Vietnam


11
Dec 10

Sexy Saigon

Day 59 – 11th May to Day 66 – 18th May

The ride into Saigon was quite a sad experience as we all knew we were going to be splitting up, boo. Then to top it all off the heavens opened and we absolutely soaked for about an hour luckily by the time we got to the out skirts of Saigon we were completely dry thanks to Vietnam’s lovely weather. We managed to hit the outskirts of Saigon just as rush hour was commencing and it was crazy; 3 to 4 lanes heading in with cars, trucks and what seemed like hundreds of thousands of scooters weaving in and out of each other. It was quite fun at first dodging the traffic but after driving for two hours in solid traffic and still not getting into Saigon we were all a little peeved. Finally we made it to what seemed like the start of the city although none of us had realised quite how large Saigon is (just over 2,000 Km2 for those interested). We headed towards the direction of the tourist district (or so we hoped) and after driving around for a few more hours some dude in the traffic jam with us asked where we wanted to go and kindly agreed to show us the way, what a very kind and very helpful man.

Saigon is one hell of a crazy city with people, cars, trucks and scooters buzzing about everywhere in every direction. There are what seem like dead end ally ways with nothing down them that in fact lead to other ally’s all lined with shops and restaurant’s. There are people buzzing about everywhere mostly trying to sell things such as flowers, lighters, souvenirs and other such nic naks. There are also people walking around with towering piles of books, at least the hight of them if not more, and again they are trying to sell them to you. All of the sellers have no concept of invading personal space or privacy, they will come up to mid drink, mid meal, mid phone call, probably mid-shit if you couldn’t lock the door. It really is incessant. The other thing about Saigon is the amount of whores, they are literally everywhere and people trying to sell them to you, sometimes openly and sometimes in the guise of massages are also everywhere. They also have a big problem with kamikaze whores; normally there are two of them on a scooter (lady’s and / or lady boy’s), they mount the kerb and try and pin you to a wall so you can’t escape and start trying to feel you up while offering you everything under the sun. Its typically a ploy to steal everything in your pockets and your dignity…I got kamikazed at least three times but managed to keep hold of all my possessions. It really is a funny sight seeing a scooter with two very dolled up female looking persons on it chasing after a westerner, trying to pin them to the wall.

At this point both Als and I had had enough with the Minsk’s breaking down and so we decided to flog them to some other poor bugger and get new bikes in Cambodia. Luckily for us Joel was going to be hanging around in Saigon and was hoping to get into selling motorbikes with Anh (our mechanic from Dong Hoi). We promptly put some adverts out on tinternet and stuck some for sale posters on our bikes. Joel had a few other bikes for sale as well through Anh and so put up other posters advertising his services. It wasn’t long before the local mafia threatened to chop off Joel’s arm if he kept stepping on their turf and stealing their business so he quickly decided only to advertise online which the local mafia probably don’t monitor.

Anh was supposed to bringing down a new bike for Joel, a 900cc monster, along with Delilah (mk1). Joel got a phone call from Anh saying he was at the bus stop with his bike but needed to borrow some money to pay for the bus. Joel disappeared for a while and then returned looking a little peeved. Although he had a bike in tow it was not the bike Anh had said it was, Anh reeled off some excuses and said the bike would be turning up soon along with my bike. Luckily Joel managed to sell the new bike quite quickly, Anh promptly disappeared with the cash much too Joel’s anger. Eventually he turned up again but claimed that he was robbed by a lady…we were losing our trust in Anh rapidly.

As the four of us were splitting up in Saigon we wanted to have a celebration or two out and about but we never really had a great time for a couple of reasons. The first being that there was just too many whores everywhere, you couldn’t have a drink with your friends with out being accosted. My personal favourite was when we were in a club where you literally couldn’t move for whores and one lady of the night grabbed Als’s arm and dragged him to the other side of the club to meet her sister. Her sister then told Als “I have a house in Shropshire”! Als was obviously puzzled by this line and managed to get out of the lady’s grip and ran away…what a great line. We also kept coming across some lady whom we dub the ‘scag whore’. She looked like a complete mess, sleeping on the streets spending all her money on high’s. Every time we saw was either hassling someone for money or passed out in the middle of the street. She was actually quite a hard lady (if you can call her that) to avoid.

