Sodden South Vietnam
Trip Start Apr 16, 2013
18Trip End Dec 20, 2013
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After a bumpy overnight bus, a breakfast stop in Nha Trang and a further 5 hour bus we eventually arrived in the small mountain town of Dalat. We'd been promised colonial French buildings and a rural feel so were a little disappointed when we arrived to a standard noisy Asian town in the rain. Our hotel was lovely though and after a little rest we headed into town to find some lunch. Ended up eating at an 'Arts Cafe’ we’d read about which did fantastic food followed by the owner creating 2 original pieces of art for us at our table! See photograph for link to video - amazing!
We spent our one full day in Dalat on a hired scooter exploring the local area. It was still raining and Laura navigated for Jim with a paper map pressed against his back on the crazy Vietnamese roads
After an amazing breakfast in Dalat we boarded a cramped mini bus to Mui Ne where we were hoping for 4 nights of relaxing beach time. Unfortunately, after 5 hours of bumpy road we were disappointed to find one long strip of resorts on a dirty road which made it very hard to get to the beach. Luckily we had a nice hotel so spent our time chilling out by the pool (in the rain). Laura got sick during our time in Mui Ne so we didn’t manage to get out to explore the surrounding area and to top it off it’s famous for wind surfing but the wind was blowing the wrong way for our 5 days there. Never mind, Jim nursed Laura back to health and we caught another (slightly nicer) bus to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
After Mui Ne it was great to move on to a big city with lots to do and see
We also visited the Cu Chi Tunnels on an organised tour with our guide – John Wayne. It was pretty cool but we were a bit disappointed to be herded round with a coach load of people and felt this detracted a little from the history of the place. Jim managed to go through the full 100m of underground tunnels whilst Laura only managed 20!! Very claustrophobic and hot and it was amazing to think that people lived in such conditions. After our trip, Jim got his final Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich with dodgy pate, noodles, meats, pickled veg, corriander, chilli and a fried egg) and we packed our bags for a couple of days on the Mekong Delta before our Border crossing to Cambodia.
Can Tho and Ha Tien (Mekong Delta)
We got a lovely spacious coach to Can Tho from Saigon and were thoroughly impressed with the journey until we went to collect our bags. It had been raining continuously and our rucksacks were absolutely soaked – not a great start. We spent the majority of our day in Can Tho drying out our belongings and hair-drying our rucksacks. We managed to squeeze in a floating market tour on the morning of our departure which meant a 5:30am departure
Our bus to Ha Tien was another typical Vietnamese journey – mini bus crammed full with 8 people on the back seat (made for 4) and someone on a small plastic stool on the floor. We put on our headphones and tried to zone out for a few hours but were brought back to reality by a small child vomiting on the back seat. We then realised our bags were under said child – queue another evening scrubbing our rucksacks *sigh*.
So South Vietnam didn’t quite lived up to our experience of the North but on the whole, Vietnam has been amazing and we are looking forward to our next stop – Cambodia.