Feb
17

Vietnam Baby !!!

Well last time we checked in we were enjoying the sun in Bangkok en route to Vietnam. Have now been there and done that, send Dad the T-shirt and we are now in Cambodia…So the tales from Nam were as folows…..

Ended up spending a week in Bangkok as the weather and the pool were very agreeable!! Whilst there met up with some great folk, Tom & Rob, from Canada and Daryl & Sandra, from New Zealand.  Had some great laughs ordering in pizza and beer to the pool side and singing like crazy fools in the karaoke bar downstairs (Pauline you’ll love it!!!)

Sarah and Sandra givin it plenty Daryl, Rob and Tom

Place was beautiful and here’s a few shots to make yea jealous!!! 

Fat boy walks on water Bangkok nights

Pool by day Where he magic happens MkII 

So from there headed off to Nam. Left bangkok in the blistering 30 degree heat for the 3 hour flight to Hanoi, the capital. Arrived to the freezing 10 degrees and nearly got straight back on the plane. Had not been in temperatures below 25 for about 2 months. So anyway got a lift to the hostel with the owners and arrived in mad Hanoi. I have never seen as many motorbikes ever. The populaiton of Hanoi is about 8 million and there was about the same amount of bikes. Apparently if you don’t have a bike you ain’t worth Shite!!! Apparently as well as a status symbol it is also a pulling object and the better bike you have, the better chick you have and if you have a car then your lucks in!!! (not that these girls are fickle or anything!!!

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So spent a few days catching the sights around Hanoi.

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Went to the war museum and the aircraft museum, (Al’s choice) and found out just how bad the French and the Americans had screwed this country.  Apparently, during the Vietnam vs America war 8 million tonnes of bombs were dropped on the country, that’s the equivalent of 80 aircraft carriers falling out the sky!!!But they’ve forgiven the Americans (not) and refer to them as the killer race. We treied to respect the history and take it all very seriously!!

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Spent some quality time checking out the local brew also. Hear, Bia Hoi (draft cold beer), sold at the street side and drank on little childrens plastic chairs, is 7 and a half pence a glass and ciggys are 40p a pack. So we dedicated a day to trying this out. Spent 8 hours in the bar and bought a few packs of ciggys and the bill came to about 4 pounds (lovely). Al had 2 kebabs (meat of unknown origin) for 50p also so our kind of place. Needless to say wasn’t as appealing the next day. Al fits in beautifully as a local though - don’t you think??

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The Vietnamese are lovely people and English is perfect. However they are as per any Asian country hard sales men. As soon as we arrived in the hostel we were getting “ÿou wanna go on a tour??” had decided no, we would take it easy and not be pressured into anything, but after a day had purchased a ticket for a tour all round the country (suckers). While there decided to extend our Thai visas so we could spend 2 months there so manged without incident and have that to look forward to next.

After 4 days in Hanoi, headed off on our first trip, to Halong Bay (3 hours from Hanoi) on Al’s 32nd birthday (Jan 24th - he thanks all for the kind messages and cards!!). The place was beautiful and would be how most people would imagine views of Vietnam with the Junk floating past protuding islands in a bay.

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On the way met a couple of Aussies on the same bus, Jamie and Jeoff, who were a great laugh. But when we arrived at the dock we were parted and they went off on a different boat. Al (the birthday boy) was gutted and thought we’d be stuck with a load of foreigners or oldies on our boat. Instead, fortunately, got stuck with a great bunch of guys and gals.

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Got stuck into the beers straight away and headed off towards the islands. Got off at one of the islands to the biggest cave around. Amazing, the place was full of stalectights and mights and little rivers and such. Looked like something from the Goonies.

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some interestingly shaped rocks….

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From there it was back on the boat and parked up to go on a kayak ride. Al and I prooved incompetent at paddlling in time and seemed to go round and round in circles, much to all other amusement!!!Anyway water was beautiful and relatively warm, so once we returned to the boat, the birthday boy decided he wanted to jump in off the top of the boat, so stripped down to his pants, ran through the boat and jumped off!

