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10th September - Hoi An

VIETNAM | Sunday, 10 September 2006 | Views [762] | Comments [1]

post pedicure feet!

post pedicure feet!

My initial euphoria at leaving Cambodia and arriving in Saigon started wearing off pretty quickly when I realised that the Vietnamese follow the same road rules as the Cambodians but there are even more road users here.  To cross the street in Saigon, you have to abandon any techniques that would get you successfully across in Europe.  For example, you cannot wait for a gap in the traffic, it does not exist.  Unless you want to confine yourself to staying on one side of one street for your whole stay in Saigon, you just have to grit your teeth and step out into the fray.  The traffic is ninety per cent motorbikes so crossing a two lane each way road actually means crossing about 16 lanes of motorbikes, all going at different speeds.  Even on the big roads (in fact, especially on the big roads) people drive on the wrong side so having 360 degree vision is useful.  Not allowing yourself to panic at any point is also essential since any sudden movement can result in a motorcycle rider misjusding his path around you.

Not surprisingly, I was pretty crap at all this.  On the second day, after I had shouted at Eoin and told him to give me time to psyche myself up for a particularly big crossing, and 80 year old lady came along, took me by the hand and didn't let go til she'd walked me over to the other side.

Mekong Delta

We took a day trip out of the city (two hours there and two hours back with the drivers hand on the horn all the way) to the Mekong Delta, it would have been quite pretty had we not spent most of the time being herded around souvenir places. 

The Beach

Anyway, we finally boarded a plane and headed up the coast to a beach resort town, Nha Trang, leaving all the proper, hard core backpackers to suffer an 11 hour bus journey.  Hurrah!  The flight was great (an hour!) though the girl sitting next to Eoin clearly didn't enjoy it as she quietly vomited for the entire journey.

First impressions of Nha Trang were bad - it was overcast and the town was so packed it felt as though the whole of Saigon had travelled up there with us.  There was rubbish everywhere, motorbikes everywhere, I even saw a rat running around.  I was absolutely gutted. It turned out to all be caused by a national holiday and the next day the place was transformed. We even found a gorgeous beach club with a pool and waiters to fetch drinks and people on hand to give massages and pedicures.  We loved it there so much that despite there being islands to take boat trips to  and ruins to visit, we couldn't move our lazy bums from our sun loungers.  We did manage a snorkelling trip though but we were back in time to spend an afternoon down the beach club.

Hoi An

Yesterday, we reluctantly dragged ourselves away from the beach and flew north to Hoi An.  It is a lovely, lovely old town and a bit of a shopping heaven.  I'm looking forward to doing my bit for the Vietnamese economy.


We went on a cookery course today so I'm feeling all inspired to have loads of dinner parties when I get back.  And who knows, Eoin might actually do more than just pour the wine now he can make nice fresh spring rolls.

Tags: Adventures



I love the fact that the little old lady walked you across the road and not the other way round. I'm going to try and get that in the book somehow! x

  Jo Sep 24, 2006 11:25 PM

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