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Published: March 10th 2008
We left Muine on the 21st Feb and made our way to Nha Trang on a sleeper bus, the journey only took 6 hours. We arrived around 7pm and booked in to a hotel for one night and then changed hotels the following day to the Phong Lan Guesthouse so we could be nearer the good bars and restaurants! To be honest we couldn't really do much in Nha Trang due to it raining for three days solid which was a shame as it was lovely with lots to do. The only thing we got to do was visit a pagoda and a local photographers gallery, he has won awards all over the world for his photos. We bought a print. We got the bus to Hoi An on the 25th Feb, this was a 12 hour journey from hell. The bus was a sitting bus but most of the seats were free so you could spread out a bit. That didn't matter though as the roads were so bumpy and the driver was a nutter, overtaking on corners and it was those roads that have a barrier and then a sheer drop on the other side! We arrived
The beach we never sat on!
in Hoi An at 6.30am but we had already booked a room at the Hop Yen guesthouse which was a dump! We moved to Thien Biehn 2 Guesthouse the following day which was much better. Hoi An was prob one of our favourite places in Vietnam, it is very picturesque and quiet so Gill and I took this time to ease off the bevvy for a while. While having dinner at a river front restaurant we met a man called Mr. Phong! We were trying to decide what we should get up to in Hoi An and we wanted to do something that not many tourists do, which is try and get a real taste of local life, this is where Mr Phong comes in. He has a good little idea going which is to take travellers to his home village and meet the people there and learn about Vietnam. The day after we met him he came to our hotel for 9am, it was raining heavily......typical! We had hired a moped so he met us on his bike. There was 2 swedish girls there as well......they were well dull! We drove for 15K to his village, we met his
family and sat down to some tea while explained about his life under the past and present communist government, his role in the war and the history. He then took us around the village, we met locals, sampled rice wine and visited other villagers and their homes. We visited a school and nursery and Mr Phongs family temple, this took a couple of hours and then we made our way back for lunch which was amazing! This was prob one of the best things we have done so far on our trip! Hoi An is the arts capital of Vietnam and also the capital of tailoring, some of the shops were fantastic. We sampled local dishes such as white rose, wonton and cau lao. It was very quiet at night so we usually just went for dinner and then went back to the room to watch DVDs.
Fri 29th Feb we were up at 7am to get another fecking bus to Hue which was another 6 hour journey! I went over to the Atm machine to take out 2 million Dong($125), the machine never gave me the money but took it off our account......great! We got to Hue which
was not very nice and cold, so , we decided to wait for 5 hours and then catch the bus to Hanoi, this was another 12 hour journey! We walked to the bank to try and sort out our money probs but this was a waste fo time. We jumped on the sleeper to Hanoi, while on the bus we met 4 vietnam vets from Australia, Jim. Ted, Robbie and Dennis who turns out to be a Mcneil. I called him Uncle Dennis after that as his family orginate from Barra which technically means we are related. They were lovely guys and we went out to dinner with them on the first night. We spent a day in Hanoi and then headed to Ha Long Bay which is 3000 islands off the coast of Vietnam with the aussies! When we got to the pier 4 hours later we met Steve, Tom and Ollie whom we had previously met at the bus stop in Hue! Tom is from Edinburgh and the other 2 are English. We have travelled with them ever since. We sailed out into Ha Long bay and then stopped to go see the most amazing caves and then
we went Kayaking. We stayed the night on the boat, there were 16 people all together and they all went to bed around 8.30pm apart from us young ones who were determined to get pissed.....it didn't happen! Ha Long Bay was quite breathtaking!
We are in Laos at the moment and will write the next blog soon! x
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