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Published: December 2nd 2012
Escape from Mui Ne
We’d been holed-up in Mui Ne for about 10 days. We’d begun to go stir-crazy. Somebody once wrote, "Hell is the impossibility of reason." That's what this place felt like. Hell. It was hot man, hotter than a snake’s ass in a wagon rut. Lou was still beaten up bad man, so bad she couldn’t be moved. But, I had taken an oath to look after her, and I knew my duty, even when things got messy. Good job I love the smell of poo-poo in the morning. We were starting to attract too much heat from the locals, so it was time to make our move - to haul ass to Nha Trang for some much needed R&R. I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. Well, it was definitely in Louise, before it came out and I had to wipe it up. Nam gets to you man.
Ahem. So we got the lovely air conditioned bus up to Nha Trang, which is the main beach resort in Vietnam. When we got off the bus we were greeted by the usual throng
of motorbike taxis – known as xe ôm – who were after our business. I’m stood there carrying two backpacks (one on the front, one on the back) and Lou has both arms in a sling - and they thought we wanted to perch on the back of a moped at 30mph? No thanks fella. But it’s 4km to your hotel they all cry. We decided to walk. It was less than 1km.
Nha Trang is a pretty well developed beach town. It has a good backpacker vibe – plenty of cheap bars and good eats to be had. The beach itself isn’t that spectacular (for Asia), but it’s long, wide and reasonably clean. There’s quite a few hawkers around, but they all seem to sell the same stuff – books mainly. One of the book sellers came up to us and we said we have Kindles, so didn’t need a book. He replied with a smile, “I smash your kindle, then you buy books”.
We had a couple of rainy days, which in a beach town means you have nothing to do. On one of these days the rain was biblical. I went out during a rare
break in the deluge to get food. The main road was under 1 to 2 feet of water. A few drunk backpackers were sitting, paddling, and generally frolicking (always wanted to use that word – can’t beat a good frolic) in the water. A local guy grabbed my arm and said “they swim in shit water, ha ha ha”. He was right of course – the drains had overflowed so surely logic would dictate the obvious. Not so obvious after a few 2 for 1 cocktails!
Lou’s injuries severely limited what we could do (i.e. we couldn’t do the mud baths or the water park in Nha Trang), so we decided to move further north to Hoi An. We got on the sleeper bus, which is a bus with beds (the name should’ve given this away) for the 12 hour trip. Not the most comfortable option, but certainly the cheapest. I even managed a few hours sleep.
Hoi An is a Unesco world heritage site. Well deserved too – it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s full of pretty streets lined with French colonial style buildings. At night the streets are lit with coloured lanterns, which help to turn the prettiness
up to 11. It’s a massive tourist trap and famous for its numerous tailor shops. But, we really liked it. We also discovered fresh beer, which is brewed daily and sold in most of the restaurants. It’s delicious and costs about 12p a glass. 12p!!! The food in Hoi An is also excellent. We found a great place call Chips n Fish n Stuff (silly name – makes it sound like a chippy when it actually serves Vietnamese food), over the bridge from the Old Town (far left after the bridge). It’s one of the cheaper places to eat in Hoi An and the food is top notch. The steamed fish was a real highlight. Both of us ate well and had a few fresh beers for about £7. Bargain.
While we were here we met up with a couple of other Travelbloggers, Scott and Victoria (a.k.a The Jetsetters
). We had a few beers and swapped war stories – I actually think we did most of the talking (we were a couple of beers in front, hehe). It’s always cool to chat with other travellers. Enjoy the rest of your trip guys.
Hoi An is a great place to
visit, even though the local sights are a little underwhelming. It’s rammed with tourists (I know, we’re also tourists) wearing ‘traditional’ conical hats. Seriously guys, you look stoooooopid. But you should definitely go, particularly if you like shopping, or simply to soak up the cuteness of this town. But cute doesn’t keep you entertained for too long, so off we went to Hue. More on that next time. We’re travelling again!
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