Dis place is Da Nang cuz..
Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
173Trip End Ongoing
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my journey from Hanoi to danang i was sharing my room with an older Russian couple, the wife speaks enough English to get something across but breaks into a series of sentences in Russian if she doesn't know a certain word. I can tell the guy is a very warm hearted friendly man, true to stories I've heard on the trans sib. journeys he broke out a fresh bottle of vodka and started sharing it with me.. Hinting I could only take a little bit by pinching my thumb and forefinger together he half filled the cup, I tried to slam back as much as I could, about 2 or 3 shots worth and handed back the cup which still had a little vodka left in the bottom, when he received it I saw he frown in disappointment.. ooops, did I offend him? He remembered my name and would usher more vodka into my cup whilst repeating 'chris,chris' with a big smile under his fluffy mustache. It was impossible to keep up with my big friendly Russian giant and sign languaged I will be going to sleep.
As we move south through the Vietnam countryside every time i see a murky reddish brown river and the crisp green jungle sides I imagine a US helicopter will soon be swooping down low above It, some rock n roll music and the movie titles will start.. Hollywood has tainted my brain a little, I didn't plan on going to 'Nam but I'm here and want to learn more about the war which happened before I was born. I know they call Thailand land of smiles and I believe it should extend to here, even though a lot of them are buck toothed, they wear them well. I also have found that the tag of Vietnamese being desperate for money and are willing to con, cheat and lie in order to get it is not so true, less than many other places, I still have to get to Saigon though..
I met Nguyen Chien at the Da Nang train station, my first choice of hotel was closed, not like the classic con of the taxi man saying it's closed to take you to a commission giving hotel but it was actually shut getting refurbished.. It was in town as I thought it would be easier to get to than the beach hotels, as I was already on the back of a motorbike I got Chien to take me across the bridge to the beaches.. He took me to the Romance Hotel, I was a little skeptic due to it's name but seems to be just a budget hotel, $10usd, with no mirrors on ceilings or porn on the tv. I'm sure they lose business just because westerners don't want to check into a love hotel/brothel.. So Chien is also a tour guide on his bike and started showing me his maps and very interesting itineraries but were lasting nearly 2 weeks, time that I could do with elsewhere than the back of his bike, but we settled on a reasonable 5 day tour, it is a personalized Vietnam war zone tour ending on a nice beach ready to go to Saigon. It's not a shoestring budget tour but for value for money it should be a real memorable experience that should fit what I was hoping to see and do whilst in Vietnam. his website is http://360.yahoo.com/chiennguyent
btw.. Nang in London slang means the best.. i think it was imported into the street language of east London by the Bangladeshis..
anyway this place is nang..