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Published: February 29th 2016
if you want bahn mi, there are plenty of stalls along the main road into town in the morning, with the usual scary, grey-looking pate basking in the heat, and some where you can have omelette inside, cooked there and then. By lunchtime they have trundled off. In the evening there are some local pho places which spring up from nowhere, plastic stools and all, for example outside the petrol station when it closes for the night. Mostly local young people, the occasional adventurous traveller on a budget. Otherwise you have to choose between the beach, the night market or the main road. The main road is cheaper, but there are some big big restaurants which have tour buses outside, and some smarter places, including a Spanish tapas one. Err....... A good alternative is to go to a hostel with its own restaurant. We don't want to stay there, although you can get a dorm bed for $4 and upwards if you don't mind sharing with 19 others, some noisily rolling in at 5am, or a private room with no aircon and a dodgy shower. But the food is much more reasonable and there is usually a bunch of interesting people
to talk to, some of them even older than us!
On the beach in the day you can buy fruit, not particularly cheap, but we feel so sorry for the women who carry it on a pole on their shoulders. You can see the pole bending under the weight, one coconut weighs a ton, so £1 is better than humping it back from the market And goes to a good cause, people working so hard to make a living. Pineapples and mangos they will cut up for you, far easier than struggling. Samosas with meat or fruit filling (don't have the banana one!) are 50p each and the coconut ones were yum. There is no hard sell whatsoever, as the security guards's sole job is to glare at the women trying to sell stuff, they never come up to you and you have to wave at them, then he zooms over and stands there, but we can still buy from them. There is fruit for sale bigtime in the market and at some of the little shops on the main road.
So last night we went to one we'd spotted in the morning, people eating breakfast which looked
OK and main meals for about 70,000, good for here. Had to wait a while for a menu, but actually that was our fault as there you need to order at the bar, otherwise they think you are just hanging out. Then out came Nick, who Sam and I had met in Hoi An. He'd said he was coming here. Great chat, and he's going back to Saigon today too, so we swapped WhatsApp so we can meet up with him. He'd hired a scooter with some others from the hostel, went all over, no problems. When we were there a whole group of young things came backon theirs,whooping and hollering, very excited. We left them to their evening.
Very lucky with noise for our last night. There wasn't any, except in the middle of the night it hammered down with rain for about an hour. No chance of being fresher because of it, very humid still. We feel very sorry for the little kitten, aka Mini-Asbo, who seems to fend for herself and beg a bit from the restaurant, too little to catch things yet, yowls at night to come in with us. Sorry, but no, poor little
lonely thing 😕
At breakfast we were totally blanked by Khanh, the tour guide rep, who had been so keen to seek us out to practise his English 2 days ago. We also bumped into him in the town yesterday on his one day off a month, and he wasn't particularly friendly then either. Alarms bell rang for me on the beach as he launched into a whole speech about money, how he has to support his mother, how much he gets paid, how much books cost etc. He had money in his hand and said he was on his way to give it to his mother. Eventually I steered him away from it, and said to Gill later I wasn’t comfortable, thinking he was angling for a donation. She didn't think so, but I'm pretty sure that was it. He was so unfriendly today probably because he knew we were leaving and so weren't going to be booking any more trips. One review on TA said that he'd become angry with a guest who'd booked a tour through reception and not him, so losing him a commission!
Had our free lift back to the airport, no probs. The staff at Seastar have been great, very friendly, the room was excellent for storage, no complaints except for the table top consistency mattress. Now waiting to check in in the freezing airport for Jetstar flight back to Saigon. End of peace and quiet!
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