Published: August 8th 2007July 28th 2007
Hi everyone, it’s been a while.
We are currently in the Vietnamese beach resort of Nha Trang and we thought now would be a good time to update you on our travels! As some of you may have seen, the blog website crashed a few days ago which meant that all of our blogs were lost! However, using some computer wizardry we were able to restore most of the entries. I know a lot of you like to re-read these entries every day so I’m sure you are glad that they are back…
I think we last spoke to you several weeks ago in Yangshou? Keep up at the back. We left there on a Chinese sleeper bus, the first one we had the pleasure of, on the way to Shenzhen. Shenzhen is on the very tip of mainland China and a good place to head for if you are heading for Hong Kong.
The sleeper bus was an 'experience'. It’s basically a bus with thirty beds in, all squeezed in bunk fashion, three abreast. There is little legroom, lots of smells, lots of staring, lots of spitting into bags - you did ask and lots of heart
Awesome view from Victoria Peak on Jay's birthday.
stopping overtaking maneuvers.
You may think that, when driving a sleeper bus, the driver would refrain from using the horn and generally drive in a steady, considerate manner. Afraid not. The road to Shenzhen was only single track and it was very, very bendy. Rather than wait for a gap to overtake, the driver would pull out into the middle of the road, engage full headlight beam and lean on the horn. I imagined him closing his eyes but this may not have occurred. So, you would be awoken from your gentle sleep by a piercing sound. The natural response is to open you eyes and look ahead. Big mistake. Nothing tempts the human mind from relaxation than the blinding lights of the other bus coming straight towards you. The whole experience didn’t lend itself to a peaceful nights sleep but was certainly an interesting way to see in your birthday (many thanks for all of the birthday greetings). The driver also left his braking to a criminally late moment, so much so that you were flung to the front of your bunk and deposited in a bundle at the end. I think we performed several back wheelies, such
Felt like a retreat back to Europe wandering round the city. Was strangely comforting after all our travels.
was the force of the brakes. I think he was monitoring each bunk because if you had the temerity to drop off to sleep he would just tap the horn, lest you were to relax. Believe it or not Jenny and I may have exchanged a few swear words during the darker hours.
After arriving in Shenzhen, tired, scared and eternally grateful to have survived we made our way to Hong Kong by train, finally arriving at our hotel at around 11am. It had been a long journey but it was good to finally arrive. The room was tres small, by far the smallest we had seen so far but HK was soooo expensive that it was all we could afford. Still it had AC, en-suite bathroom, good location in Kowloon and a door so one wasn’t inclined to complain too loudly. Plus no-one was listening.
Out we stepped into HK and it was stunning - the harbour is spectacular and reminded us of our final destination in Sydney. It was also good to get away from China for a while - HK still felt reassuringly British and even the road signs and roundabouts looked familiar. There was
Disneyland, Hong Kong
The big guy himself!! We were honoured! Jenny had waited 26 years for this moment!
also no spitting which was a huge bonus. Had we mentioned the spitting? It wasn’t the physical act that annoyed us but the wretching that proceeded it - it seemed as if they were trying to draw something up from their heel - you did ask for all of the details of the trip, it’s not all beaches and beer! (;o)
We spent the first night atop Victoria peak which affords beautiful views of Kowloon and the New Terrorities at night. A great way to spend my birthday - even if the restaurants at the top were charging London prices for a drink. We ended up catching the bus back down and finding a pizza place - life was good.
The rest of the time was just as pleasant - looking round the city, day trip to Aberdeen to see the harbour, drinks with the lovely Betty and Lolita (Jenny’s old schoolfriends), day trip to Macau (amazing Portuguese influenced place where we had our first bottle of wine for weeks!). The icing on the cake though was the trip to Disneyland Hong Kong!!!!! Happy days.
From HK we got another sleeper bus (24 hour journey) to Sanya
on Hainan Island. This sleeper bus was a lot quieter and the driver a lot more considerate but my bed was next to the toilet so you can’t win ‘em all. We had decided to check ourselves into a Holiday Inn when we got to Sanya. We were conscious that after all of this traveling we needed a holiday and this seemed to be a good place to do it. We managed to find a decent room rate on the Internet so we decided to go ahead. We spent the next four days by the beach and the pool, sipping beers and eating room service. It was nice to get away from it all for a while - you know what having three months off can be like? Sometimes you just need to chill out.
And then that was China pretty much done. We left Sanya for the mainland via an overnight ferry and made our way into Vietnam by bus.
The six weeks in China had been really cool but we were partly pleased to be moving on. China is such a huge place and all of the cities are massive, there is a lot of pollution
Ursuline girls reunion
Met up with the lovely Betty Chan and Lolita Lei. Both girls are looking fab, doing well and sure know how to natter!!
and the people can be a challenge. It seems that everyone is out for themselves and that can be a little trying at times.
Still we had some spectacular memories of the country and had met some great people. It was just time to move on so Vietnam here we come… All together now… Gooooood Morrrrrning Vietnammmmmm!!!!
There are more photos below