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Was closely followed by several others, who hadn’t realised the madness of a Scots man and his resiliance to cold. No heart attacks, but lots of cold people but didn’t stop the fun. I stood and watched (holding the towels and cameras was an important job - or maybe just a soppy southerner!!)

Anyway from there it was more beers and shithead, into the small hours, followed by a hungover day the next.

After about 3 hours on the boat and some of the most ridiculous parking of said boat and scrambling over 7 other boats to get off we were on dry land.

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After 3 hours in the bus we were back to Hanoi, where we had 3 hours before our train left to Hoi An (16 hours South). Went and grabbed a pizza to take on board and headed off. train ride ok and failry unremarkable. Trains better than those in India and about on a par with China, though only 4 in a cabin and the doors close. We were put in with a Russian couple (about 55+), who were Piano teachers at a University in China. However there was not much chat and it was an early night.

Arrived in Hoi An the next day at lunch time and were greeted by the owner of our hotel who drove us there. He is just learning English so spent the whole journey asking how do you say this and that and trying to teach us Vietnamese. Not conducive to a hangover.

Hoi An was advertised as a quaint “getaway and although there were some nice old buildings, it didn’t really float our boats…

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Spent 2 nights there then it was back on board the train to Nha Trang (8 hours). Arrived in Nha Trang and were instantly pleased as it was warmer..Had a hotel by the beach and chilled out at a local brewery with a pool beside the sea. Had 4 days here where generally lazing around.

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Found another comedy name……

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Did 2 dives but unfortuntely the visbility was about 2 metres, so didn’t get to see much and the water temperature was cooler then the Maldives. However the 2nd dive was better and got to see a load of fishes and coral (lost the dive master twice as couldn’t see where he was going).

From Nha Trang it was back on board the train to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and again it was an over nighter. Got on board at 21:00 after a couple of beers and found our cabin which had been taken over by a Vietnamese family, who were on my bed. The father removed his small child from the bed and climbed onto his bunk. When I went to climb into bed later that evening, I discovered that the little shit had pissed the bed… charming… The father looked down and said ” yes - wet - but long time go so nearly dry” I was not impressed, neither was Al.

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When i came back the room after another beer he had changed the sheets to his ones (so he should have!!)

Anyway after a crap sleep, arrived in Saigon at about 05:00 and got taxi to our hotel who would not let us in till 07:00 so went and found a cafe. While sitting  there Christian ( A guy we had met on the Trans Siberian strolled over and joined us. We harldy recognised him he was much slimer. Anyway over a coffeee and full fry up he told us of his tales and oh my God does this guy have bad luck. When he had got off the trainin Mongolia he became ill and ended up in hospital, then got sick again in Beijing and was in hospital there too. He then met some psycho freak girl, then got hustled by the tea people and thengot dragged into some seedy bar and charged for female serivces which he hadn’t even had!! Then he got his camera knicked…. Poor guy. Good to catch up though so arranged to meet later.

After a brief sleep we headed off to sort out transport to Bangkok, via Cambodia (as cheapest option). Visas for Vietnam were up on the 4th Feb, so needed to leave asap as already the 2nd. There was an STA travel on our street so arranged for next day at 07:00 to get bus to Chu Duc, then boat up Mekong to Cambodia. Also went and changed our flights so we can spend longer in Thailand. A whistle stop tour of Saigon, but here are a few photos.

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So generally productive. Then came the evening….

Met up with Christian drank too much and needless to say missed the bus the next day.

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Were assured by STA travel that being 1 day late would not be  problem and went back to bed!!! Re arranged bus for the next day. Managed to drag ourselves out for KFC and had to move hotels as they were booked up but other wise did little….

So the next day we were off, bright and breezy (?) and headed towards our next adventure en route to Cambodia but I’ll let Al tell that one… and it’s a good one!!!!

