A Travellerspoint blog

Saigon

Eyes wide open and sKooters

sunny 35 °C

So like I said we arrived in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with no hassle got dropped off in the main district, three I think? I never worked it out but I'm going with district three and without any issues we found a room for the four of us. Jacko rocked up an hour or so later soaked through and royally peed off having ridden in torrential rain for hours and getting stuck behind a convoy of Trucks. I need to add at this point Jacko was due to sell his bike and fly home the next day but we managed to persuade him otherwise to just sell up and keep on the road with us.

After settling in we went wandering around the city and found an awesome market and in true Asian style full of everything you could possibly need, plus a whole lot of crap. We then went in search of one of the war museums Saigon has to offer but when we got there, it had closed up for the day. Apart from the war memorials and museums while in Saigon we all wanted to check out the tunnels that the Viet Cong used to live, fight and move unseen in. So we went in search of a tour company and got booked on a tour in two days. The next day we went back to one of the war museums, this time while they were open.

The whole exterior of the main museum was filled with vehicles used in the war along with munitions artillery and a selection other defences. To one side in a walled off corridor was a ... well the best way to describe it is, a display (however bad that sounds) of all the torture methods and ways they kept people incarcerated. Well the methods they used are not fit to be used on any living thing especially not time and time again and I feel for every person who went through any one of these tortures, let alone multiple ones several times, before being left maimed for the rest of there life however long or short it would be.

Inside the museum you are shown in even more detail the brutality of the Vietnamese war for both sides and lets you realise how much the media has hushed up what the western army did and how ignorant we are to what life was like for every man, woman and child involved. Again I don't want to go into detail of the horrors shown in the images, displays and words this memorial museum shows so imagine the worst scenes in movies such as platoon and full metal jacket and multiply those Hollywood produced effects by 10, 15, 20 times and happening to real people and your getting close to what some of these people went through and what is shown.

After our visit to the museum we had to have a beer a take our minds away from what we had seen and let it all register and sink in so we found some beers and a nice park to really reflect the crazy change that has occurred in Saigon in the last 30 years or so. Here I really lightened the atmosphere with a cheap but brilliant investment of a foldable scooter (like the ones that crazed across the world about 10 years ago) this would later re-inspire Jack to buy another one after his one had broken a few cities back. Anyway that night was another night out but this time with Jacko and me scooting around every bar and to each new bar we went to.

Hangovers greeted us all the next morning for an early start, by our standards, to head out to the tunnels. When the bus arrived we were introduced to our intense guide Mr Lee who was constant entertainment throughout the tour. This was a lot less heavy than the previous days wander into modern history being shown the tunnels and entry holes along them plus being able to go into them . Then being shown all the traps which weren’t as fun but impressive none the less these ranged from open pungee pits to all sort of concealed pits and an array of trips wires with different devastating effects to the body. This tour finished off with a chance to fire all sorts of weapons from Ak-47’s and M16’s to chain guns and throw grenades at a variety of targets depending on how deep your pockets where and how sick you were ( I will let you use your imagination).

During the day Marc had headed off and was on his way to Australia, so we went out for drinks in honour of the parting of ways. Over the next few days we booked our onward journey through SE Asia and chilled out checking out the city getting massages and enjoying the end of our journey through an amazing country we had all grown very fond of. Finally we boarded our bus and headed of on yet another long ass journey, this time to Phnom Pehn a whole new country, the boys were heading to Cambodia.

