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December 25th 2012
Published: December 30th 2012
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Day 01 - 24 December

Our day starts early - about 3am actually, with an SMS from the airline saying our flight is delayed. Not such bad news as it happens, we can sleep in for an extra hour.

Fast forward by about 19 hours now, zoom past the early morning airport drop-offs (thanks for the ride Mr & Mrs H), security checks, airline meals and leg massaging machines, and you'll find us touching down in Ho Chi Minh City. Before we even leave the airport we have mobile phones sorted. Let the adventures begin!

Day 02 - 25 December

"I find I get more thirsty when it's hot" ~Jane

Waking up in the rather luxe Hotel Nikko and turning to see my travel buddies I'm immediately faced with a dilemma. Does today start with "Merry Christmas" or "Good Morning Vietnam"? I settle for the latter, but the Christmas greetings soon follow as we pause for a few moments to send Christmas text messages to loved ones, before turning our attention to the Hotel Nikko breakfast buffet.

According to the itinerary today is our 'settle in, relax and book train tickets day', so we catch the hotel shuttle bus to the city centre to take care of our travel arrangements. Four hours and 13.5km of walking later I've made friends with a card salesman, purchased a painting, found a watch for $1.50 in a convenience store, learned the Vietnamese words for "thankyou" and "hello", been told the words for "yes", "no", and "please" three times and promptly forgotten them again each time. We've also re-organised mobile phone numbers, had sim cards cut down, and ticked off a couple of key sight seeing items. Jane has also managed to find the most unpleasant tasting ice cream known to man (I suspect durian) and is now living with the after-taste, whilst Craig has become scarily confident in road crossing and is no longer even looking left or right before striding out into the path of oncoming vehicles. Many missions accomplised, but we return to the hotel without train tickets. A job for tomorrow.

In the evening, relaxation mode finally takes over as we make a trip to the German Beer house, where we order typically German Christmas meals such as fried rice, stir fried squid and fried frogs washed down by a Heineken or two.

Tomorrow a love of travel photography will see Craig and I drag ourselves out of bed at an ungodly hour, and tumble into an interesting yet rather expensive adventure in the Ho Chi Minh pre-dawn...

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