Suits, Parties and Travel buddies
22.04.2010 - 27.08.2010 34 °C
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.