Posted by Nick.t 17:09 Archived in Vietnam Tagged me transportation round_the_world Comments (0)

Mui Ne

Wizard sticks, Karaoke, Sand dunes and the coconut trail

sunny 35 °C

We pulled up outside a hotel in the afternoon and went in to see if they had any rooms available, they didn’t, we weren’t too bothered as we had passed loads of hotels, guesthouses and resorts on the drive down the one road of this town so we picked up our bags and went to the next place that looked half decent again it was full. This was the first time we had been turned away by two consecutive places and so we went to the next place down the road but again it was full, this was starting to get weird so we went back to the first hotel that also acted as the towns bus terminal and dropped our bags in the storage room and headed off down the road unburdened by our luggage. Now the three of us, Kris, Jo and I, started to leap frog down the road visiting every form of accommodation the town had to offer and were repeatedly turned away and even removed by security in one case. We spent almost an hour going up and down both sides of the street and were about to give up when we saw a sign outside of a small open fronted building, a sign reading “backpackers welcome. Dorm rooms available”. We were saved. Inside we ran into an Aussie guy, the owner, and after a quick G’day but before he could say anything else we jumped straight to the point and asked that his sign was right and he had space, he did and before seeing the rooms or asking the price we said we would take it.

The owner of place said to calm down, he had quite a few spaces so we should look at what rooms he had available. He showed us his dorms but he only had 3 beds going and as Marc was coming later, on the bus behind us we wouldn’t all fit he did have two double rooms but after finding out the price they were well out of our price range finally he showed us a double room with A/C, bathroom and space on the floor for a mattress and between us would have been only a dollar difference in price than the Dorm so we took it reserved Marc a bed in the dorm and went to collect our bags. As we collected our bags we left a picture of marc at the front desk with a message of where to go. After our ordeal of almost not having accommodation we went to speak to the owner to find out why the place was so busy as we hadn’t seen anything like this all through Vietnam and other countries we had visited except for myself in China during Chinese new year. It turns out it was a long weekend for the Vietnamese and everyone in Saigon and surrounding cities/towns came to Mui Ne for it this meant everything was twice its normal price if not more everything was booked up and it was really busy just like Brighton, Bournemouth, Southampton etc in the UK on bank holidays or when the sun comes out! This also meant travel was ridiculously expensive even with out open tickets and there was no guarantee we would find somewhere to stay, if we could book a ticket out of town, when we got to Saigon. Resulting in us deciding to just crash out here and do what we do best chill out and drink.

We decided once Marc had arrived to stay for a couple of days after the long weekend, that day being Friday, or until we got bored and couldn’t find anything else to do, along with Marc needing to fly out from Saigon in about a week it made sense to hang around. That night we went out and explored to see what the place had to offer, it had plenty, a great mix of restaurants from the normal side of the road vendors to huge fancy places where us backpackers happily avoided. We ended up heading up the road to a friend of the hotel owners place called Joes (shockingly the guys name too) this was an awesome courtyard cafe with wicker chairs a jungle of plants all over and two movie rooms you could come and use at any hour of the day or night. This ended up being a bit of a haunt for us with us passing out in the movie rooms and generally chilling there at some point every day. At Joe’s they had acoustic musicians on most nights who where really good and great sports when we decided we wanted to do some karaoke until Kristian started to steal the show with his very dramatic solos.

We spent most days on the beach or in the pool and evenings enjoying the strip of bars constantly meeting new people and partying till sunrise. After Jacko had turned up a few days after us and we had showed him everything the town had to offer and to a sand dune party (that was a huge pile of steaming... well you get the idea, so I'm not going to waste time explaining it) we decided to rent bikes again and head off to the Dunes this time during the day to check them out and have a bit of a mini adventure.

So early in the morning we got our bikes sorted and headed out of town in the direction of the dunes. After a while we started adventuring down dirt side roads which some leap to dead ends and tough rides for our little scooters until we found one leading to some dunes here we stopped off and did some crazy off road riding. We moved on passing the massive dunes and a crazy harbour of boats that was just spectacular to see. And then decided to head off towards the beach for a swim this turned out easier said than done and it took us a while to find a route onto the beach finally we did down a dirt road with piles of sand all along it and construction sites either side after a huge fight against the road and our scooters, we hit the beach and chilled in the waves. As the afternoon went on we went riding along the beach great fun especially with the tide coming in very fast as the water gradually stole more and more of the beach we looked for an escape. Eventually we found a tough looking area with no buildings that was full of coconut palms, but our only way out. We worked together helping each other fight our bikes up the first dune then from sinking in the sand or getting stuck on all the fallen coconuts and branches. The aptly named Coconut Trail was not easy by any means and after we had made it through to a road we had to pull palm leaves and bits of coconut husk from our chains, wheels and other parts of the bikes plus get rid of as much sand as possible. From the coconut trail we headed off to find the road home but ran into more huge dunes and pulled up for an explore, this time of foot as these dunes were huge and our scooters stood no chance. From the top of the dunes all you could see ahead of you was sand rolling into the distance and behind us perfect blue sea as far as you could see with just the little town and road in between. Whilst on the dunes Jacko and I tried to sand board on some borrowed sheets of plastic but well that was a huge failure and waste of time but apparently really funny for the others to watch.

