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Published: November 14th 2012
The wrong kind of break
Going to begin out of sequence, as something quite dramatic happened. We had just arrived in Mui Ne, which is a beach town in Vietnam. Our room wasn’t ready at the guest house, so we popped over the road for lunch. On our way back Louise slipped off a step and tumbled heavily, after which she couldn’t straighten her arms. So we pop down to the medical clinic where x-rays show two broken elbows. Bugger! Lou has to wear slings for at least three weeks, which means we can’t move on in that time – I can’t carry all the bags and Lou is still in a bit of pain. After the three weeks Lou has to have more x-rays to see how well they’ve healed. If it’s bad news we may have to come home, but we’ll wait and see how things progress. We’re already going a little stir crazy, and it’s only been 3 days!
I’m pretty much Lou’s full time carer. I have to change her clothes, brush her teeth, comb her hair, feed her, help her shower (the fun bit) and even help her with toilet duties (the un-fun bit).
It’s pretty embarrassing for Lou, particularly when we go out and eat. We’ve had a few giggles at times, and she’s keeping her chin up. Hello Vietnam
We didn’t visit Vietnam on our last trip, mainly due to feedback from other friends who’ve visited (some loved it, most really hated it). Vietnam has a reputation for being a tough place to travel – especially in the north of the country. Vietnam is infamous in the backpacker community as the home of travel scams, overcharging and hawker-hassles. This time we decided to make our own minds up.
We started down south in Ho Chi Min City (formally called Saigon. Actually, still called Saigon by the locals – and me now!). Our first guest house was called Thanh Thuong, right in the backpacker district. What a great place – lovely rooms with a/c, wifi, TV and a fridge, all for £14 a night. The real selling point is the staff – ridiculously friendly and helpful. This is one of the best places we have stayed.
We popped out for a few beers – at 30p a pop you can’t complain! Then we went to eat some local food
which was cheap and delicious. A good start. The next day we went to visit the War Remnants Museum, which was formally named the Museum of American War Crimes. Although the name has changed the content has stayed largely the same. The museum plots the course of the American War (a.k.a the Vietnam War) with a real emphasis (if you hadn’t already guessed) on American war crimes. Ok, so it might be more than a little biased, and a bit grim, but it’s still a good place to visit to see the other side of the story. Let’s just say American visitors might feel fairly uncomfortable. I found it informative, shocking and very sad – but well worth a visit. We also visited the Reunification Palace, which is a horribly dull 1960’s building, full of horribly dull 1960’s furniture.
The next day we went on a tour to see the Mekong Delta. We were promised a visit through the beautiful delta, visiting local people, making local products, etc. What we got was extremely touristy, semi-industrial waterway, visiting local people trying to sell you things at every step. It was just one selling opportunity after the next. The people on
the tour agreed it was probably the worst tour they’ve been on. Oh well, it was very cheap and nice to get out and about.
After a few days exploring Saigon we decided to move up the coast to Mui Ne. This beach town is famous for wind & kite surfing. The sea is pretty choppy, and not great for swimming. Luckily we found an awesome place that has a lovely pool. In fact, the whole guest house is awesome – it’s pretty much brand new. The place is called Xin Chao, and is run by a guy from Harrogate (UK). It’s £18 a night, but feels like a much pricier place. After Lou’s accident, the owner moved us to a deluxe room (as this has a TV) so Lou would have something to do – and he didn’t charge us the extra. Awesome! So here we are, convalescing and killing time. Could be in worse place I suppose! Who know’s what will happen next. Lou’s bit
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