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Published: June 29th 2010
We’ve been very busy over the last few days after our long spell in Hoi An. Hoi An was lovely, we had a great hotel and it was’t too touristy, but touristy enough to have everything we needed within walking distance. Last time we wrote we were off to watch the football and we found an awesome bar to watch it in. Full of English and I got chatting to a nice couple so didn’t have to watch too much football! Paul was very happy we had won and ended up having quite a few drinks and a bit of a late one. Got back to our hotel to find the gates locked and had a bit of a panic before we realised there was a man asleep waiting with our key. Had lovely lie in the next day and spent the day being very lazy. Decided to treat ourselves and went and got Paul a shirt tailor made and I bought a dress. Was dirt cheap and Pauls shirt looks awesome. Next day went and visited My Son which are some ancient ruins set in a valley. Very beautiful and they are from the 4th century so pretty impressive that
they are still standing. Wasn’t the best trip though as got dropped off for 2 hours and was ridiculously hot. Also managed to make friends with a random Vietnamese/American guy who was incredibly annoying and made Paul very grumpy. In the afternoon we rented bicycles and explored Cam Nam island just over the river from Hoi An. It was very different, no tourists at all and very pretty. Was very fun exploring and going down random little paths. We spent our last evening drinking the cheap local draught beer and getting ready to start travelling again the next day. We were very sad to leave Hoi An after spending 5 nights there and I am defiantly coming back one day. Had everything you could possibly want and we found all the people so friendly which just made it even more special. Over to Paul for the next bit…
We had a horrible 6 hour bus journey to Quy Nhon, and were happy to have finally got there. We got ourselves a very cheap hotel and set out to look for food. We walked around for miles to find somewhere to get food but nowhere was open for food in
the afternoon. We got lots of funny looks from locals , they obviously don’t get many tourists here, in fact in our first day there we didn’t see a single other western person! This made it difficult as nobody could speak English. Even though this made it a bit more difficult it was nice to be a bit away from the tourist trail and not being harassed at every shop or café to buy something. Quy Nhon is a very picturesque location. Lovely beach with mountains rising up behind. We ended up going to a seafood restaurant where they has the fish and sea food in tanks downstairs. They didn’t speak a word of English and we tried ordering shrimp but ended up with loads and loads of squid. It would have been lovely if we liked squid but unfortunately we don’t so most of what we ordered was wasted.
The next day we got up early and rented a bike, we got a geared one this time as we were planning to go a longer distance and the roads would be steeper than when we rented a bike in Hoi An. We sped off down the beach
front to get breakfast and headed off in the search of beaches. The road was amazing, it followed the shore line cutting through the hills which surrounded Quy Nhon. We had been recommended a beach and just about managed to find the correct turn off on the road. The beach was stunning. It was only small about 200m wide but was surrounded by steep cliffs to either side and rolling hills in the background. Its definitely the nicest beach I have been to, the sand was white and the sea clear and blue and there was only a handful of people there. After that great find we headed off in search of more. We drove around another 10k when the wind picked up and humidity rose. Storm clouds were brewing in the hills and thunder started rumbling. With this we decided to head back to a small town and take shelter to see if the rain would pass as it was difficult driving in heavy winds. We spent a while trying to order as nobody could speak more than a few words of English. The rain never came so we headed in the direction of home looking out for beaches
along the way. We ended up at a military base when we turned of the highway on one occasion. Eventually we found a place, it was only a rocky beach but was still very pretty. The café had built raised huts with hammocks and mats for relaxing in. They couldn’t speak a word of English so ordering food proved challenging. I tried to order some rice and chicken for us both, it took a good 10 minutes and lots of use of the very small translation section in the lonely planet book but I thought I had got it sorted. We were both then very surprised when we were given a huge bowl of rice soup and a whole roast chicken! It wasn’t even very nice and not the cheapest of meals. After that we decided it was safer and better for the finances of we headed back. As we drove up the steep hill to the highway it started to tip it down. It was a bit scary especially when coaches came speeding past seemingly trying to get as close as possible to you without actually hitting you. We arrived home safely and a bit wet but it was
a great day, we both are really enjoying it on the bikes, it gives you so much more freedom to go off the tourist trail and find places for yourself rather then doing what lonely planet says. I think we’ll definitely be getting bikes again.In the evening we found a great spot to watch the football, out in the street with a projector with not a single westerner in sight (it was probably best nobody could understand English).
We really enjoyed Quy Nhon, its not the best place we visited but very different and as usual all the people were very friendly and tried to help with the language barrier when they could. Kids seemed fascinated by us, they all waved as we walked past, I had my photo taken with one, one ran up to me and held my hand and I shared my ipod with a kid on the bus for most of the journey. Its very strange being looked at because you are different, and we looked forward to heading to the next place.
The bus to Nha Trang was slightly shorter but just as bumpy and crazy. They spend more time on the other side
of the road, I try not to look at the road anymore, it looks like we are going to crash every few minutes. A small child was sick after about 10 minutes which made the whole journey even worse. Once again we were glad when we got there. The travelling part of travelling really isn’t much fun.
We have only been here for a few hours so will let you know what its like in the next blog. Its known as the party place in Vietnam so might have a few drinks tonight and keep trying to forget about the football.
Missing you all, Keep in touch. x
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