The next day we thought we should throw a party and the lads play Wizard sticks a drinking game Jacko told us about. So throughout the day we went around inviting the people we knew to come down, along with pretty much anyone else we ran into. Along with inviting people we had to get stuff together so headed off on our scooters to get the necessities for a party. We went off haggling for crates of beer from different shops around town plus things to make an ice box, wizards clothes and lots of duct b tape ( for wizards sticks) and anything else that seemed like a good idea at the time and finally ice which was surprisingly hard to get hold of until me and Jacko went to a seafood restaurant which we had seen had huge blocks of ice to keep the fish fresh. This took a lot of dancing around and haggling on my part but finally we got these blocks of ice and with Jacko and I looking like locals him with crates of beer strapped to the back of his bike and me with huge blocks of ice on mine and between my legs we headed back to kick start the night.

Wizard Sticks. Now there are drinking games and there are drinking games wizard sticks is a challenge and a challenge that becomes harder the taller you are. Its very simple all you have to do is drink beer (cans only), now here is were the challenge and game begins, each can you drink you then have to tape the new can on top, hence the duct tape, and repeat till you have drunk your height in beer. I'm sure you understand why it’s harder the taller you are. Anyway the be all and end all of the game is to drink your height in beer leading to you having a stack of cans, looking like a Wizards staff or “wizard stick” simple but what a game and great fun for a group of friends who do nothing better than mess about and drink.

Any way after a couple more days in Mui Ne we moved on down to our last stop in Vietnam, Saigon. With us on the bus and Jacko riding a couple of hours behind on Tatiana (his Minsk, Motorcycle) we arrived after just a few hours and got a place straight away, unlike in Mui Ne. But Saigon is for next time...

Posted by Nick.t 09:00 Archived in Vietnam Tagged landscapes beaches parties motorcycle round_the_world Comments (0)

Nha Trang

A new recruit with a Cyclo, and fighting with pork swords

sunny 40 °C

None of us really new much about Nha Trang apart from what I had seen on Top Gear and that it had great beaches. On the drive in with the owner of jungle beach, he had told all of us about a hotel who he was friends with the owner and well enough said that was us set for a room, nice and simple. Well it would have been if the place wasn’t fully booked, bar one room. Now being the gentlemen we are (referring to Kristian, Jo, Marc and I) the four of us went to hit the road but before we could leave the hotel, the lady behind the front desk ran out and told us to follow her to her sister’s hotel just up the road and our search became a whole lot easier. Now we had a roof over our heads we went out to find some food and after our conversation with the owner of jungle beach only one thing would do, a curry from the best curry house in Vietnam, Omar’s. He was right, it was one of the best curries I had ever had but it did empty our pockets a little resulting in us having to go on the beer hoi that night.

So starting nice and early we hit the beer hoi and got our crunk on (crazy + drunk = crunk... yes poor grammar I know but I wouldn’t be surprised if I have brain damage after this stuff and all the other crap iv been drinking, frown if you must but you only live once) after a couple of hours we ran into two Australians Foxy and Jacko, on a Cyclo. A cyclo is a backwards tricycle with a seat at the front, cycled by a Vietnamese person so that we lazy travellers can get around and pay next to nothing for the novelty and these two had bought one for a laugh for a few million Dong. We spent the rest of the night cycling around and trying to get as many people on it as possible, a great Idea until we almost flipped it end over end, so at this point we spread the weight over the bike a bit better and actually to our surprise managed to cycle to a couple of bars with about 7 people on it.

