After 7 hours on a bus we crossed the border into Vietnam and I am now officially a millonaire in the currency known as Dong!
Ho Chi Minh City:
Very busy and I guess similar to many other cities, busy and bustling, only difference is there are literally THOUSANDS of mopeds, they're crazy, they drive everywhere, including the pavements I'm walking on! haha. Our little hotel is situated down a sweet little alley, where you can look right into peoples little homes, there are people crouched on small stools eating fresh noodles and of course people squeezing through on mopeds. Also, we are now in the land of no tuks tuks, what a sad loss!
We spent one day visiting the Cu Chi tunnels, these were made and used by the Vietnamese during the war and it was truely fascinating. They dug over 200km worth of tunnels on different levels, which they lived in, cooked in and travelled from place and place and of course was a place of shelter. We went in one which had been widdened and heightened for tourists and it was still boiling and very cramped, they would get around on the elbows and legs. And you ask where did all the dirt go from digging out these tunnels, well, in the the huge gapping holes made by the Americans and their grenades etc. So clever.
Well our trip on the local train there was far more interesting than anything in Nha Trang! haha
We were squiched together for around 9 hours on wooden benches, people sleeping on the floor, cockerals calling away, smoking all around and of course, the locals laughing at us tourists. A bunhc of non English speaking locals had a concersation with us, which was full of laughs and they ended up feeding Pip and I local fruit and took Kayden off for food and drinks. It really was so so funny. The scenery through our barred window was gorgeous and so reminded me of some places in South Africa, it was really odd and made me rather nostalgic.
Nha Trang, not a very nice beach and not much to rave about here, but had a great time hanging with our Canadian friends.
*Socks and slops are a phenomenon here! I have even been guilty of par-taking in that at times, so cold here! haha
9 hours later...
A little gem in Vietnam, so so quaint and lovely and was a favourite here for me. Having been colonised by the French for almost 200 years I think, all of it's influences really are very apparent. It's a gorgeous little town, by the river, riddled with lovely restaurants, patisseries and my beloved lowing cow baguette stands. Lovely rustic architechture, old shutters, bicyles are used by everyone and the local market sellings all things food wise.
Didn't really like it here, cold and too many temples to visit, which we opted out of, BUT we found a great cafe which we spent two full days scoffing our faces in, reading national geographic magazines and admiring the owners photograpy which covered the walls.
Loved getting bikes out and riding to a short walk up to a lovely viewing point which looked over the limestone formations dotted all over the place, it was misty, but the view was very pretty all the same. We then got a boat from Tam Coc and were rowed around for over an hour between the mountains. The rower was clearly an experienced one as he did so using both his feet whilst texting away at the same time! haha
Then cycling back we ended up on the highway, that was interesting, haha! But got a pull along now and again from Pip on the back of her moped, no where else you would so this haha.
Our room over looked the bay, full of the songtail boats coming and leaving throughout the day. I had a wander around the cliffs and had a walk on the beach, a nice relaxing place to be. Next day we went for our day trip to Halong Bay and it was so so lovely, pictures will show better I guess, we saw the floating fish villages surrounded by the small peaks. We got to go kayaking under in the caves and around, it was so so lovely. Then on the way back I got to enjoy being ill, all good fun, huuumm haha
Last stop in Vietnam and now it's 10 degree, so everyone was freeeeezziingggg! haha Walked around and took in the city, got some lovely pictures of the locals ladies cycling around with beautiful flowers and fruits on the back of their bikes.
A few funny bits*
* Pip saw dog being cooked!
* I saw a donkies head sitting on a stall selling, well I guess, donkey meat?!
* On many buses in Asia you find people end up sitting onstools in the isle to squeeze in extras
* In Vietnam you can actually eat the beating heart out of a live snake, drink it's blood and bile. I did it and LOVED it, not! haha