Eventually we found a place that sold really cheap (really really really cheap) home brew beer away from the scag whore and the other ladies of the night. It cost about 12,000 VND for 4 pints or so, that’s only 40p wahooooo!!! True, it did give a slightly nastier hangover in the morning but for that price and the relative peace you could drink it in we were all happy as larry. Street hawkers were prominent in this area and one night I got challenged to a game of paper, scissor, stone by a 8 year old. If I win she would give me a rose, if she won I had to pay her the money for a rose. I was a little wary at first as the last time I had been challenged, by an even smaller girl in Bangkok to thumb wars, I got absolutely rinsed damaging my pride forever. As I had had a few home brews I was feeling confident and accepted the challenge. I swear we played about 30 rounds due to draws and it was becoming very tense. Finally, much to my delight, I took her down and received my free rose. Being the gentleman I am I obviously gave her the money happy in the thought that I’d beaten her at her own game. I am the paper, scissor, stone champion!!!

After a few days we found a cheaper guest house and swiftly moved. Als and I managed to get a room on the top floor (6 stories up) which was a pain to lug all our stuff up to. The buildings in Saigon are very tight, the door to our room was right next to one of next doors window and it was hard not to look in. We’re not sure what was going on next door but we could only see a large statue covered in and surrounded by red flashing lights, we were convinced they were into devil worshipping and were suitably scarred shitless. We would have changed guest house but the owner, Om, turned out to be a really cool guy. I came downstairs one late morning with a slight home brew hangover and Om wouldn’t let me leave with out having a beer with him and two of his other Vietnamese guests. A few beers later Als also came downstairs and he too wasn’t allowed to leave without having a beer or two, soon Joel and Els also turned up for the festivities.

After getting through a few crates, clinking glasses every five minutes for one reason or another and being forced to down our beers or otherwise risk causing offence, we were all quite merry. Als and I wanted to grab some food and get some more beers but Om wouldn’t let us leave. He said that it was a women’s job to keep us supplied and sure enough he sent out his daughter to get us beer while in mum cooked us up a feast of crabs. I could defiantly get use to life in Vietnam! One of the Vietnamese dudes we were drinking with was convinced Joel was actually Ron Weasely from Harry Potter and demanded he fly around on his broom stick. When he wasn’t ranting about Ron he was embarking on a karaoke marathon with an amazing Vietnamese accent and trying to get us all involved. All in all it was a great day and I will never forgot Joel prancing around on a mop while the Vietnamese dude was singing his heart out.

Els and I wanted to visit the war museum which was supposed to offer a real insight into the war although quite heavy at the same time. The taxi driver said he knew which one we wanted to go to and dropped us off outside a large building. Els and I wandered around a for a while wondering where all the exhibits we had heard about were. Eventually we figured out we had been taken to the History Museum and not the War Remnants Museum. Although interesting it was not what we were looking for.

The next day we did manage to make it to the right museum. It was very interesting although very heavy, a lot of the images there are very harrowing and I would prefer to forget a lot of them. I can’t believe the atrocities America committed in Vietnam and the surrounding countries. More bombs were dropped on Vietnam than in the whole of WWII. America not only bombed the crap out of Vietnam but dropped tons of chemical herbicides (namely agent orange) to decimate the plant life rendering huge areas of land inhabitable and useless for growing crops. Tragically the Vietnamese are still suffering the effects of agent orange and will do for many more years with many children suffering from severe birth defects. It was obviously very bias and the Americans didn’t really get to tell their side of the story but the fact remains the Americans did some horrendous things.

Before Als and I left for Cambodia we decided to f*?! over Joel and Els and it wasn’t soon before they gave us the key…literally. They asked us to drop off something in their room and gave us their key, JACKPOT. Als and I proceeded to hide all their bedding within their room, we cunningly managed to lock their toilet door from the inside using Joel’s mattress. We stole their TV remote and my personal favourite, hid their A/C remote on top of their room. We made sure we were back first that night and barricaded ourself in our room. It wasn’t long before Els thumped his way up our stairs and started banging on the wall demanding the A/C remote, we gave him the silent treatment, Shortly after he disappeared Joel thundered up the stairs ranting and raving that he’d broken the toilet door and that it was all our fault and we would have to pay for it. We gave him the silent treatment too. We were greatly enjoying ourselves watching a bit of discovery while listening to Joel and Els tear apart their room even further looking for the holy A/C remote. After a few hours of listening to them tearing their room apart and few more tantrums outside our door we started to feel pity for them and sent them a few cryptic text messages about where they might find their remote…eventually the banging stop as did the visits to the outside of our door…they had obviously figured out the cryptic clues.

