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Vietnam - Quy Nhon (cham towers and round fishing boats)

Written on: Monday March 30th, 2009

Just the two of us were taken by the tourist company's mini bus to the "bus-stop" which was around 45 minutes drive away, which seemed odd. We were dropped in a village in the middle of goodness knows where and told our bus would arrive in 15 minutes later. It was well over an hour before it came, and we almost missed it as the locals were saying it was the wrong bus as it almost flew by. From the bus to Quy Nhon, we saw drying rice, drying fish, drying coconut husks on the roads, which just adds to the vehicle dodging. Swathes of school children cycling the wrong way, the older girls in traditional clothes with the tails of their clothes flowing behind them, the younger ones in blue trousers and a red cravate. The drying rice is from the second round of harvesting. They dry it then separate the grain from the grass. The air conditioning was set up to high, and it froze us, especially since we were dressed for the weather. I really don't their air conditioning habits. It also did Jon's bronchitis no good.

We had been assured by the tour company the bus would drop us off in town (we had checked this twice with them before leaving). We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere! I was not going to let the bus driver let us go where we didn't have a clue where we were. It transpired it was the tour company blatantly lying (as they do), and the bus conductor felt sorry for us and managed to get a taxi number from the tyre company we were standing by. He called us a taxi, while the whole bus just waited! It must have been about 15 minutes in total! It was scorching hot, and Jon needed the toilet. He asked the tyre men, who just laughed and pointed behind the building. They stopped Jon just in time to hold back the dangerous dog (which was on a lead) to let him by. It was snapping, growling and gnarling the whole time Jon was there!

While Jon was recuperating in bed at Lan Anh, the air-conditioning started spewing out a lot of water, creating a huge puddle in the room. At 8:50am, two men arrived to fix the machine. They didn't have a tool box, just a pair of scissors. So they got down to work, balancing on the table. They didn't turn the machine off while parts came flying into my bed, then Jon's. Eventually it appeared to be mended, so off they went. You see a lot of this level of safety and maintenance!

In the evenings it was a sight to walk along the beach. All the locals of all ages would come out for a swim or a game of football, or a jog (with no footwear along the road!).

Around the corner from the hostel were halls of residence for the medical school opposite. We met some New Zealand doctors who come over every year to volunteer at the local hospital, and they said that conditions are dire. The halls are a number of rooms divided by office dividers with bunk beds crammed in. The students had no room for anything else, their clothes would be draped over the beds, and you could see them doing their assignments on their beds.

On one evening walk, I saw a girl of around seven wearing matching t-shirt and leggings with the slogan "back or chest wax $18" on both!!! There are some very odd English mottos and phrases on t-shirts, some of them completely inappropriate, and they are none the wiser.

I visited some of the Cham towers in the area, hiring a man with a moped. It was great to whizz past paddy fields being harvested, buffalo working on the farms etc.

With Jon still recovering, I also ended up at the doctor too! Jon enquired at reception about the locality of the doctor. The next thing, I got a call to the room and was told a receptionist was taking me to the doctor, so I got out of bed and dressed and came downstairs assuming Jon had organised it all. He was long gone, to get himself something to eat. So I went alone! It was a miscommunication, and they must have thought what a lovely guy to just go off and leave them to take me while he went to enjoy himself!!!

They wired me up to some bizarre looking electrode contraption and the plug socket started to spark. Anyway I made it out alive (which is a good thing considering I never got round to allocating my worldly goods before going away), and now we have the beginnings of a collection - matching his 'n' hers x-rays!

N.

(Lan Anh - not recommended, on the con, lazy staff)
(Ha My - ok, but really uncomfortable beds)
(Saigon-Quy Nhon Hotel - expensive, but LUXURY!!)

 

From Char on Nov 25th, 2011

Your story was really informative, tahnks!