Nha Trang

Nha Trang

Hello All!

Well Kaz and i are here is Nha Trang, Vietnam. we have been here 2 and a bit day so far and we're leaving to go to hoi an tonight on the night bus.

The city has changed a little since i was here last, there have been a few renovations and a few classy cafe's have appeared. Overall Kaz and i are loving Vietnam, it is very different from Cambodia as it is more developed, The people are amazing, We met a man on the bus from Phnom Penh to Saigon and he called up all these people to find out what bus we should catch to nha trang, he also recommended a restaurant in Nha Trang which is fantastic, Kaz and i have eaten there both nights we have been there.

The first day here we visited the seated buddah, that was about it

yeaterday we wend for a big bike ride though nha trang along the beach, we also rode through some of the back streets to look at the neighbourhood where all the people yelled out 'HELLO".

The only real problem kaz and i have is that Vietnam is alot more developed than Cambodia, we have a TV in our guesthouse and it tends to hypnotise us. Nha trang is rather touristy too, not the chilled backpacker type tourist we are used to either, we have been lazing about bu the beach for the past 2 weeks or so and now we have to think of activites. Lucky we have got some great ideas!

bye for now


Me Again

I've been given Claire's camera to upload some piccas. My photography is off limits until I find some Photoshop CS2 action. Not likely. So please enjoy the following, brought to you by Claire. In no particular order . . .

Over and Out.

...Next Stop, Hoi An!


So the last day in Nha Trang was a lazy one, we seem to have lost momentum after being fried by the sun.
The Bus ride to Hoi An was a long and trecherous one. The though of being killed did cross my mind a few times, especially after the driver, whilst driving around a sharp bend,(those who have driven up to Kinglake will have an idea of the kind of road i am talkng about) drove into the on coming lane in front of another bus and screeched on the brakes narrowly avoiding a collision, which woke us all up! We also witnessed an overturned truck that had landed half sunken in a rice paddi with the driver asleep on top, i was a bit worried as they don't wear seatbelts in Vietnam that he may be a little dead, but i think i'll just keep telling myself 'the little man is just sleeping'
The bus dropped us off at 6 am at a hotel 'recommended' by the bus tour, we weren't sure at first but it costs the same as all the other hotels and is mich nicer, the only issue is that we get bugged to buy a tour everytime we try to walk past reception, but for $7 us dollars a night each with breakfast, i can't really complain.
I am looking forward to exploring the city of Hoi An tomrrow. It used to be the main port in south east asia and was spared in the war, so there are many old buildings and artifacts to look at. There is also the beach not to far away and cheap cheap made to measure clothing that i am going to take advantage of.

Bye for now
- Hoi An

Oh the Pain

That's right, I'm still on about my sunburn! Even in beautiful Hoi An. The bus ride was harrowing. We're meant to stick to the right side of the road, yeah? Well, not according to this bus driver. He seemed to enjoy taking every completely blind or hairpin corner on the left. Not just crossing the line with one wheel for a moment, just absolutely on the WRONG side of the road. We were all going to die. This went on for eleven (hey maybe it was only nine! who would have thought?) hours or more. Eventually i stopped watching the road for oncoming traffic, and stopped lifting my head every time we ground to a shuddering halt all too quickly. I guess you get used to it? Claire made friends with two Irish boys who shared the back seat of the bus with us and ended up using one of them as a pillow. And a foot rest. Poor boy never had a chance. Another guy's chair completely broke about an hour into the trip. We all felt thankful that it wasn't us.

So when I'm almost so exhausted I can finally pass out sitting up, we arrive in Hoi An. 6am it was. They dropped us at thier tour bus affiliated hotel and we fell asleep on the steps and woke up in a room for three. I don't remember checking in at reception but apparently it happened. This place is way too nice for us and no more expensive than our other accomodation so far. (Except we pay and extra $1.50 for breakfast - apparently we signed up for that too) It appears, so far, that the further north you go, the more you get for your money. I won't explore the ins and outs of this theorum, because there are too many associated with our naivety. Which I am having trouble spelling.

So everyone welcome Robyn to blogland as she has finally visited Sai-Gone. Which we still can't access!! We had somehow associated this horror with Nha Trang, don't ask us how, and we skip down to the local internet cafe and still can't get to our own site. We're getting all of the comments through Paul's live feed inbox setup thingy.

Did I mention our hotel has a pool AND air-con AND an elevator AND illuminated artwork in the rooms AND hot water AND a bath AND this really great toilet that doesn't threaten to overflow everytime you flush?!? Its great! I feel spolied. AND a fridge!! We've sticky-taped it shut though. 3 times the price.

Did I also mention the sun rises really bloody early here? Like whatever times come before 5am. And people get started as soon as the sky shows signs that maybe the sun will rise sometime soon?? I can't get over it. Coming home and getting up at seven will be a dark and dank affair. No brilliant daylight to wake me up.

Anyhoo, I'm rambling.

