. That’s not too convenient when you’re traveling. I’ll have to sort out something when I get back to Thailand I think. It’s funny… The necessities when you live abroad, especially in a third world country, are much different than when you are back home.

Ok, writing on my phone is a bit bothersome now. I’ll try to post again soon!! xx

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