The rest of Nha Trang was like other places in Vietnam a lot of drinking and just chilling out on the beach which strangely enough looked very similar to Brighton beach just with bluer sea, whiter sand and about 10 degrees hotter than any English summer day, so not very alike but none the less it reminded me of Brighton beach. The part of the city we were staying in was a self contained tourist area of a few blocks and as soon as you stepped past a certain street about 3 blocks down from our hotel you found the real city where the locals lived. The guys and I stuck mainly to our few blocks and the beach front as we got pretty sick of being stared at when we went through into the local’s area even though they had the best food, Pho Bo being the greatest hangover cure any of us had ever had.

Ok, so the subtitle here mentions Pork Swords now it’s not what you think and if you did think that shame on you! The pork swords I was referring to were ‘literal’ pork swords, at an all you can eat restaurant in the tourist section of town. The run down of this place was, for £3 you got a 2 ft steel sword with chunks of pork or chicken, onion, capsicum and topped by a whole tomato with a side salad and wedges then once you had finished your sword you gave it back and started all over again. After a few beers Kristian, Jo, Jack, Marc and I plus Duck and Goose (two Australian guys Kristian and Jo met in Hanoi who were riding down the country on motorbikes) thought this place rocked which it did even before the beers but after a fair few, each, the swords became great fun as well as delicious and resulted in us sword fighting around the restaurant between each course. The night ended dramatically with us having eaten between 3 and 6 swords and sides each, goose bleeding from the hand and duck having a nasty burn on his arm.

After the pork sword night Foxy had to head home and Jacko was left riding the country on his own so while the other lads and I were going by bus we arranged to met him in the next town, Mui Ne, and continue the journey together to Saigon. Once again we booked on our bus arranged to meet the girls who were leaving a day ahead of us then moved on ourselves with a pretty short bus journey south. After an uneventful bus ride for most of the journey down we started passing through huge sand dunes going on for miles around us and after an good hour of seeing nothing but dunes we came out on the coast and the single road town on Mui Ne. When I say single road the town is a beach front town which goes; Ocean, Beach, buildings, road, buildings then sand dunes consistently for a 10km stretch along the coast and everything is on this one road, fancy resorts, small pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, petrol pumps, garages you name it its there (obviously within reason)...

But the rest of this part of my travels is for the next post hope you’re enjoying this and I'm working hard to get these posts up to date. I apologise for the lack of pictures but I'm having issues with my laptop and cant seem to upload them but again I'm trying. Take care.

Posted by Nick.t 02:47 Archived in Vietnam Tagged me parties round_the_world Comments (0)

Jungle Beach

A mini adventure to Paradise!

sunny 35 °C

At the end of my last post I touched on a place called “Jungle beach”, I didn’t give too many details about it except for a quick badly written over view and how to get there, so now I'm going to go into more details about the place and the ongoing journey through Vietnam.
Back in hoi An Kristian had been looking through his bible (Lonely Planet) and found a little article buried amongst other information about the south east of Vietnam, on this resort called “Jungle Beach”. This place is written up as a budget resort on an isolated beach with bamboo huts and all inclusive food and drinks (as long as it was water, lemon juice or tea – found that out when we got there) all for $20 (US) a day. This sounded like a great place and well within all our budgets the girls us lads and Rachelle, another girl we had met the previous day who tagged along. Getting there wasn’t going to be easy.

