Ankor Wat, Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang and Hoi An
25.02.2013 - 10.03.2013 30 °C
Two months into the trip, and even though its been two weeks since our weekend in Singapore we still aren't quite back to full-on traveller budget style life. We are now in Vietman and are currently staying in a beautiful hotel in Hoi An, about half way up the coast. Luckily it's pretty cheap, but with fresh flowers decorating the pillows, amazing buffet breakfasts and a private courtyard it's more like a luxury holiday at the moment!
We are here for a week and are glad we decided to stay that long as it's already one of our favourite places of the trip. So far we have done a food tour (which was pretty good but slightly ruined by the 15 other tourists and the old Australian with a headset running it, who insisted on telling quite long dull stories), cycled to the beach, drank a lot of beer and eaten a lot of Banh Mi (spicy pork sandwiches) - Rob had two yesterday alone.
We arrived here on Thursday after two nights in Nah Trang which is the Vietnamese version of Tenerife. The main attraction is a themepark called Vinpearl which is on an island off the coast that you reach by what they claim is the worlds longest cable car. Its a themepark/ waterpark in one, but there wasn't very many rides or waterslides so seemed to miss the mark on both fronts!
The second activity of our two days there was a trip to the mud baths. It was raining and with Rob refusing to go to more than one temple per country we were short on things to do. For some reason Nha Trang is full of very large Russians, and we spent the afternoon moving from mud bath, to jacuzzi to hot pools with about 100 of them all wearing very little; scary stuff.
Before Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh was our first stop in Vietnam and its much prettier than I expected it to be. Lots of French colonial buildings and parks, and at 36 degrees pretty warm! It turns out I develop a highly attractive sweat mustache in such weather, so I was particularly glad when we could once again hit the beach and cool off further up the coast.
We also went on a food tour in Ho Chi Minh which was a 'back of the bike' tour. We were driven around to some local food places that we would never have found oursleves and got to try some of the best food of the trip - we decided that it probabaly even beat some of the best stuff we had in Malaysia! Fresh spring rolls you make up yourself with hot crispy pork pancakes inside, and chicken dripping in butter with a salty lime and chilli dip were the main highlights.
We were also recommended a BBQ restaurant where you cook the meat yourself on the table; we thought it would be a bit novelty but turned out to be full of locals and with absolutely amazing beef and pork ribs.
After we left Singapore and before we arrived in Ho Chi Minh we decided to make a slight alteration to the original itinery and headed to Cambodia to see Ankor Wat. We once again landed on our feet and found a great cheap hotel for our three nights there who offered a free pick up from the airport and then sorted us out a tuktuk driver to show us around the temples. The first day we saw four of the main temples and hiked up a mountian to see some carvings by a waterfall (but as it was so hot there wasnt really any water!). We saved Ankor Wat itself for the second day so we could see it at sunrise. Therefore at 4.30 the next morning we were up and out, and by 5am were sat in the dark with 1000 Japanese tourists. It started to get light around 6 and was pretty spectacular so we got some great shots; not exactly peaceful though with 100s of camera flashes going off for 2 hours!
Weather: still hot!
Tan: fading as less beach action (grr) but just about still here
Food: getting even better
Budget: getting back on track
Books: Steve Jobs autobiography - would highly recommend
Next stops: Hue, Hanoi and hopefully Sapa