The Verdict Is In....

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May 30th 2011
Published: May 30th 2011
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May 24th-30th

First, thanks to everyone that responded with their opinions on what I should do, I will be doing more of that throughout the trip. I think the final vote was “Go with the girl” 16 votes, “Go with the tour” 0 votes. Those that know me might think I followed the girl, but the tour continues on...... without me. Of course I picked the hot British bird and regretted it right away. Just kidding about the regret but we will get into that later. I spent my last days with the tour in a small city called Hoi An. This was my favorite place so far in Vietnam. Its a real small town that is known cause they have thousands of tailors that can make any type of clothing for cheap but since i am doing a longer trip, i didn’t buy anything that i would be stuck carrying. The city also had many great cafe’s and it had colorful decorations throughout the city and on the river. This is where I met up with Nicci and I ended up spending 6 days here. One of the days we ended up renting a motorbike and drove to a beach, pretty terrifying trying to drive that bike in the traffic here, especially since it only costs a few dollars and they never even asked your name or if you know how to drive. After saying goodbye to the tour group (i’m going to miss ya guys) Nicci and i spent another night in Hoi An and booked an overnight bus to Nha Trang, a more beach resort type of city halfway to Saigon where we plan to end our Vietnam stay.

This is where the regret started to kick in cause the 11 hour bus ride was once again, terrifying. We were stuck laying down in a very awkward position the entire time in the very back corner where you feel every bump and there wasn’t enough room to even lay down. If that wasn’t bad enough, there were no bathrooms, we would make a stop every 3-4 hours but since we were stuck in the corner, we would have to climb over other people that were sleeping to get out. And now for the worst part, the driver. He was the biggest lunatic behind the wheel of a bus full of sleeping passengers you could
I finally shavedI finally shavedI finally shaved

and i'm not happy about it
ever imagine. I didn’t end up sleeping at all as i saw my life flashing before my eyes about every 4 minutes due to some reckless move he was trying to make with a bus. I swear during several points, at least one wheel of the bus was hanging off a cliff as he tried to pass other vehicles at high speed on mountains with no rails at night with no street lights. This of course was in addition to the 4 inches of space he left between the bus and the cars in front of us. I almost started yelling at him in the middle of the night cause i really didn't think we were going to make it. Meanwhile, the tour group had a 1 1/2 hour flight to Saigon which i passed up for this, lol.

Anyway, we did make it to Nha Trang by 5am and decided to book a boat tour/cruise that took us snorkeling and to some beaches in the area. Despite being so tired, this was so much fun as we must have lucked out on the boat we were assigned cause the crew was so much fun and in the middle of the sea, broke out a full drum set, guitars, and mics and started rockin until about 5 other boats nearby joined up with us at which point everyone started jumping in the water as they poured cheap wine down everyones throats for a good 40 minutes. In the end, i probably drank more salt water than wine but it did give me a second wind that made me last through the day. What sucked is it started to downpour right as we were leaving and it wouldn’t stop. By the time we were back at our hotel, the streets were completely flooded up to our knees and everything we had was soaked. We had planned to meet up with this Australian guy and 3 Canadians we met on the boat for dinner and drinks but because the rain was getting worse, Nicci and I just went to dinner and caught up on the sleep we missed the night before.

Now i am at a place called Jungle Beach Resort which Nicci had heard about from some other travelers. Its a private beach resort in the middle of nowhere where you rent very basic huts with mosquito nets and you have this great beach basically to yourselves and a few other people staying here. All the meals are included and you eat with everyone staying there so you meet up and have a great time and then do your own thing from there. I was scared to go here cause when I looked it up on Trip Advisor several groups of Americans gave it a real bad review due to the owner’s unique sense of humor. It turns out the owner, Sly, is from Canada and hates when he asks people where they are from if they say, “America” as he would reply “America is not a country, its a name within a continent,” and then would continue to mess with them. I don’t know why this would ruin someones stay here but I think i have a little thicker skin then that. Either way, when we pulled in I will admit i was a little scared and here is how it basically went down

(Sly was on the phone walking around in a sarong finishing a cigarette. He is a tall 60+ year old)

Sly: So where are you guys from?
Nicci: I am from London, England
Me (shaking a little): I am from The United States of America
Sly: Oh finally someone knows the correct name of your country. You must have been on Trip Advisor and read what some people said about me.
Me: Nope, never heard of it

It turns out Sly is an alright guy, he married a Vietnamese women and moved out here 10-15 years ago and started this resort with her. He hasn’t left ‘Nam since. Every year they will build a few more huts and they do all the construction themselves with wood and bamboo, including the furniture. The huts do have electricity and stuff so its not that basic but is a great change from all the cities we have been to. Since we didn't arrive till just before dinner, we ate with the 4 other people staying here, two couples slightly younger then me, and then we all started playing A**hole. Afterward, the 6 of us decided to go into the ocean around 11:30 pm which was amazing. Basically, the only light was from the moon and you could just make out the white from the waves breaking. A few minutes later we ditched the bathing suits and went back in (I would like to apologize to my family if they got a mental picture of that). Now we plan and spending another night here before we figure out how to get to Ho Chi Min City (aka Saigon).

Even if you read this right away, check back for more pictures to come (including Sly)

Additional photos below
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1st June 2011

carrie said nicci was cute, glad you made the right choice!
7th June 2011

I love this post.
Everything seems so fun! Sly seems awesome! Wish I can meet that old bugger! Your so funny! I love the pic of you with your shaved face (and that you aren't happy about it!) I hope I can meet Nicci someday! So beautiful! I like her sense of adventure! Miss you.
9th June 2011

I've been checking in on you weekly.
Wow, I must say that I really enjoy checking in on you. I hope things can work out with Nicci another time. I love you pics. Sly looks scary. I heard about Waldo. I loved his pics too. Come by and see us when you get back.

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