Before heading off on the bus in the evening the group of us had decided to head to the beach for some food, this was a mistake as food never turned up and we had to make a runner on our scooters back to town. We got back just as the bus pulled into the stop, picked up some snacks and jumped aboard, making sure the bus driver knew to drop us at about 4am at this certain petrol station on the road to Nha Trang. Jo, Kristian, Rachelle and I jumped into the last remaining bunks and settled into a long drive down Vietnam. 4am came far too soon with Kristian literally pulling me off my bunk to wake me, then having to collect my things and get off the bus straight away. Off the bus we really were in the middle of nowhere, it was still dark and there was nobody around to attempt to talk to and after watching the bus drive off into the dark we realised we were stranded!

We scoped out the area and still couldn’t work out quite where we were. After giving up in true traveller style, a convoy of scooters pulled up in front of us and said two words “Jungle...Beach”. Result, we had a way of getting to the resort, but not for the ridiculous price they wanted. So after much deliberation and haggling we reached a reasonable price for us and with our packs between the driver’s legs and us on the back of each bike we rode off into the glow of the morning sunrise. The other bikes followed behind mine in the morning dullness down a smooth bit of highway until we turned off onto a dirt side road and started weaving our way around huge potholes and rocks that seemed to spring out of nowhere in the gradually illuminating daybreak. All around our little convoy were fields, bordered by mountains at the very end of my sight. As the sun broke the horizon it revealed the Ocean which blew my mind, sending us into a world of glowing landscape and glistening water. We then turned parallel with the coast just a few Kilometres short and headed through a village, in the waking hours of another day, on the other side we headed back towards the Coast but as we got closer our Idea of a paradise was crushed as a Colossal oil plant came into view seemingly blocking our way. As we approached the main gates of this massive industrial station my thoughts raced “were the hell are we being taken”, “ this is not palm trees white sandy beaches and bamboo huts”, “what the ****!” (I'm sure you can imagine what goes there)

As we were about to enter the main gates our drivers swung right and followed the complex’s fence for a few of Kilometres. Finally we passed it and rode along the coast, again with the Ocean in view, after a 15 minutes we started passing houses and entered another village a lot more spread out than the previous one with less buildings and people, just as we exited the village the bikes pulled up to a small rickety gate hidden in some bushes with a drift wood sign above it with the hand written words “Jungle Beach”, We were there. My driver jumped off and headed through the gate he returned quickly followed by two guys in sarongs who picked up our bags and ran inside we paid our Moto drivers and chased our bags inside.

We found our bags piled against a wall in an open sided wooden thatched, common room would be the best way to describe it. With a long wooden table in the middle with quirky chairs down both sides and shelves around the edge with books, games etc on them. Just as we were about to head off and explore a voice came out of nowhere greeting us and inviting us to sit down at the table. A moment later a,very tanned, man came through a door off to the side wearing a sarong joining us at the table he explained how the place worked and offered a tour of the resort.

The Rules
1) All food is included in the price,
2) Drinks are included (Water lemon, Juice and tea) beer, wine, fruit juice etc is extra and kept a record of by you on a sheet at the bar on an honesty system,
3) Breakfast is between 5am and 9am in the common room,
4) Lunch and dinner is eaten together with everyone here at the table at 1pm and around 6pm respectively (we will send people to find you before hand),
5) A fruit plate is brought to you anywhere in the resort during the afternoon and is included,
6) Help yourself to surfboards, body boards, table tennis, books and games,
7) If you want a bonfire on the beach tell us when the fruit plates come around so we can get wood,
8) Eat well, do nothing and get fat!

Ok, not so much rules but that is the best way the guy could think to put it and for such a relaxed chilled out place who cares. We were shown around the place then taken to our bamboo huts, orientated on were the toilets, activity room and more importantly where the beach was. Then to finish the tour he took us to the beach and what a Beach perfect white sand, blue ocean, jungle and mountains all around and no one to be seen. One word sprang to mind, Paradise.

The next morning the girls and Marc turned up, they equally stunned by the place as we were. We chilled out for a few days doing nothing, like the rules said, just getting sun burnt, swimming, surfing, eating, and on the whole chilling to the max.

