And he has finally arrived !! 🙂
We head straight from the airport to the hostel (Vietnam Inn Saigon) to check in and drop our bags off.
John starts brushing his teeth with bottled water and I’m wondering WTF he is doing, and he tells me his doc told him to keep away from the tap water (ice included), lettuce, the sea…the list is endless. Once we hit back packer alley and were a jug of beer and 4 or 5 Bia Saigons in, he forgets everything the Doc has said and doesn’t seem to mind about the ice or fresh mint in his mojitos- thank god!
At backpacker alley, everyone is sitting outside on the street on little plastic chairs drinking cheap beer or mojitos, and we join 5 or our dorm mates. We start a ridiculous drinking game, which is far too complicated for us to follow-
1, 2, Hanoi. 3, 4, Oi Oi…
We end up in a little bar, where John has self nominated himself as DJ using YouTube on the bars laptop… The next day we woke up with zero recollection of how we got home- apparently we left the bar 45 mins before everyone else but got back to the hostel just after them- minus some vital items of clothing!
We had an early fight to Da Nang to catch, and at the airport John had his first of MANY Vietnamese iced coffees. We were happy out drinking our coffees, blasting Lana Del Ray from my phone, talking selfies, when we realised we are at the wrong gate and should have boarded 10 minutes earlier. Thankfully, we make our flight and arrive safety in Da Nang. We get a cab back to Hoa Bihn in Hoi An (my home away from home) and check in to Hauly and Barry’s old room.
In Hoi An we spent our days in Morning Glory eating crab wantons, at the Spa getting massages and in bars drinking margaritas and sangrias,smoking hookah. As another typhoon was heading our way, and I had already spent 2 weeks here, I was keen to move on. Not even the $4 all you can drink deal in Volcano could keep me here 😉 Although I had been putting it off, the inevitable was about to happen- a 14 hour night bus
We were well prepared with fancy cookies, litres or water and plenty of Valium. After a massive feed in Morning Glory (where I had literally become part of the furniture), we boarded the bus to the bus, which was awful, yet impressive as they managed to fit almost 20 people on to a 12 seater. On the main bus we got two beds together- thank god! John by the window and me in the middle- separated on both sides by an aisle. Behind us on the back row, where five beds joined, three girls looked lovely and cosy (the seemed to be experienced night bus travellers). We introduced ourselves and asked where the toilet was- the girls gave us a look of both pity and amusement-
This is your first one of these isn’t it? ..there is no toilet…
Oh.my.god. Well those litres of water won’t be touched anyway…and now I have to panic pee..
It was way to early to sleep to we ate our cookies and chatted with the girls before taking an increased dose of Valium before sleep time. Thankfully, at some point we had a bathroom break, though the toilets were the worst I had seen to date (however worst were yet to come in Cambodia). Countless secrets and 14 hours later, I wake up to a beautiful sunrise in Nah Trang and the Vietnamese driver shouting at us:
Gooooooooood morning Vietnaaaaam
He tells us we are extremely lucky as the bus which was scheduled to leave just after us got stuck in the typhoon and didn’t make it and it was beautiful and sunny in Nah Trang- phew!!!
It was too early to check in to our hostel (Mojoz) so we just dropped our bag off and headed straight to the beach (sans sunscreen). We set up at the sailing club on some beach beds and went straight for a swim. After a while we had some breaki- the first of a marathon of omelettes and iced coffee breakfasts. When we got back to the beds, 4 girls had set up beside us but were now in swimming. When they got out of the water and sat beside us, I noticed the very stylish girl beside John had the same Topshop bikini in as me-WHAT are the chances?! It turned out the girls we from Cardiff and they were now our NBFs for the day.
A slightly red Bec and a very red John retired from the beach and went out for dinner (prawn curry and a pork clay pot). Once we had gotten eating out of the way with, it was naggin o clock! We had some drinks in the hostel with our dorm mates and met the Cardiff girls in the bar down the road.
We had great plans the next day to see all the sights, go to the mud baths, get the cable car over to the water park… But none of those materialised. Instead, we spent the day on the beach with the girls, eating pizza, drinking iced coffees, working on our sunburn.
We said our goodbye to the girls as they were going home that evening. Although she doesn’t know it yet, Zoe will have to pal around with me in London when I get there.
That night we went back to the sailing club where the beach bar (complete with swings instead of bar stools), had set up bean bags and a Bon fire on the beach. Our bus friends and dorm mates joined us for some drinks. I was very hungover, so as usual thought I had dengue fever, so I took it easy. We also had an early start the next morning.
On our last morning in Nah Trang, we ate omelettes (formally known as breakfast) on the roof of our hostel with Nicole (one of our roomies) before we began our 5 day Easy Riders trip back to HCMC!