Still working our way down the coast of Vietnam
01.08.2007 - 06.08.2007 37 °C
Okay, so in this entry we promise not to use the "F" word!
After three days in Hoi An, we were really sad to leave. The beach was great and the town of Hoi An with it's "olde worlde" charm was lovely. It used to be the central trading port for Vietnam in the days of the old French, Portugese and English trading routes and the town still has the old colonial characteristic buildings. Our hotel was excellent and the staff even gave us presents when we left - a pair of decorative Vietnamese lanterns, that we have decided to use as christmas decorations in India.
Our next stop on the journey was Nha Trang, which meant a one hour taxi ride to Danang to catch a train to Nha Trang. About half an hour into the taxi journey, the car was stopped by a Police check road block. It was a bit of a worry when the driver went pale and started to sweat. He got out of the car and started to produce his documents etc. There was much dialogue and shaking of heads. We were a bit worried we would get dumped at the side of the road whilst the driver was whisked away to nick. The driver made a phone call, whilst pretending to retrieve further documents form the dashboard. He then went and spoke to the Police for a short while and then got back in the car muttering that they wanted money. We think he must have paid them as we were allowed to go on our way.
We got to the railway station and eventually boarded the train for the 10 hour trip to Nha Trang. We shared a cabin with a young Vietnamese couple, (I thought they may be newlyweds). Unfortunately their English was as good as our Vietnamese, so spent the entire journey nodding and smiling every now and then. The train pulled into Nha Trang at about 10pm and it was chucking it down. Our transport arrived and took us to our hotel where we checked in and went straight to bed.
We woke next morning and it was still chucking it down! Nha Trang took us a bit by surprise. It's a Vietnamese version of Blackpool/Skegness/Southend - take your pick! Fairgrounds and amusement parks right on the beach. We spent Friday afternoon in Shorty's Bar watching the rain bounce off the road. It really was like home, but a little warmer. We stayed in Nha Trang for three days and it rained every day. On Saturday we decided to for a walk in the rain just to get our for a while. BIG MISTAKE - the rain got worse as we walked along the waterfront toward Ca Da docks. We decided to carry on because we saw a cable car in the distance and curiosity got the better of us.
The cable car ran across the harbour and over to a nearby island. It turned out that had the largest span across open water in the world, so we just had to take a ride. We were a bit disappointed when we got to the other side as we had arrived at a very cheesy Vietnamese Theme Park. The trouble was, it was only half finished and due to the weather, devoid of people. It was very bizarre wandering round an empty Theme Park listening to cheesy music that was coming out of speakers hidden in plastic rocks and palm trees, so we quickly hoofed it back to the cable car.
We left Nha Trang on Sunday morning by Open Tour bus and it was still raining. The Open Tour bus is the way to see Vietnam in its bare bones. From whole families travelling on one moped (six of them) to a guy with two live pigs strapped across the seat (and he was doing about 30mph). The journey was fairly uneventful. No stops at cafes just one opportunity to pee in the bushes at the side of the road - we both passed on this, although most of the Vietnamese passengers didn't!
We got to Mui Ne late in the afternoon and found our way to our hotel. This wasn't too difficult as Mui Ne only has one street and this runs right along the beach. Our hotel has 18 deluxe bungalows right on the beach. We can lay in bed listening to the waves crashing on the shore. We have five days here to relax on the beach and charge our batteries before we head for the hustle and bustle of Saigon and Phomn Phen.
We're turning into real travellers now, we've got the brown skin, we have more or less worked out all the scams and we're experts on using squat toilets (even on trains)!
There see we didn't mention food once! (oops OK only once!).
Love and miss you all. Keep up the comments.