That next day the dream, in some ways, was over and it was time for Als and I to depart to Cambodia and leave Joel and Els to fend for themselves. It was also the first time Als and I would be braving the horrors of public transport out in SE Asia, not something either of us were looking forward to. All in all a very sad day but c’est la vie.


30
Nov 10

Madness in Mui Ne

Day 45 – 27th April to Day 58 – 10th May

Once again the new road was a bit too new and hadn’t been completed yet making for an interesting drive where you had to keep your eyes open. There was one particularly awesome section that involved a massive downhill section with loads of twist and turns and with a good road surface. Soon after that I came round a corner in the lead and was met by a series of large pot holes. I tried to warn the others behind me to slow down and did not concentrate enough on slowing down. I went flying into a pot hole and flipped straight over the handle bars. Joel and Els came round the corner just in time to see me mid front flip over the front of the bike with the bike following fast, that’s crash number three for anyone counting. Luckily, thanks to my protective clothing I was absolutely aside from a few cuts and bruises and a battered pride. The bike wasn’t to badly damaged either luckily, I had broke a mirror off and an indicator and the handle bars had bent out of shape and dented the petrol tank. The handle bars were quickly bent back into place and I was good to go again.

The closer we got to Mui Ne the more the scenary changed and started to look more desert like. We came over the brow of a hill and were greeted by an amazing view of rolling sand dunes with the sea behind. Just then Els ran out of petrol but luckily we were on a downhill section and there was a petrol station coming up…oh the fluke! From there we had a cool ride into Mui Ne following the coast line all the way into Mui Ne. As we neared the edge of Mui Ne we came across a house with a small child standing outside looking very uncomfortable. Literally, just as we rode past the kid dropped a log out of his shorts and his mum run up shouting and screaming at him…it was one of the funniest things I had ever seen.

Mui Ne is a weird town its just one long, really long road with hotels, restraunts, bars and shops draped off it and there are Russians everywhere. I have never seen so many Russians in one place bearing in my mind I have never been to Russia. The women are very attractive and the men are ugly as sin and the size of small semi detached house…I have no idea what they eat out there but I suspect steroids being a large part of their diet. Mui Ne is mainly famous for its kite surfing and wind surfing to a lesser extent, unfortunately there is little to no surf .Mui Ne is also famous for its seafood so after finding a place to stay we went to lunch on a feast of seafood. Just as we ordering Axel walked in (the French dude we met in Cat Ba and also Hoi An) we hadn’t expect to see him again so it was a pleasant surprise. We ate food with him and his Canadian friend before heading off to play some mini golf. It was pretty lame mini golf but fun none the less, there were no windmills or bridges or any obstacles of any kind just grass pitches with a hole at varying distances. The mini golf also had a bar attached to it that had this weird bottle of liquid full of dead snakes. It turns out to be an alcoholic drink so we all had a shot, when we had all finished the bar maid opened up the bottle and dragged out a dead fully feathered bird. Its one thing drinking snake juices but a fully feathered dead rotting bird is just one step to far in my opinion but there was not much I could do about it.

We were staying in the Windchamp resort, a really fancy place with our own bungaloo, a pool, some monkey’s in a cage (not that I agree with that) and was right on the beach. That night we were up for a party after finding Axel and we hunted up and down the super long street for something that was going on that night but couldn’t find anything (it was the end of the windy season and therefore not so busy). We gave up and decided to retire to our place and maybe have a few beers on the beach. As we got nearer to our place we could hear some bass getting louder and louder. It turns out not only does the Windchamp resort have all the things listed above but also has the Wax bar which turns out to be the busiest bar / club in town.

