Hue, Hoi An and the Start of Saigon

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Asia » Vietnam
December 8th 2014
Published: December 8th 2014
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Hello again. After getting a lot of good reviews with my last blog entry I hope I live up to expectations with this new one! The week hasn't been as eventful as the last one but it's still been equally as enjoyable with more of a homey feel to it as we've unfortunately seen a fair bit of rain and little sun.

Tracking back to last week and after we eventually left Hanoi, Yoni and I took the twelve hour sleeper bus through the night down south to a place called Hue which is in Central Vietnam. We were placed on the very back of the bus next to the toilet, which could have been a disaster, but luckily for us no one's tummies were playing up! Instead we had a result as we had three seats/beds between the two of us. During the whole journey it seemed to be torrential raining and the ride was very bumpy, but we arrived in one piece at around 9am.

After some breakfast we went looking for the hostel in the heavy rain (luckily and surprisingly we'd both packed raincoats, but sadly for Yoni he only had flip-flops). Our friend Lukas had sorted out the accommodation as he had arrived the day earlier and the hostel was really modern with the rooms being spacey which was a plus. It was raining heavily which kind of spoiled the day but we still ended up walking round the small city and went to a market with Yoni desperately looking for new trainers. However, with Yoni having size 10 feet and most Asian men having size 9 at an absolute max, the trainer search wasn't successful. That night we decided to go out after a small dinner and headed out with Lukas and Jorg from Germany and James from Staffordshire who were also staying in our room. The night out was fairly messy from the start and we bumped into Adam and Ben from home and also Steve from Australia who'd been in our room in Hanoi. The night did end prematurely however as after breaking his flip-flops and only footwear, Yoni had been in better ways and needed some assistance getting home. This has, unfortunately for him, earned him a reputation which he is desperate to get rid of!

The original plan for the next day had been to rent some motorbikes and ride down to Hoi An as the scenery and beaches you go through are meant to be amazing, but as the weather was so poor, we decided against this as we weren't the most experienced bikers. Instead, the four of us (now Sam, Yoni, Lukas and James) took the five hour bus mid afternoon. We got to Hoi An in the evening and found another good hostel fairly quickly. That night we just went to a few bars and played a fair bit of pool and table football.

When we got up the next day it wasn't raining as expected so we rented some bikes and drove down to the beach. It was a cool beach, fairly quiet, but at least the sun was out. We found a football which was a real bonus for us too! After getting back at around 6pm, we went out for dinner with people in our hostel in a group of around twelve and then headed off to a few bars until fairly late. We all got soaked on the walk back though with the rain joining us again which was to continue into the following day. After getting up fairly late, we headed in to the old city of Hoi An with Lukas and James before eventually ending up at another market. Again, that night we went to some bars with a huge group of people in our hostel which was a decent night.

Hoi An is an interesting place with a lot of culture and we had two unbelievable dinners there but three nights was enough so we decided to take the thirty hour (yes, 30!) sleeper bus to Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City with Lukas and James. There's not much really to write about this part of our trip except the journey was long and we slept and listened to a load of music on our iPods. One interesting thing I was looking out for was that in the North, every building had the Vietnam flag proudly flying high and I was expecting the South to be less patriotic but throughout the journey and even here in Saigon, many Vietnam flags with the Communist star are out. I guess the most entertaining part was when Yoni was convinced his iPod had been stolen and was demanding the bus driver to pull over so he could search everyone. It was eventually realised it had been dropped on to a woman asleep on the floor! We also did get to watch the end of the Arsenal game in a service station but saw yet another defeat.

After the mammoth trip, we arrived in Saigon early evening and instantly I could tell I'd like it here. There's lights flashing everywhere, constant beeping with cars and motorbikes doing what they want and all the great features of a major city. After a beer we found a quiet hostel where we booked for two nights until we move to a more livelier hostel which was fully booked. After a night out last night, we got up late today and the four of us went to the War Museum which like in Hanoi was very revealing and very anti American. The sun was at least out today and while Yoni met up with a friend from home late afternoon, Lukas and I explored the city and found so much going on. In the main park, it is hectic here with young people socialising all over, loads of badminton and football badminton games going on, older woman doing aerobic classes everywhere to extremely loud music and just a real buzz to the place.

Tomorrow morning we are up at 7am to go and visit the Cu Chi tunnels which are linked to the war. So it's an early night tonight! I'm sure we're going to have loads to do here in Saigon before we depart for Cambodia. That's all for now!



8th December 2014

Another interesting and amusing blog. So proud of you. Enjoy the next stage of trip. Xxxxx
9th December 2014

another wonderful Blog
I think you may have to become an author as you have a way with words. Glad all is well and all very interesting. Hows the money situation. Joel has got engaged to Nachama. Mozeltov.
9th December 2014

Brilliant Sam! love you xx
9th December 2014

Hi Sam it sounds like you're having a ball! You write so well with such great humour and tell it how it is that it makes me feel like I'm there myself! I look forward to reading many more entertaining entries. Take care xx (Your mums friend)

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