Xin Chau - My First Time In Vietnam

Nov 12, 2008     Vietnam     My Adventures
Qui Nhon, Hoi An, and Mui Ne. << old website quick post >>
Old posts from my very first travel website and my first backpacking trip (a year in 2000-2001)!

Nov 12, Qui Nhon

Vietnam: another new country and again very different from the others. The driving here is CRAZY - like a roller coaster ride dodging the motorbikes, oncoming traffic, and cows. We arrived in Qui Nhon (however you spell it) last night. Tried to figure out where to get off the bus that might be near our hotel. We got off way too early and had to walk a good ways.
It's a big beach city and it'll be a good place for us to regroup and maybe even buy a camera! We have a top floor room with balcony on the ocean with all the amenities for less than $10/night. And the local beer was only $.35 with dinner last night! Poor Steve has not been able to drink since he's still on antibiotics, but he decided to sneak one beer in last night. It was almost a necessity after our 12 hours of buses yesterday.

So far everyone here seems very friendly and they have been helpful in our efforts to learn a little Vietnamese. Fortunately, they use roman letters here instead of Vietnamese script so it's MUCH easier to get around and find things on our own. Thailand and Laos were a bit more difficult in that respect, but they did share a very similar language which we knew some of already.

We'll see some of the sites around town today, then rent a motorbike and perhaps visit the Leprosy Hospital tomorrow. Yes, lepers. They are supposed to have the best beach around - ha ha.

Nov 16, Hoi An - A New Town to Explore

So far Hoi An is VERY different from Qui Nhon. First of all, it is not raining. There are also WAY more tourists here which it not necessarily a good thing. But the town is charming and there is a lot more English spoken here which always makes things easier.
Steve's previous forray into Vietnamese was when we were buying some rice wine (with quite a kick) from an old woman whose only English was 'number one'. 'Doi muan mui daa' (I would like to buy some ice) Steve said. 'No, this is my mom' said her son in English. LMAO. Oh well, he gave us ice for free and we quite enjoyed the rice wine on our balcony.
We rented bicycles today for only 60 cents each to spend the day out at China Beach, and are renting a motorbike tomorrow for $4 to go to My Son ruins. Things are so cheap here! Beer 24 cents, a new backpack (wow, they can really copy cat North Face - even the logo!) for $9, 1.20 for 2 baguette sandwiches and 2 iced coffees, etc.

We have a dinner date tonight with the Australian couple we rode in on the bus with last night and Trung, they guy who runs a streetside restaurant. We had a wonderful meal and a bunch of beers with him last night. Tonight he is supposed to be cooking us something special - I think Hoi An duck soup. He tought us a bunch of Vietnamese phrases last night - some of which people actually understand when we say them!

Nov 21, Rainy Season Kind of Sucks

It rained for 2 days straight in Hoi An and squashed our trip to Marble Mountain. So we headed south to Nha Trang where it is actually not raining quite as much - only about half the day.

We had a bit more fun in Hoi An. Hung out w/ some new friends, loved My Son ruins, and nursed quite a hangover.
The bus we took to this town was absolutely hilarious! We booked the sleeper bus which turned out to be 3 rows of slender bunk beds the whole length of the bus. We got 2 of the top bunks in the back row which is 5 across so we can actually snuggle. The problem is trying NOT to snuggle (or lean on or whatever) the stranger next to you. So we climbed up jungle gym style into our bed for the night, had some local wine right out of the bottle (nothing but class from us) and Laughing Cow cheese (for some reason this is prominent around Hoi An), and tried to sleep through the night while our huge coach bus went off-roading through potholes and god knows what else.
I love the sleeper bus in Veitnam! You actually have a bed of sorts.
I love the sleeper bus in Veitnam! You actually have a bed of sorts.
Nha Trang is yet another big city. Known for its great beaches, the water is chocolate brown right now due to the rain and a tourist drowned about an hour before we arrived due to the rough waves (and their inebriated state).

We have a kick ass room overlooking the ocean and yesterday we went to the spa. I got my legs waxed and will probably never ever do that again. Today we rented a motorbike ($3) from a nice little guy renting it out of his storefront. We drove all around - fishing village, pagoda, buddha, cham tower, and mud baths and hot springs! The mud was so awesome!

Nov 23, Mui Ne - yet another side of Vietnam

Had another fun sleeper bus ride further south to Mui Ne. Each town has been so different than the last. This town has some sun! And rain too but so far only at night.

We got a beachfront bungalow for $15/night with fridge, swimming pool, and leaning palms on which to hang our hammocks. We're quite happy. :)

The beach here has some personality. Thousands of brightly colored shells, crabs, jelly fish (dead), and elusive silver skipper fish that only Steve can see. ;)
We're about 5k from the tourist area with big fancy resorts which is nice. We walked to a place serving the local draught beer at $1.30 for 2 litres and met some locals who rented us their motorbike and introduced us to a new bar snack. No, not dog meat.

We just ate at a restaurant that had 20 kinds of meat on the menu including frog, rabbit, lizard, deer, but NO dog. We even asked. Ha ha.

Took in some sights today. Drove to see the longest sleeping Buddha in Vietnam. He's in an incredibly beautiful jungle setting and we got to ride an Austrian-made cable car to get there instead of a 2 hour hike uphill in the heat.
Looking forward to more sights tomorrow and if the weather agrees, some kiteboarding.


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