Our days generally consisted of messing around in the pool (attempting more three man towers), a dip in the ocean, a bit of sightseeing here and there and then another night at Wax bar. We had some great times at Wax bar but they did have pretty much the same playlist every night. A lot of Vietnamese also went there which offered hours of fun but sometimes got a bit weird, they seem quite keen on dancing with western men and don’t mind a bit of bump and grind. We made a few friends down in Mui Ne and would often be dancing as a group as one does, it wouldn’t take long for a couple of Vietnamese dudes to sneak inside the circle and start going nuts with some off the wall dance moves…like I say hours of entertainment. We walked in one night and were greeted by the the sight of a really drunk Vietnamese dude wither attempting to pole dance or being so drunk that he was holding the pole for support but unable to stop grooving to the music.

Als signed up for some kite boarding lessons, which were a bit to rich for my blood, and got a very weird man for a kite instructor. He was particularly lewd even around women, and would rant and rave about any and everything. One day he was chatting to Als and started talking very seriously and mystically about friends stabbing him in the back…he was nuts and I think maybe had a bit too much fun in his younger life. But he did teach Als to kite surf to far play to him. One of the bad things about Mui Ne is the extreme amount of jelly fish around, they’re not dangerous but will give you a nasty sting. The first time Als made it out he fell off and instantly got stung and had a massive jelly fish wrapped around his leg which he ripped off with his bare hands (what a man) getting stung even further. He said he board had drifted off to the other side of the jelly fish ‘field’ and so he decided just to use the kite to drag him back with no board. The kite school then sent out their Vietnamese ‘bitch’ to swim out bloody miles to retrieve Als’s board and got savaged by the jelly fish himself…how could you Als?!

There’s not really much sightseeing to do in Mui Ne just some awesome sand dunes and also a very small canyon in really red dirt. The sand dunes are plentiful and you can rent a mat to ride down them though surprisingly none of us tried it. The mini canyon although small was still pretty cool but there wasn’t much to do. On the way back I managed to run out of petrol but luckily it happened just outside a shop selling plastic bottles of petrol.

Mui Ne is also home to an incredible restaurant called Joe’s that is open 24 hrs a day 365 days a year. In fact while we were there they were celebrating their one year anniversary. The food was amazing and sometimes they even had live entertainment, namely a Thai couple with the lady singing and the dude playing classic casio keyboard. I will never forgot their version of The Fugees, Killing Me Softly with the dude singing ‘One time, one time’. The next act up was a large Filipino dude who was an incredible singer and a maestro on the guitar, he was great at getting the crowd going especially the ladies. Als and I were over the moon when he played Lady in Red and started pointing to all the women in the house and singing “My lady in yellow’, or ‘My lady in purple’…a true smooth criminal. One evening on the way to Joe’s, Joel was riding his Minsk with a passenger when a dog run out infront of him. Luckily he and his passenger managed to stay on but the dog was sadly kaput…what an arsehole. Joel then takes the lead in terms of roadkill with two dogs, Als comes in second with one puppy and I roll in third with one chicken.

We were recommended a restaurant to go to that served amazing seafood at very cheap prices. It took us a while to find it mainly because it just looked like a shack on the side of the road. But true enough the food was awesome and so cheap. It cost something like $2 for a plate full of clams. Als naively left the table to speak to his old man, so I tucked into some of his. I didn’t feel bad though as I ordered a cheeseburger back at our place and was on the phone when it arrived. He wolfed it all down and denied all knowledge of it arriving and advised me to go nuts at the bar staff which I duly did and looked like a complete fool…his clams were much tastier than my cheeseburger!

We got taught a drinking game in Mui Ne by a couple of young’ns called snine. This game is brilliant and we have been spreading it everywhere we go. The idea of the game is for 2 people or more to count to 21 consecutively, if one person says 1 the next person says 2 and so on. If there is a group of more than 2 people then the person who says 1 taps his shoulder to indicate who’s go it is next ie if he taps his left shoulder the person on his left goes and vice versa. Sounds simple so far doesn’t it so we swap the numbers 6 and 9 around ie the number sequence is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 7, 8, 6, 10…21. To further complicate things for the numbers 7 and 14 you don’t tap your shoulder to indicate direction instead you put one arm over the other one infront of you. For the number 7 the direction is indicated by which way the fingers on the bottom arm are pointing. For number 14 the direction is indicated by which way the fingers on the top arm are pointing. Its quite hard to explain without being able to show actions you know what they say, a picture says a thousand words. So, them the rules. If someone makes an error or takes too long to respond then they have to drink and that person starts again from 1. If you ever make it to 21 then that person drinks and also creates a new rule which can be anything such as the person who says 3 slaps the person on his left…Als and I had a lot of fun with that one. If you can understand what I’m banging on about I’m very impressed and you should definitely give snine a go. Joel was absolutely useless at this game and highly entertaining to watch.

