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The long way home After 3 years in the UK we're off back home to NZ, but not before attempting to rid ourselves of the dreaded travel lurgy.

The homeland!

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 12 March 2008 | Views [857] | Comments [3]

Stuck on a riverbank these ladies came to the rescue (for a small fee of course)

Stuck on a riverbank these ladies came to the rescue (for a small fee of course)

We were a bit concerned about arriving in Vietnam as we heard a lot about scams and theft from other travellers AND my mum and dad. They weren't wrong (within an hour of arriving we met a girl who had her pack, passport and money stolen) but employing our best South Auckland survival instincts have helped us out of any major troubles..so far...

The people have been friendly, laidback (when not scamming) and naturally curious about Sharan & I (hmm he looks Vietnamese but she doesn't and he speaks english? wierd...) It usually takes a while to explain myself and the classic intro goes like this:

Hello. Hi. Where you from? New Zealand. Oh...but you look Vietnam. Yeah I am. Really?!! but you don't speak Vietnam? No. Oh... But my family doesn't actually speak Vietnamese anyway, we speak a Chinese dialect in a place called Vinh Chau. Blank confused look...And her? She your friend? <sigh>

This did get a bit annoying repeating it 20x a day and once I couldn't be bothered and actually said I was Thai (which stopped the conversation dead), but its 2nd nature now and does mean I get lots of impromptu free Vietnamese lessons!

Vietnam itself has been pretty sweet. Amazing food, diverse scenery, learning about the wars (unbiased communist war video quote: American devils came to bomb our children and destroy schools...) and seeing how entrepreneuial the Vietnamese are these days (if only they used the energy spent scamming for something constructive!), it kinda makes me even more proud to be Vietnamese!

After complaining for months to Sharan about having golf withdrawal I had a round at the Dalat Palace golf club. For the first time ever I had a caddie (compulsory) which made it the laziest round ever, even by golfing standards. She drove the cart, cleand the golf balls,chose all my clubs, raked the bunkers, read the greens and lined up the putts (tiger woods golf style). FYI I shot 103.

We finished off our open water diving certificate in what could be the most dodgy operator in Nga Trang. We skipped half the course, were given the exam answers (we were told you will 'definitely' pass the course before starting) and they really inspired confidence in their equipment ('That O-ring is definitely going to blow' to 'Oh no, its ok' in the space of 5 seconds) But hey, it was cheap and we survived.

For me, Vietnam has been great. I speak better Vietnamese than Vien!! The food is awesome and the country is really easy to travel. Halong bay was beautiful and staying on the boat overnight was great. Although, I was grilled by 2 vietnamese kids about why we didn't have a baby yet and that girls shouldn't drink beer! Hmmmm, no comment.
The traffic is crazy. We have been hiring scooters throughout the country. Hanoi and Saigon are manic and while on the moto I've rubbed shoulders with buses and other motorists a few too many times.
I got a bit carried away at the tailors in Hoi An so now both our backpacks are almost too heavy to carry (mine is full of Sharans stuff.)

For the last few weeks we've been thinking about whether or not to extend our trip, its one of those things that everyone who travels for a while thinks about. Travelling has become a way of life now and we're not sure if we're ready to get back to our day jobs just yet. Regardless we've decided that 8 months is long enough and we've booked a flight home on April 14th.

We've got a few more days exploring the Mekong Delta and Viens parents home village! then to Thailand for some relaxation in the sun. Oh yeah, i think I've convinced Vien to go via Singapore for some long overdue retail therapy!!!



You sure you dont want your job back Vien

  Bill Mar 12, 2008 11:43 PM


I was just thinking about you, like 3 minutes before the email came up amazing! I think I am going thru' a real vibey time!
I was getting used to your chatty trip log. You have had some amazing times. Speaking of which, I will be doing my lazy arse stuff in Barbuda and Antigua in about 2 weeks. I CAN'T WAIT!
Sounds like Vien may have a new career in scamming if he paid enough attention in the old country.

Glad you are doing ok, keep in touch!

Luv Sharon x

  Sharon Mar 13, 2008 12:25 AM


I thought that was you and Vien in the boat ;-)

  Mike Mar 13, 2008 2:35 AM

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