8 Responses to “Vietnam Baby !!!”

Iain said:

Awrite Reids ?
Everyone asks you how your travels are going…
I was thinking about your 6 month wedding anniversary, so here’s a question for you…
Hows the marriage going ? xx

Posted on February 19th, 2007.

Max & Ally said:

n n n n n n nineteen nineteen…..was this ever sang on the karaoke or played in the disco’s? Are u brave enough? ;)

Well helloooooo there.
How’s is the beer across there in nam?
When does your tour of duty finish?
Ok cant think of anymore crap nam lines, so continue to have a great time ya lucky buggers.
You both look great, and were both really jealous back home.

Max & Ally xxx
PS - when is this bloody stork gonna bring this baby? (7 weeks to go)

Posted on February 20th, 2007.

The Bullocks said:

Glad to hear that you are still having a fab time. Just wanted to say happy 30th Sarah. Hope it’s a good one ! Will be thinking about you. Loads of love LInds, Mark, Sam and Katy xxxx

Posted on February 26th, 2007.

SHIRLEY & SANDRA said:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH, HAVE A NICE DAY (”,)

Posted on February 27th, 2007.

Happy 30th Birthday Sarah.

Hope you have fab time and get steaming drun.

Love Camy & Val
XXX

PS When is the funny story about Cambodia going to appear. Al, you lazy bastard

Posted on February 28th, 2007.

Al said:

Thanks for all yer birthday wishes for Sarah on the site and on the email. She’s thrilled to hear from you all - but what about me, eh? If i remember correctly it was my bifday about a month ago - and i only got a couple of ‘best regards’. Never mind, i’m a big boy now and can handle it…
Anyway again we have become extremely slack at updating the site. This is compounded at the moment as we are currently accompanied by Paul, Pauline and Rachel in Phuket. In a couple of days we are off to Ko Samui for the full moon rave and after that who knows?
Finally the dooch has got off his fat ass and is meeting us on the 11th in Bangkok, just in time for Sunday night Thai kickboxing - the mayhem will continue.
The next episode covering Cambodia and our trip into Thailand to meet up with the Pauls is not being written by Sarah, this one’s going to be penned by my fair hand , hence the massive delay. Anyway heres some replies that are long overdue:
Kenz - 6 Months came and went, and my beautiful wife gets lovelier by the day, apparently though i’ve become a complete pain in the arse - so pretty good i think. (Gmail wont let me se Kirstys baby pix)
Max and Ally - Forget Vietnam guys, in the inimetable words of Glenn Frey - the heat is on” for you guys. 6 weeks now and counting. We will have the champagne (or certainly the beer) ready on ice for news on the wee yin - let us know!
The Bullocks - Saw all the recent pixs and went aaaawwww. Great to hear that everything is good with you guys. It was certainly a drunken affair!
Shirley and Sandra - Can you guys please stop shouting on the noticeboard - we canny hear ourselves think!
Big bruv and missus - We did and we did - that should about cover that. As for the lazy bastard thing, whats that thing about a leopard and spots again…

Anyway that should about do for that. Not to forget that it was Pauls birthday on the 25th. We made sure he travelled in style, a blinding hangover. Right i’d better get back to this update…
Love from me and her

Posted on March 1st, 2007.

Hairy said:

Hope your visitors arrived safely! Hope you had a fab birthday Mrs Reid, looking forward to hearing the stories and seeing the pictures! Also hope you have survived the full moon party yikes!!! I know how lethal those Thai ‘Buckets’ are!! Take care and will email soon - more wine enduced stories to fill you in on! (no injuries just insult on the liver!) x x

Posted on March 4th, 2007.

BOB & ACE said:

WE ARE WAITING FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT, STOP ALL THIS ENJOYING YOURSELVES AND GET BACK TO THE KEYBOARD.

Posted on March 23rd, 2007.

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