Survived a bus ride,
Hoi An.

some stuff we did

Cham Towers on Vimeo

Another clip. I can't hear the audio, but this is at the Cham Towers. The girls each had an ice-cream here, and they both smelled like feet. Apparently they tasted like green capsicum and powdery banana (and feet . . . and pepper). Yum!
The inside of the towers were really smokey because of all the incense, but we figured out that they are actually ventilated; there is an exhaust at the back that pumps out the smoke.


more photos

If anyone wants me to buy them some movies, please list what you would like and I'll see if I can find it. If I can't find it, then you're out of luck. Dad, if you're reading this - I lost the list of movies you already gave me, could you remind me what you wanted?

I'm uploading a movie from Claire's camera. I don't know what it is because this computer doesn't have quicktime so I can't preview it. Anyway. It probably contains material not suitable to children, so discretion is advised. Who knows what it might be?

Our hotel room in the Phu Quy on Vimeo

- Paul

PS. Here are some random photos:

What a RIP!

Greetings family and friends and others!

Today we had a lovely day on our boat cruise. On the way there we must have been running late as the bus driver had his hand perminantly on the horn...the cars/mini busses here even have a second, more intense horn to warn people, as the horn behaviour here is more of a precautionary one rather than a reactionary one like in Oz and the people are desensitised to it. Anyway, back to the boat cruise, we were rushed to the boat and got there just as it was leaving so they had to haul back into dock to get us annoying westerners. Our first stop was snorkelling, The water was amazing with colourful fish and coral but it was all fun and games until the jelly fish came out to play. We started to get these little stings then stings turned into lashings and lashing turned into sheer agony. Paul still has the battle wounds, we'll have a image up soon.

And or the unknowing people around the world...DONT BUY SUNSCREEN FROM VIETNAM...we did,smothered ourselves in it and now we are burned....BURNED...we were jibbed 45,000 dong for useless cream!!

but it is all part of the experience!

-Nha Trang

Fried Bec, Please

I am so unbelievably sunburnt. Try not to think of the words 'searing' or 'flesh'. And i was attacked by jellyfish,just to add to my wardrobe of pain. GArjhsefh;diufhAJhf!@^%@$%^#. I have about ten minute intervals between drawing everyone's attention to my hurt. They are becoming used to my scheduale and saying 'poor bec' before i can get in there with my complaints.

So yeah, the glowing embers of my skin and the patterned welts all over my legs are the results of today' boat tour and yesterdays tragic sunblock purchase.

Paul got jellyfished the worst and he's very proud of his little red dotted lines. They are quite impressive.

Anyway, booking lady told me no trains to denang and she was too scary to argue with so we have three tickets to Hoi An via an air-conditioned tour bus. TOUR bus. That means we wont get to have amusing misunderstandings with the locals. Just dangerous ones with the germans. ...Anyway, we leave thursday at 7pm, ride all night and arrive somewhere in Hoi An (I'm yet to ask where) at about 10am. Assuming it is a decent bus.

We went to a seafood kinda restaurant last night and were horrified and insulted when we weren't given chopsticks or bowls. WTF!? Then they bring out our dishes and place them right in front of each of us as if we're going to eat the whole thing by ourselves. with a fork! Then they don't give us rice even though we ordered it. We are total snobs now, and when we see tourists ignoring their bowls and the communal values of a vietnamese meal, we say BAH! Look at those humans and their pathetic ways. ...Yeah anyway, when we asked for bowls our waiter guy was thrilled and very proud of us. THEN we had the best desert ever in the history of man. It was black sticky rice next to grilled mango with coconut sauce and so delicious i'm trying to talk the guys into going back there just for the dessert. Maybe if we get it with coffee they'll forgive us for going straight to the sweets.

Anyhoo, i think we'll chill out on the beach for our last day in nha trang.

Alrighty, see youse all in Hoi An, unless we get bored killing time tomorrow,
Nha Trang

ankles not so sw anymore!


Well i must start with saying that i am having an awesome time here in Vietnam. We have spent our first whole day in Nha Trang. It is a beautiful city and the people are lovely. It is great to be visiting a country where we are the minority. As far as tourists go there it is nothing like thailand or bali, there are a handful, though few enough to get pointed at by children and giggled at by teenagers. It makes the holiday more of a unique experience.
Today the swelling of my ankles has reduced substabtially, i think it is a combination of the cooler ocean breeze in Nha Trang and that i purchased some flowy pants that allow my legs to breathe in the heat. My next hurdle is to overcome the tummy bug that we have all caught, we seem to be handling it well.
Today we started off our day at the beach, we hired out beach chairs seated under umberellas made out of grass. The water was warm and deep. we then set out on foot across town to a pagoda with a giant buddah seated on top a mauntain as the main attraction. (we can see it from out hotel terrace) it took us around 1 1/2 to 2 hours to walk there through the city. It was a beautiful place (photo's coming soon) with lovely gardens and stonework.
Rebecca, Paul and i have pondered the thought of buying a small terrace house here to frequent as a holiday home, It would be perfect...for now it is just a dream, maybe in a few more years time!

i hope you enjoy the photos we have posted

- Nha Trang

Spotty McSpot Spot

I have spots all over. Claire thinks it's measles, Paul has diagnosed me with meningococcal meningitis but i think it's heat rash. We three are doing google searches on spots right now.