On the third day we had a bonfire on the beach with the other people holidaying and asked for us to be taken to Nha trang the next day. The following lunch time with tears almost in eyes we left Jungle Beach we put this mini paradise behind us and headed back to the backpackers trail an hour or so south.

Posted by Nick.t 05:49 Archived in Vietnam Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches skylines transportation round_the_world Comments (0)

Suits you Sir, O!Suits you, Clarkson eat your heart out.

Suits, Parties and Travel buddies

sunny 34 °C
View Round the World 2010 on Nick.t's travel map.

Our little convoy had arrived in Hoi An and checked into a hotel just off the main road that contained the heart and soul of Hoi An, the Tailors. We inspected our rooms and then got started with the drinking as we all needed at least one after our long ride down Vietnam. According to Henry who had been here before there where a couple of places to go and then finish the night off at “The Beach Bar” which had a free shuttle there and back, to town. So after pre-drinks in the room we headed out into town and hit up a few bars with very original names (just showing how touristy this town is); Good Morning Vietnam, Apocalypse Now and The Metal Jacket. Then we headed off to “The Beach Bar” in a 10 person minivan crammed to the rafters, if that can be said about cars? Anyway with at least 20 people packed into each van we drove out of town towards the beach. After and interesting drive lots of shouting and singing to 90’s Pop music, played by the driver, we arrived at the bar living up its name as the Beach Bar being backed onto the beach but still having an infinity pool. Here the buckets began to flow just like in Laos and along with Pool, table football, swimming and dancing a good night was had by all. Except for Marc who managed on the way back from the bar managed to single handed piss off a whole minivan of people, How is a mystery but he did and well we kept being reminded about it every time we saw people on his bus and for about a week after by the girls Emma, Emma and Jenny.

I'm going to get a bit ahead of myself now. Emma, Emma and Jenny are three girls that are the beginning of the main group I travelled through the rest of Asia with All Three from England having finished University and been travelling for a couple of months in Bali, Thailand and Laos. I will explain more later if need to but that is the basics of “The Girls”.

Now the next day Marc and me woke up with fairly large hangovers and of course it wasn’t how much we drank that gave us these horrible things it was all the sugar in them as we were drinking pretty extreme Red Bull substitute that is illegal in most countries mixed with what I can only explain as a delightful cross between Russia’s best vodka, the finest French Cognac and the smoothest scotch whiskey, wait, what am I saying it was a cross between moon shine and petrol (Now I Promise to take care of my second liver even though this one is a trouper) and definitely the cause, but hey what can you do. After recovering with some food and lots of water we headed to the Beach on our new rented bikes for what was left of the day. Thankfully it is an unbelievably easy ride to the beach as it is one straight road. When we got there we managed to get told of by some security, the police and some locals for parking as apparently there is actual parking for the beach where as the rest of Asia you park where you like for as long as you like. So we parked up and hit the beach, this place was amazing wide white sanded beach backed by palm trees and restaurants with chairs, loungers and tables on the beach all edged by beautiful calm blue sea. Today it wasn’t at all this as it was unbelievably windy with our skin being sand blasted our breath being taken from our lungs we had to fight to find the girls outside a bar we had arranged to meet them by. Like real Hard Girls they were out bikini clad ignoring the pain of the wind and sunbathing to get those perfect tans they desperately wanted. When we had sat down using them as windshields two other guys came over all happy and smiling asking how we were, and using our names, Lost and confused we admitted not recognising them or knowing there names.

Introducing Kristian (Kris) and Jonathan (Jo), my main travel buddies for the trip, two Canadians Kris from Vancouver and Jo, Quebec (French Canadian)these two met In Laos and like with so many travellers realised they were doing the same thing over a similar time span and joined forces. In Hanoi they had bought bikes and where going to really do the Top Gear thing but backwards however neither of them had any motorbike experience and in the first day Jo had a little accident that shook him up more than it did anything else so they sold them on and joined the normal everyday backpacker’s route. Little bit of background on these two Kristian is/was however you look at it a fitness instructor with a physiotherapy degree and heading back to University when he gets home. Jo was in the Canadian Army for about 6/7 years and basically clearing his system before getting a civilian job and starting over. So yeah that is Kris and Jo.

