A new recruit with a Cyclo, and fighting with pork swords
20.09.2010 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.