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Cédric's Around the World Adventures Je pars en Asie pour 3 mois visiter le Vietnam, la Thailande, la malaisie, l'indonesie, l'Australie et le Japon...Tout un programme.

Central Vietnam Club

VIETNAM | Tuesday, 30 December 2008 | Views [1046] | Comments [1]

You wake up in Nah Trang.

The next day after Christmas, time to move on, get a night bus ticket to the central part of Vietnam. Dicth the disposable friends and move on. « Buses are full » says the bus agency girl. She insists to have us take the train – twice more expensive, better commission for her. We go other places, they have some beds avalaible on a bus at 7pm leaving from the first agency. Never trust someone with an expensive offer tell you that there a no better options – especially if they start getting nervous.

You wake up in Phuoc Nam, 2am. Stop on a service area – I don't know if I slept or not. It is like that when travelling Vietnam. People order big plates of food – I get some tasty « Aureos » - safe food to spend the night on the bus. I got to the toilets – no paper. The people who cook all the food probably don't use some either. Thanks but no thanks.

You wake up at 4.30 am, you don't know where you are. The drivers has been horning like crazy for the last 5 seconds, a big flash of light with another vehicle horning too and the bus bouncing from side to side. Is it in my dreams? We arrive at 6am normally – I know this because Robin knows this.

You wake up in Hoi An, 6am. Most People get off the bus. We are going to Da Nang and we're not sure why. It starts to rain.

You wake up in Da Nang, 7.30am, it is raining. The rule number one of the cental vietnam club si « You don't mention the rain ». Motorbike men are waiting for us. Often it is hard to tell what their intentions are: getting money for a ride in town, getting commission to get you in an hotel or some other service, having you buy some drugs. The second rule of the Central Vietnam club is « Never trust the motorbike men unless you know where you want them to take you ». One of them waks us to an hotel – 10 USD per night for a double room. The Cheapest we've had so far – the beds a hard like concrete but the room seem ok.

You start walking around the city and nothing. It is grey, sad with high empty buildings and unattractive views on raod and building work. Most shops are empty and tourists are in Hoi An. We decide to move on quickly after seeing My Son (UNESCO Protected site of the Chamba civilisation) and the Marble Moutains. We have breakfast at the « Bread for life » project. An american couple is training deaf people to run a little restaurant that serves american / english / british as well as vietnamese food. Lovely lady transfering her affection for her gone and grown up children to a disabled community. The deaf workers have great conditions for food, accommodations. They can hardly escape her grasp and after too long this can become « learnt powerlessness ». Everyone looks happy though like in the "Happy Family".


You wake up in your hotel room, 6pm. Shower, Dinner, Internet.« 30 USD, maximum price, many many kilometers » says the tourism agent. His agency is his parent's house. We sit around cats and filth in little red plastic chairs. His mom is packing little plastic bowls of fruit mixture and covering it with cardboard that had another purpose in its previous life. He won't go lower – we are paying the wanting it tax once again. It is raining still, we buy the tickets.


You wake up in your hotel room again, 6am. The concrete bed is ok, wake up is hard, throat ache hurts. Ingest a cup of vietnamese tea sitting at a terrace by the trafic and hop on tour car to Hoi An to join a tour to My Son. Long drive there, we hit a motorbike transporting chicken. He seems ok, the birds too. We arrive in Myson, sky is grey. My Son is an heritage of the Chamba civilisation – they buit huge hindu temples with a technic of their own. French explorators have cut of statues faces to take to museums in Paris and American soldiers have bombed it and napalmed to the ground during the war. Nothing much left – pictures attached.

Back to Hoi An. We go to the Marble Moutains with our driver. The place is a domain with buddhist caves and temples. No guide to explain – there is enough remainder to have something to see. View is great, like taken out of a manga animation. « Back at 4.30, Vietnam football tonight, » says driver. It is the final of the asian cup against thailand at 6pm. We get back to the car at 5pm – driver will have time to see the beginning of the match. You wake up at 5.10pm, you are in Da nang, match is at 7pm.


Time to mone on. Book a 4 USD sitting bus ticket to Hué. It is raining; Go back to the room. You wake up in your room, 7pm. Shower, entertainment maybe later if vietnam victory. Dinner at lost restaurant by the see. Pick shrimps fro the aquariu and price per kilo. Good food, vietnamese victory. Hop back on a cab to hotel. The road is packed with celebrating motorbike drivers holding flags. City goes crazy for last minute victory. Cab drivers gets scared and drop us off by the river. Road is impossible to cross. We walk by the river – people happy to see us on the street too – wave and smile endlessly – try to cross but no go. Maybe later when trafic diminishes. It does not. Finally we cross – motobikes horn, hard to preditct their trajectory. Keep the faith, keep walking. Last part is faster lane with crazy people zig zagging, standing, waving flags and wheeling. We make it. Near death experience. Hard to believe a football match thousands of kilometers away can create such a happy mess. First victory of Vietnam over Thailand in the last 45 years. Who cares. Ear plugs, good night.


You wake up at 10 am, in your hotel room. Throat ache still hurts. Book a flight from Hue to Hanoi for 40 Euros. Breakfast at Bread of Life and bus ride under the rain. Rice fields, rain, roads bumps, rain, rice fields. Oreo break. Rain, rain, rain.


You arrive in Hué. Rain, first hotel nearby. Two different rates for Vietnamese and Tourists, of course. We get a guest house room for 8USD. 100% humidity, a frog is hoping around the room. I freak out – don't like those – I expect decently clean room – breakfast is not included and neither is zoo. Other rooms are even more humid – get back to the first and evict the frog ourselves: one fight at a time, no shoes, fights go on for as long as necessary. Get dinner, rain, find a touristy bar, rain. Everything is empty. Some more rain. Plane is booked for tomorrow.


You wake up in Hué, it is 9 am. We walk around town to get our plane ticket for Hanoi then head off for breakfast. Still raining - « It's been like this for the past three weeks and it is likely to carry on for a few months » says the french owner of the restaurant. Foreign food is mostly disappointing in most places in Vietnam even when cooked by chefs from the original country. We take cyclo to the forbidden city – great place. A 40 000 square meters of imperial magnificence. Builders are working on putting some buildings back together after bombings during the 50's anf 70's wars. It is still raining – we head back to a café and then back to our hotel to wait for the Vietnam Airlines shuttle to Hué airport. We arrive in Hanoi airport around 11pm. Motorbike men are waiting in herds are shuttle arrival point in town. « Mafia » says the driver - « I'll take you to a good hotel ». Of course, he knows an hotel close by. We get in: 20 USD per night for a double room– it is nice and clean. We're in Hanoi two days before new year.


Cedric


Tags: central vietnam, da nang, hoi an, hué, marble mountains, rain, y son

 

Comments

1

Bravo pour ce post tres divertissant et avec beaucoup de style !! "I am Jack's cold sweat" ;-)

  Brice Jan 3, 2009 11:07 PM

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