It turns out the previous night me and Marc had met Jo and Kristian and got talking about travels etc and about meeting up today so they were here and got along happily so it was agreed in more sober tones this time around we were travelling together till we parted ways whenever that was going to be and we all lived happily ever after... the End.

No that’s not the end just thought it was starting to sounds way to fairly tale like etc. Again that night was a big party night and headed out again to the same places as before and as before the night went well. Marc awoke the next morning in less pain than the morning before I woke up in way more pain with the majority of it coming not from my head but my foot and looking down saw the bottom of my bed covered in blood, not quite horror movie style but a fair bit none the less. What had happened was when walking home bare foot the night before as I hadn’t been wearing shoes only thongs (flip flops) I had sliced the ball of my foot on a piece of sheet metal and removed all the skin from it and it was hanging off.

Back to things and the main reason for being here in Hoi An to get me a suit to make old Clarkson and his cronies jealous so with the help of the Jo and Kristian we hunted around the many, many Tailors around Hoi An until I found one that gave me a good price on the foulest yet most humorous Material I could find (Mum and dad can vouch for this now as they have received it in the post) and to explain it as best I can it is metallic blue silk with silver and white oriental patterns stitched through it, the jacket, trousers and tie are made from that with a silver silk shirt to finish it off. Now I had found my ideal material and planned what I wanted the lady measured me up quoted me a ridiculously cheap price, which of course I haggled, and told me to come back the next morning. We went on our way shocked at how quick they would have the suit made and went in search of higher quality suits for the three of us which we found up the road and a couple of hours later with Jo and Kris each having ordered two suits and me with another suit this time a lot more conservative and all of us with a number of shirts we headed out drinking, Again.

Instead of hitting the beach bar we went out for Beer hoi (however you spell it) now this stuff is ridiculously cheap beer and varies from place to place, and to all intense purposes is a glorified homebrew but when on a budget beggars can’t be choosers and after blowing a couple days budget on suits we had to cut down on the non essentials like food and concentrate on the vitally important things like drinking and having a laugh. While sitting on the river front, with our cheap beer, we were approached by a seedy looking guy on a scooter telling us all about the King Kong bar which had free drinks till midnight. Free we laughed, what’s the catch we asked. No catch we were told and we give you free ride to bar. B**LS**T! We said. So the guy gave us some flyers and radioed his friend who after a minute appeared on another bike. At this point we thought to hell with it and we climbed onto the bikes two on the back of each one, real SE Asian style and we were off! slowly chugging down the road over the bridge and out of the touristy bit of town to an area a lot more rundown and not so well lit. After a minute or so we could hear the deep bass of speakers and see lights flooding into the road, we where there. As we got off and went inside the place was empty with a small bar manned by an old man and pool table at the front. What a dive but true to the drivers word there were free drinks till midnight and drinking strong rum and coke for free for 5 hours seemed like a great idea to us, so we finished the night playing pool and enjoying free booze.

As you can probably guess except drinking and getting Suits shoes etc made for stupidly cheap and hanging around the beach there isn’t much to do in this place so after picking up our suits the next day we went to book the next stage of our open bus ticket south to a place Kris had heard and read about north of Nha Trang called ‘Jungle Beach’. This isn’t a big place on the backpacker’s circuit but is fantastic. The place is off the main road about 40 minutes and only accessible by contacting the owner, A Canadian married to a Vietnamese woman or by hiring Moto’s (motorbike taxi’s) to take you there. But the best is yet to come to get to a point he will pick you up from you have to go hours past it, if you are heading south or get dropped off at by the bus at a petrol station in the middle of Nowhere at about 4-5am, wasn’t sure of the time as I lost my watch by this point.

But I will come back to that with my next entry coming a lot sooner than this one. Take care.

Posted by Nick.t 12.08.2010 22:30 Archived in Vietnam Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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