Or something like that...

Trip Start Oct 27, 2008
Trip End Oct 27, 2009

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sam:  Its been a wonderful few days. I would be here all night if i wrote everything about our amazing 3 day tour with the lovely Binh and Long. When we said goodbye to them i felt really emotional and almost cried, it was that good. The sights they showed us were incredible and they had so much knowledge on Vietnam, i feel i understand the culture and the country a lot better. It was so nice, aswell, having the stress taken out of travelling for a few days. We didnt need to worry about where to stay, what to eat, or if we were getting ripped off. They were like parents to us! Giles got sick again after some quite dodgy food (where i later saw them cutting up a whole pig on the floor next to dogs poo) and they really looked after him, buying him medicine and food. They were amazed i didnt get sick and decided i have an asian tummy. More like a nurse thats seen (and touched!) it all in the NHS. The highlight for me was the minority groups of people still living in tribes in the forest like their ancestors have before them for hundreds of years. It was so amazing to be able to see them and the way they live, it was a real eye opener. They still practice black magic and the girls are married and have had babies by at least 13. They also eat absolutely anything they can get their hands on and speak their own language that noone else can understand. The children were so beautiful and loved having their picture taken, they couldn't get enough of us but im guessing this is because some of them have never seen a white person before. The elephant wasn't so great, i got really bad motion sickness on the ride and i don't think they treated the elephant very well. Im no expert in elephant training but im sure it sholdn't involve whipping their trunks. I wouldn't do it again. I think Giles highlights was having rasberries blown on his neck by a very old man or maybe falling in a paddy field... Today we went to a mud bath with a lovely Australian couple we met, it was fun and very relaxing. Just what we needed after a hectic few days.

Giles:  Don't worry I'm not sick anymore!  But officially the worst place to feel ill is on the back of a motorbike in the countryside of Vietnam - at one point Binh had to stop as I ran into some nearby bushes (which I thought looked fairly concealed), assumed the "Asian-squat" position (which Sam has mastered by now) but lost my nerve when three trucks drove by with all three drivers just staring at me in disgust.  Thank the gods for immodium.  Binh and Long were so amazing though, so overly concerned that the evenign I felt worst they brough up all sorts for dinner as they missed us when they ate - bits of ham, cheese, milk, bread rolls, cake, medicine, they really were lovely people.  Felt guilty the next day as the only thing we ate was half a bread roll so Sam made us take the cake.  Still not eaten it.

The tour was amazing though, I think we saw every aspect of farming you can imagine.  Coffee, rice, corn, flowers, pigs, magic mushrooms, brick manufacturing, latex harvesting, amongst a bunch of stuff I can't remember right now.  And not once did anyone question why two white peopel came trapsing onto their land to have a sniff around, they loved the attention.  And yes I did fall into a padi field, the furrows to stand on are ok if you have feet like Sam's (or the like the indiginous folk), but when a size 13 steps on it it crumbles, and the big guy falls.  Much to everyones amusement.  At least I took precautions the day before in a hill-tribe village.  They had a bamboo "bridge" crossing a fast river, again ok if you're not 16 stone, but it was a hands and knees job for me even though I was assured the bamboo would take my full weight.  Lucky I didn't listen to that comment as I destroyed the porch to one of the houses just by standing on it.  The residents didn't care as they were suitably pissed on their wine they were making, I still felt guilty though.  Still, I brought a smile to everyone's face, our tour guide Long (who never let me live that down), Sam, the old old old couple who tried kissing me, and all the kids.

It was such an amazing three days though, an informative insight into the backbone of Vietnam and a relief to have the responsibility taken away for a few days of where to eat, where to stay, what to do; just woke up, jumped on the bike and got off whenever they stopped.

Back to our own devices now, and it's beaches and mud baths until we can be bothered to move on!

Much love, Gam and Siles xxx
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mumdadjosh on

That all sounds so amazing! - you are both so lucky, and I am so jealous!!!
Sam, we are going to do that holiday NO MATTER WHAT!


redwine286 on

Oh how you amuse us.......
Sam & Giles. May I say that your blog entries have kept us amused during these cold, dark, horrible UK nights. I have loved every single one! I do hope, however, that you are feeling better Giles. Never fun having the bottom runs in a foreign country - I should know! Wait till you find the worms!!!! ;-)

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