Hell On Earth...

Trip Start Apr 14, 2006
Trip End Apr 30, 2006

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

This place is the armpit of the earth, I hate the (mud flat) beach, I hate the food and most of all I hate the people here! If I were allowed to swear on this website I would use the 'F' word with vengeance! Why you ask? Well it started like this...

...To get here is so difficult and now I know why, because WHO would want to? We had to pay our most expensive bus ride so far US$7 for 3 hour bus ride (!!) Then when we arrived we couldn't find a taxi with our new found friends Mandy and JOhn , when we finally did we arrived at our selected hotel (from the travellers bible AKA Lovely Planet) and we ask a 'hotel worker' how much and he informed us US$40! Blimey that is expensive we cry! So he tells us about a lovely family run hotel in town thats only US$20 (normal price) so we were a little annoyed as we would need another taxi to get there, but low and behold this guy offers to pay for our taxi if we like the hotel and stay and if not we can pay and find alternative accommodation! "DEAL" we cry! So off we go in a taxi that had conveniently pulled up!

It turns out the family run hotel is bloody lovely so we check in and the 'hotel worker' tell us he also has a tour company, so we take his card and he offers to meet us later to book a trip to Cat Ba and a tour round Halong Bay. Claire and I go for lunch and the 'hotel worker' also runs a restaurant that we were in! Later after lunch we all meet to 'discuss' a trip round Halong bay and this guy is offering a PRIVATE (just 4 of us)trip for $12 plus $4 for Claire and I to be picked up in the sea and taken to Cat Ba Island (?) After he has tried every hard sale tactic in the double glazing sales man book and we tell him we will have a look around and have 'a think about it'. SO we go to the ferry port on the way discussing about this man and can we trust him and how we don't really want just 4 people on a boat and how we'd feel better to have a bigger one, especially as the only bloke would be taken! So at the ferry port we book for a tourist boat that is only 100,000 Dong (about US$7) Then out of nowhere the bloody 'hotel worker' appears on the chair next to me and whispers to me in an angry whisper "I TOLD YOU I COULD DO THAT FOR US$4" which is a lie as he said $16 so I couldn't be bothered with him at this point in time! So I said "Oh sorry didn't realise when you said $16 you actually meant $4!" then when his head was turned to give John and Mandy an ear bashing Claire and I decided to run away! Well running is a bit of an exaggeration, but we walked fast enough get away from him QUICK!!

We decided that we really hate this bloke and don't want to eat in his restaurant but when we find an alternative place and read the menu of 'pig trotter with fried rice' and 'brown fat and noodle' or 'even boiled tongue and rice' we run back screaming with our arms in the air to the hotel restaurant (well thats a lie too, just walked really!) where we order chicken and rice (this point we are starving and I'd taken my malaria tablet on an empty stomach and felt sick) you can imagine how happy we were when fat and bones and rice came along...
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