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Airport Benches & Allergic Reactions

VIETNAM | Friday, 5 May 2017 | Views [465]

We arrived back in Hanoi, to the intense craziness. Our flight to Da Nang wasn't until early the next morning, but we decided we would embrace the travellers ways and sleep (ha ha ha) at the airport! When we arrived we were pleased to see the airport was quite big with plenty of places to eat and grab a drink. So we ate, stocked up on some water, and found a few seats in a corner.
We quickly realised this could be a long night.
The airport slowly started to quiet. The hustle and bustle of passengers had stopped by about 11:30 and the only people left at check in where the security guards, us, and a few other travellers that obviously had the same idea as we did. Oh and the cleaners.... who repeatedly moved us to sweep, re-sweep, mop and re-mop, the small corner of floor we had pulled our bags in. They obviously found this hilarious watching us move our bags back and forth, lifting our legs on to the benches and down again, up and down, up and down! It got old quickly.
When they finally finished we reorganised ourselves to try and get comfortable and settled into a book. Before long we were drifting in and out of sleep. We managed a few broken hours before the movement in the terminal began again with people arriving for early morning flights.
We breezed through the check in and security and sat at our gate..... until I mentioned the gate should of been open by now and the hubby noticed the gate boarding at the opposite end of the lounge had our flight number! They had changed the gate without announcing it, at least not in English. That could of been an interesting few hours if we had missed the flight after hours of travelling the day before and very little sleep!

The flight took about an hour. We landed and managed to get a wifi connection. We ordered a taxi through an app called 'Grab'. It's a service almost identical to Uber but it's a lot cheaper! And more reliable than local cabs you hail on the street. As an example, we had been quoted 100,000 VND by a taxi we hailed. We knew he was trying to rip us off as the journey was less than 10 minutes, probably because we're foreigners. We then ordered a Grab, and paid 18,000 VND. That's about 60 pence!!

We arrived at the hotel and they allowed us to check in early. Lovely and clean with a comfortable bed, which is always a winner!! It took us literally 2 minutes to walk from the hotel door to the beach front! A beach!!!! We get really excited when we find a beach as so far there haven't been many of them, AT ALL! The beach was massive, and beautiful. It had a few little shack bars which own sun loungers for you to rent. We spent the whole day here just relaxing. The beach was really quiet during the day, only around half of the beds were full and each set of beds were quite far apart. Without many people around it was so nice to relax, but then around sundown the locals begin to arrive. All of the families, couples and groups of friends file down, playing football, volleyball, heading into the water and going for a swim. It's apparent that they prefer the cool weather of the late afternoon and they stay until long after sundown.

Da Nang is a massively up and coming area. There a building sites everywhere. Even the tiniest of spaces are being crammed with little hotels and guest houses. Because it is still being 'developed' it appears a little bit lost. There are tons of local restaurants, it can actually be cheaper for them to eat in these places than it it for them to cook at home. Then there are the tourist restaurants and bars, dotted about in different locations.
One location we chose to see was the riverside. It was packed with a mixture of western and Vietnamese cuisine, coffee shops and vendors. The main attraction is the Dragon Bridge. It's a huge steel structure spanning the River Han. With its yellow arches and it's dragon head it is impressive to see, but even better at night, when the entire bridge is lit up. If you visit at a weekend the dragon bridge will breathe fire and water as part of the 9pm show!

We walked a lot in Da Nang, generally exploring and enjoying the beach.
But then we had a drama!
One morning we decided to head to the beach and pick up some fruit along the way for breakfast. We stopped at a street vendor where we got watermelon and pineapple. We watched the ladies impressive knife skills are she sliced a whole watermelon and skinned and chopped a whole pineapple, even giving the pineapple an impressive star shape to make sure all of the rind was removed. We strolled to the beach, sat on the wall and ate some fruit.... yummy.... until.... I started to cough, then I couldn't stop coughing, then I was struggling to swallow and my throats was itching! What the hell!! I was having an allergic reaction to the watermelon and all of my throat had swollen up, and fast! That put the stoppers on that morning as we had to head back to get some antihistamine and stock up on water! Bloody typical!
We managed another day at the beach the next day but I spent the whole day coughing, feeling like I'd swallowed a rock. Great! Thankfully the swelling didn't last too long and I was just left with a sore throat and a bad cough. I need a day off 😂 thank God for the beach.

Tags: airports, allergies, beaches, da nang, dragon bridge, fruit, grab taxi, relaxing, vietnam

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