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Published: August 9th 2007
Right, as I said before, after parting with quite a few pounds in Hoi An, I escaped to Mui Ne to forget all about it :o) And it was the best place to do so - white sand beaches, peace and quiet.
I hooked up with a nice girl from Luxembourg (we both shared the Hoi An experience as well) and managed to bump into this Irish guy that I met before, and so we all stayed in this lovely resort 2 min from the beach. We decided to live on the edge and got a jeep at 4.30 next morning to go and see the sunrise at the white sand dunes. What an amazing sight that was! But it wasn't just staring at the view that we got to do there - we slid down the dunes on these sheets of plastic - what don't they do to get money out of tourists, huh? Going back up was a b*tch but it was worth the effort.
Altogether, it was a peaceful place with occasional cows marching through the beach (???). Since nothing major happened, I made a short list of a few entertaining moments (list-making inspired by Rob
Gordon from a book entitled High Fidelity by Nick Hornby) ;o) In no particular order:
1. Ko (a Japanese guy that was hanging around with us) got so excited about me and Marielle eating with chopsticks that he wanted to take a picture and show it at home. Apparently, we tarnished the Japanese stereotype of white people having no clue what to do with chopsticks.
2. Adrian (the Irish guy) getting excited about going to Cambodia and shooting a cow from a bazooka (believe it or not it's a tourist attraction) but being worried that if his parents found out, he'd be disowned (they live on a farm).
3. A waiter showing us to a table and saying: "take a sh*t". Bless...
4. Ko ordering a mixed fruit shake and getting...a fruit salad. (It's funnier if you know someone's thirsty)
5. Me notoriously walking into the bungalow next to ours. (Again, not that funny but worth a giggle after spotting me discretely and hastily sneaking back to our bungalow and pretending I never tried the other one in the first place).
6. Marielle waking up after a short nap on the deck
and getting worried as she didn't know where she was.
It's probably also a good moment to tell you more about Vietnam altogether as this is my last stop before going to Cambodia. Well, not counting a few hours in Saigon, which to be honest, I wasn't impressed by in the slightest!
Anyway, one thing that you couldn't help but notice, when getting into Vietnam, was that the Vietnamese are always in a hurry and nobody really knows why. THEY don't really know why themselves! It can have a rather annoying effect on us backpackers as we all like to take our time before buying that ticket or jumping on that motorbike and not the other - we are on holiday right? Now, they (the Vietnamese) don't seem to get it and so will do everything to make you make up your mind there and then. An interesting clash of cultures...
Another thing that's very different is that they don't know the idea of personal space - they will push and shove and spit on the floor next to you (yuk) and all you can do is smile as they don't know any better... Sometimes you just
in the nearby fishermen's village - God, it smelled there...
want to shake them and sit them still. The most interesting examples come from journeys on trains full of local teenagers - I love those kids but they should seriously consider sedating them before putting them on public transport.
The interaction with Vietnamese people proved to be slightly challenging - they didn't seem to respond much to us shouting out hello in their language. We left many of them without a choice to say something back - that's how determined we were to talk to them but you'd be surprised how many just mumbled something underneath their breaths or just said nothing! It was a big difference to Lao where people were 1st ones to greet you. Hmmm, what does that mean then? Well, and that's when I have to tell you that I've divided the Vietnamese into two groups: those working in tourism and those who don't. What has that to do with being nice & friendly? Loads you see as the 1st group is devised purely to rip tourists off as much as humanely (and inhumanely) possible. While the 2nd group are your middle-of-the-road people who suffer the bad name the previous group gives them. If anyone
knows how to trick you to buy from them and not anyone else, it's the Vietnamese. It is quite unbelievable how many scams they've thought of just to get a few more tourist dollars.
Apart from people's incredible resoluteness to make money, Vietnam is a wonderful place full of most dramatic views you'll ever get to see. It never failed to surprise me with its breathtaking landscapes and the culture that just doesn't leave you indifferent.
So, the next stop was Saigon which was so unlike Hanoi. It was much uglier to start off with but also, people seemed to have obeyed the traffic rules a bit more! How disappointing! Being a bigger city, I was expecting a mayhem on the roads and having to make crucifix signs before crossing the roads, but no, it was nothing like it! Do you see what I mean when I say Asia is never what it seems?
After a few hours in Saigon spent on chatting to other fellow travelers, I jumped on a bike and headed to the airport to buy a ticket to Siem Reap in Cambodia. So running out of time here...
That's it from Vietnam.
someone's got to be holding them...
Siem Reap and the amazing Angkor Wat - probably the greatest temple I've ever seen in my life but will tell you all about it in the next installment! x
Cos ciezko mi idzie pisanie tego bloga - nigdy nie ma czasu, a jak juz cos naskrobie po angielskiemu, to nie mam weny tworczej na polski. Nic to, opowiem ze szczegolami jak wroce :o)
A tymczasem, jestem teraz co prawda na wyspach w Tajlandii, ale mam jeszcze zalegly wpis z Wietnamu i Kambodzy!
Wietnam byl cudownym miejscem - takich widokow nigdzie wczesniej nie dane mi bylo ogladac. Widac zreszta na zdjeciach. Mui Ne, o ktorym tutaj pisze, jest mala miejscowoscia z piaszczystymi plazami i wydmami, po ktorych sie slizgalismy niczym z gorki na sankach. Widoki niesamowite i duzo odpoczynku, chociaz slonce moze tez troche zmeczyc.
Po Mui Ne udalam sie sie szybko do Sajgonu, gdzie wskoczylam do samolotu do Siem Reap w Kambodzy, zeby obejrzec najcudowniejsza swiatynie swiata - Angkor Wat, ale o tym w nastepnym wydaniu :o)
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