Swimming in sh*t and the rebirth of Mr Bucket
Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
85Trip End Dec 24, 2011
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On the evening of the 9th we get an overnight train to Nha Trang, the beach stop in Vietnam. Its really lovely on board with a TV (although there is no animal planet for Livia), free water and fake flowers in the window. We share with Livia and Becky and everyone piles into our room to play music and drink beer. Its a bit of a sweaty mess after a while so everyone disperses to go to bed.
We sleep pretty well, except Jo wakes early in the morning to hear a German voice (she mistakes for Marcus) shout 'STTOOOP!' as the train is pulling out of a station and thinks briefly that she has been left behind.
We arrive at 6.30am and once at our hotel manage another couple of hours sleep before our trip out to the mud baths
In the evening Lek takes us to a BBQ restaurant, vietnamese style. Plates and plates of raw meat, fish and veg is brought out, along with small fires with grills so you can cook your own food on them. The place is full to the brim with locals and looks like a warehouse of sorts, with open sides and tin roof with smoke rising from every table - the atmosphere is brilliant. After eating we watch rats run around in the attatched room.
A few of us decide to try out a bar after dinner, opposite our hotel. It is in the lonley planet as a good place to go because it supports the 'dont touch the kids' anti-pheodophilia campaign here. It has a strange feeling to it, the staff behave as if they have been taught how to joke around with westerners, with cheeky winks and 'banter'
Claire wakes to Mr bucket entering the room, his cheery usual self, and she says something along the lines of 'fuck off'. Most people go to dive (including mr bucket!?) or snorkell, however Claire and Will are close to death and Becky likes us more than the others so we spend most of the day spooning and watching the movie channel. We do at some point make an effort to go to the sea, only to get in and wonder what the hell we are doing there.
Meanwhile, Jo is on the dive boat sailing out to nearby islands to go diving and watching Marcus turn varying shades of grey. After freaking out a little on the first dive attempt (she's forgotten how wierd it is to breath underwater!), its a great 2 dives with 15+m visibility and some funky fish weaving in and out of the coral
The afternoon sees the whole group rejoining Wil, Claire and Becky for their spoon-fest and cramming into 2 hotel rooms, luggage and all, to await our overnight train to Hue. A highlight of the afternoon is Livia throwing toilet paper at the ceiling fan and laughing hysterically for about 20 minutes as it circles above our heads.
After a posh dinner down at the Sailing Club restuarant, its finally time to catch the dreaded second train. Lek has warned us (pretty much since we began the tour) that this train is 'not so nice' and there is a probability of sharing your compartment with mice and cockroaches. This triggers a wave of paranoia; food is band from our room and a light is left on all night because everyone knows that mice and cockroaches don't like it bright...