After one night after an evening at the Wax bar Joel challenged me to a run down to the beach, being a real man I was not going to back down and so off we went throwing a coconut as a rugby ball. Obviously neither one of us wanted to be the first to quit so ended up running for bloody miles until we both pretty much collapsed simultaneously and started the long walk home. On the way back we happened about a small group of people fishing using the traditional Vietnamese round boat (called coracles in the UK). Joel and I tried to have a quick sale in the boat but didn’t get very far before the fisherman came over. He very kindly agreed to take us out for a quick sale. The boat has only one paddle and and no rudder and takes some real skill to handle. I tried my hand at it and too Joel’s amusement just spun the boat round faster and faster. Feeling a little humiliated I asked Joel to show me how it was done, he also started spinning in circles so the fisherman took control. Joel started pointing at the sunrise saying how beautiful it was (which it was) but the fisherman seemed to think that’s where he wanted we to go so he started frantically paddling in that direction. Pretty soon we were beyond being able to swim back in to shore and with the waves throwing us about and the jiggly motion of the one paddle and my slight drunkenness I started to feel sea sick for the first time in my life. I did not want to spew all over the nice man’s fishing boat so I asked him if he would take us back in. It was close but I managed to hold it all in by the time we got shore.

One of the locals we had befriended bought some crabs of the fisherman, literally fresh from the net, and took them back to Windchamp resort to cook them up. I’m not sure how they were cooked or what went in there but it was delicious.

Joel foolishly smeared shaving foam all over my face and hair and then foolishly went for a snooze on a sun bed straight away…what a fool. I got him back straight away ten fold, happy days!All in all we had a great time in Mui Ne despite the end of high season. My only regret is that we couldn’t stay longer as come Saigon Joel and Els would head their separate ways.


29
Nov 10

Onwards & Upwards To Dalat

Day 42 – 25th April to Day 45 – 27th April

Dalat

After our day of fun in Vin Pearl it was time to ship off to Dalat. We met a large group of Irish guys who all had Minsk’s, and some road rash’s, who told us of a new road between Nha Trang and Dalat that they said was beautiful so we thought we would check it out. Before we left Nha Trang we thought it wise to re-fuel, big mistake. Elliot’s bike; Shaniqwa , threw a hissy fit a refused to start. As Joel would say we followed the “Algorithm” to locate and fix the problem but alas we failed. A couple of hours later in the boiling mid day heat we finally figured out that the electric box had gone (the 1st spare one we used to replace it was also broken throwing us off the scent a little). Four hours after we originally planned to leave we finally made it out of Nha Trang.

The first part of the drive was quite enjoyable, rolling through some remote Vietnamese villages and some amazing scenery. As it turns out the new road was a little too new and wasn’t entirely finished although that did make for some fun riding, albeit dusty. It was a little bit risky in places with what seemed like a herd of cows around every blind corner just sitting there waiting for you to drive into them, idiots!

Then we came across possibly the largest mountain in Vietnam that we had attempted to drive up. Surprise, surprise, my bike started to have some issues (I believe it was related to the piston problems although Als will laugh at me) and would only go uphill at 10 km/h. The others raced off and left me plodding up the hill until Delilah (mk2) completely died on me. Eventually the others turned around and came and found me and the towing began. Unfortunately the hill was a little too steep to be towed up so after a while we tried starting Delilah (mk2) up again and hey presto she fired up, admittedly she didn’t sound as smooth as she had previously (not that she ever sounded that smooth). So again I plodded up the mountain at about 3 km/h before Delilah (mk2) ground to halt, this was going to be a long day. After several more hours of towing and Delilah (mk2) going under her own steam we finally made it to the top and were treated to yet more spectacular views although it was starting to get dark. Luckily we had a long decent back down the other side of the mountain which Delilah (mk2) could handle. We had no idea how much further it was to Dalat and whether or not Delilah (mk2) would make it so when we came across a flat bed lorry we stopped to ask if he would take Delilah (mk2) and I to Dalat.