We have made it safely to Nha Trang but have only just found an internet cafe that isn't dodgy. Technically it's a Flight Centre but who cares. The beach here is really great and it's cooler at night. Mum, you can head straight to Nha Trang while Dad goes exploring. Our hotel isn't too enormous and it has a great rooftop terrace. We opted out on the air-con, saving us $3 a night. We figured we'd have to aclimatise eventually. All the brochures of the hotels around here have been heavily photoshopped and we find this very amusing. Neon signs of tall hotel buildings have been cloned away, and replaced with flat out text. At least they tried to match the perspective on that front. The nice looking sedan out the front is 3 times the size of the truck down the road. The exterior wall goes off to the left but the interior one heads right. We laugh all day long.

Claire and I have decided to move here and start a chain of Laundr-o-matics. As there are none available anywhere. We went strolling to find a laundry service today, as the hotel was charging about 50 cents too much - 15.000vnd/kg. One guy had a sign up for 6.000vnd per kg, so we went inside to ask if we could pick up that same day. But he thought we were asking about price. So he wrote on a piece of paper 70.000/kg, which is just stupid. So i wrote down 6.000/kg and he said ok. But we didn't trust him with our undergarments so found somewhere else for 10.000. But then the receptionist at the hotel saw us leaving with our laundry and dropped her price, so after all that walking, we dropped our 2kg off at the desk. Interesting story, huh?

We found ourselves oweing each other money, after one picking up another's dinner bill for whatever reason. So to Paul i say, oh, you owe me 20.000 from lunch. And he says, but you owe me 5.000 from afternoon tea. And i say, ok, give me 15.000. It took us a day or two of this to realise that we were holding debts of $1 or 50c. And we all laughed and thought ourselves doofis.

I have purchased too many post cards as we keep befriending the sellers. So i'm going to send some home with nothing on them. haha. No, i'll think of something to write.

We have all found that we are simplifying our English even when we speak to each other now. We omit whole words and keep eveything to a single-cyllable. We have also developed a habit of guesturing to explain our meaning. "Tomorrow we visit big mountain" (hands indicate size) "How?" "Bus" (point to nearest bus) "Bus good" (thumbs up).

The problem with this is that we're dropping english, but not picking up vietnamese. So we'll come home with no native tongue.

Nha Trang

P.S: we can't get onto our own blog. What the! So sorry if we aren't returning comments. However, if it's blogger's problem, you couldn't comment if you wanted to.

Traffic negotiation 101

Another night another post. Bec has a rash we are optimistically attributing to the heat, apparently it isn't itchy. I've stubbed my toe and it's bleeding a bit. Claire still has swankles, but they've started to settle a bit and we have all had traveller's diarrhea; Rebecca is in denial.

When some of you guys come over here next year, you're all going to learn some of the lessons we've learnt. We can tell you, but you're only going to learn the hard way like us. So here are a few examples.

#54 - Never say 'maybe later', they will come back later.

#15 - Just say NO.

#32 - Don't glance at goods, unless you actually want to buy them.

#05 - Bottles of coke cost less than cans, because they keep the bottles and recycle them. This is more of a nice thing, so support the bottle industry.

#01 - Cross the road slowly slowly. No sudden movement. Keep looking both ways as you walk, you will probably forget which direction traffic is coming from. A good rule of thumb is that traffic is coming from EVERY direction. And there will NEVER be a break in traffic.

#01(b) - Do not assume the footpath is only for pedestrians. Keep an eye out.

cheap internet is CHEAP internet

We made it to Nha Trang, after an arduous 7 hour train ride. I very nearly threw up just before we arrive (not sure why... I'd been on the train 6 and a half hours), but the toilet was gross so I decided to hold it in.

Nha Trang is a little quieter than Saigon, but right now (8.50pm) it's fairly loud outside. There is some kind of Scooter Festival going on. There's a big Honda showroom on the beach, and about 20 million kids on their scooters riding around. We're currently deciding what to have for dinner before we go to one of the bars to watch the world cup and cheer as Australia loses to Brazil.
The beach here is really nice at night, although we haven't been swimming yet (maybe tomorrow). The hotel we are staying at, 'Phu Quy' is pretty nice, the staff are friendly, and the rooftop terrace is worth three times what we are paying (nice and cool, with a great view).

Just a little advice for those of you wanting to use internet cafes while over here. Do not go to the ones that only charge 3,000 dong an hour. They will be slow slow slow. Right now is our third try, and we've finally just come back to our hotel to use theirs. It's a fair bit more expensive (200 dong a minute), but it seems to actually work. And now we can't upload the photos we wanted to. This is extremely frustrating. I'm getting really shitty.

So instead I'll just describe the photos we were going to upload. The first one was of all three of us in a canoe. It was taken by the tour guide, who was really nice. The second one I wanted to upload was me holding a python, and looking a bit bored.

I'm sure I'll find a good internet cafe that has actual working computers somewhere around here and upload the photos. Anyway, we're going to go eat now. Bye.

- Paul