Unfortunately he was asking for a little bit too much money so we rode on hoping Delilah (mk2) would make it. Joel and Els needed to fill up their thirsty bikes but it was decided I should just carry on plodding along to get as far as possible before Delilah (mk2) needed another rest. After about an hour of riding by myself in the dark my light decided to stop working and I was driving by moonlight only. Luckily I the road had been good quality up to this point with beautiful tarmac but just after my light failed this tarmac road abruptly changed to a dirt road with what felt like a foot drop which I was very unprepared for and nearly went flying, oh the excitement of driving in Vietnam on Minsk’s. Thankfully I soon rolled into Dalat and waited at a cafe of the others to catch up. Rolling into Dalat was incredible, I came around a corner and suddenly there seemed like thousands of greenhouses dotted all over the hills with loads of tiny lights inside them, it looked incredible.

I was waiting for what seemed like a very long time and couldn’t reach any of them on their phones, just then Als came riding round the corner. It turned out that Joel and Els had run out of petrol before they had a chance to fill up…very thirsty bikes. Eventually they too turned up and were invited to join the little gathering that had erupted around Als and I. Quite a few locals had joined us and were quite interested what we were up to, where we had been and all sorts of other questions all the while offering us green tea and all sorts food. It was getting quite late and we had no idea how to get to a decent cheap guest house but thankfully one of the locals offered to show us the way so off we went. I’m very glad he offered to show us the way as Dalat turned out to be a massive maze. Eventually we found a place to stay and bedded down for the night.

The next day we went to go check out the Elephant Falls what ended up being a monster drive out of town. But before we made it out of town we had to get over a small bridge which both Els and Joel found quite treacherous. Els got his rear wheel stuck and had real trouble getting it out again. We all found this highly entertaining especially Joel who really took the piss. Joel was up next and went at full speed towards the bridge only to fall off almost instantly and some kind of weird pelvic thrust into the railing, luckily he was OK which allowed us to only enjoy the moment further. Luckily I filmed the whole thing!

We then head an awesome ride down a mountain side with loads of tight twisty turns and great views. One of the riding highlights in Vietnam. By the time we got to the bottom I had developed a flat tire but luckily, as always, a mechanics was not far away. After a few wrong turns we finally made it to the very impressive Elephant Falls.

On the way back surprise, surprise my back had some issues making it up the mountain. After a long and tedious drive back up the mountain my bike suddenly started over reving and would not calm down. Els was sent off back to the guest house to pick up the tow rope while Als, Joel and I attempted to fix the problem. We took the whole carb apart on the side of the road and found a little bit of metal nestled inside which was causing all the problems. No tow rope needed…in your face Delilah (mk2).

The next day I had to find someone to fix my bike considering the problems I had the previous day and before. I took it to a place where Joel got his fuel filter fixed the previous day which he reckoned was pretty professional so headed down there. None of the mechanics spoke much English but luckily the owners daughter could speak excellent English. She just happened to have an identical twin, the 1st pair of Vietnamese I had seen. She informed me that it was my carb that was causing all the problems and I needed a new pin, but alas they didn’t have any and didn’t know anyone who did. To cut a long story short I spent the whole day walking around Dalat trying to find someone who possessed the particular pin I needed, with my lack of Vietnamese it did not go well. Eventually I found one and took it back to the shop to discover they no longer needed and and modified another carb off another bike to fit Delilah (mk2). I was a little pissed off a wasting a whole day but what the hell Delilah (mk2) was back up and running.

We were up early the next day to get the hell out of Dalat, probably my least favourite town in Vietnam. Surprise, surprise I couldn’t get Delilah (mk2) started so I free rolled back down to the mechanics to get them to look at it, they quickly improvised a choke for me so I could start her when cold. With all bikes back up and running it was time to leave and make our way Mui Ne. We had been told of another new road that wasn’t on the map yet so off we went.


15
Aug 10

Vin Pearl, Where Dreams Are Made

Day 41 – 24th April

Nha Trang – Vin Pearl

Nha Trang has several islands of its coast line, the largest of which is called Vin Pearl; an island of fun in immense proportions! Not only does it have a massive water park, including a a lazy river, an aquarium, and also a theme park section complete with arcades. It costs 300,000 Dong (around a tenner) for the whole caboodle…yes that includes the arcades…happy days.

We spent the morning in the water park frolicking around, by the way health and safety would have had a field day at this place, hitting up ride after ride. Eventually we headed over to the wave pole, and bobbed up and down in some tubes, until Als ruined the fun for everyone and smashed his head on the bottom of the pool. Blood was gushing from his head as soon as he stood up so he got carted off to the medic asap.

The medic just happened to be the most angry/depressed nurse I have ever come across. She made Als lie on the bed facing left so she could look at his cut, if he moved his head so much as a fraction her hand would come crashing down on his face until his head was in the ‘correct’ position once more. He kept trying to talk to me asking how it looked, when ever he uttered a sound the nurse would get really angry and unleash a flurry of angry Vietnamese until he shut up…I was really enjoying it.

Then came the time for stitches, normally its me that gets injured so I was relishing watching someone else (especially Als) getting fixed up. Soon my enjoyment turned into pity however. The nurse had the shakes big time and so asked me to help her out with the stitching so I got a close up view. I’ve never seen anyone be so vicious with stitches, if she was sewing cloth it would have been ripped to shreds, luckily it was Al’s head to it held together…just. She’d jab the needle in hard, wiggle it around for good measure, and then use some form of pliers to rip it out the other side of the cut. Als was making some very entertaining pain noises at this point which the nurse did not appreciate. Even I didn’t want to see Als go through this. Six stitches later and a lot of pain he was all fixed up at which point the nurse kept feeding him pill after pill after pill. Thirty minutes later he was absolutely flying.

Since Als could no longer go in the water we decided to hit up the aquarium which was awesome. It had loads of tanks to start with full of eels, weird dinosaur fish, sharks and even the odd sting ray. It also had a massive tank  with a tunnel going through which was incredible.

Next was the theme park area that had the worlds smallest roller coaster, swingey spinney chair things, a ride that spins really first in several directions at once, a pirate ship and a bike that you could cycle round in vertical loops. Hours of fun.

If you ever go to Nha Trang make sure you stop in at Vin Pearl.


14
Aug 10

Whores and Karaoke

Day 38 – 21st April to Day 40 – 23rd April

Nha Trang

It was awesome to have finally made it to Nha Trang so we treated ourselves to a steak at the local Texas steak house. The steak was over priced and not that tasty really but you live and learn. Alec dared me to drink the rest of the bottle of Tabasco (a couple of shots worth) and he would pay for my steak. Obviously I stepped up to the challenge and spent the next few hours feeling pretty wrong, but I did get my steak paid for me.

Nha Trang was quite a large built up city with high risers all over the place. It had an amazing beach with a really warm sea which we spent much time frolicking in.

Nha Trang was completely geared up for the backpacking community and was positively teething with bars selling cheap buckets left right and center. It was also home to the ‘Sailing Club’, the main club in town. Although it was right on the beach (pretty cool), it was completely full of whores who were very persistent. Luckily we were all sober enough to fight them off everytime we went there, which is an accomplishment in itself.

Nha Trang is also home to the legendary booze cruise, where you pay 300,000 Dong (around a tenner) and drink and eat all you can…brilliant. We booked up instantly but unfortunately not enough people signed up and it was canceled. We did however meet a Canadian lady who turned out to be a professional Blackjack player, she only works 12 times a year…bitch! Anyway she showed us a local karaoke house attached to a club. We sucked at karaoke (surprise, surprise) but we did manage to score 99% (by the computer) at Dust in the Wind, Kansas.

I manged to fit some cultrual stuff in to our hectic shedule and visited the Long Son Pagoda where there is a massive Buddha lying down and then another massive Buddha sitting on the highest point in Nha Trang…very impressive.

I also went to check out the Cham ruins of Po Nagar which were pretty cool considering they were built 781. Some of the buildings were massive and covered in intricate brick work, unfortunately a lot of it had hasn’t survived the years.