Aye Aye! Sorry again for the delay on these, about 6 weeks behind now but will aim to catch up now we have chloes laptop here!!
Right so we got our bus down from Hoi An to Nha Trang all fine, was another sleeper bus and we both slept relatively well! We arrived at 5.30am, and as we came along the beach to the bus stop we were amazed by the number of people out on the beach jogging, doing tai chi and other forms of aerobics, was literally thousands of them, but was quite a sight watching them all as the sun came up! We were meeting up with Tash and Andy again down in Nha Trang, and we found the hotel they were in just fine and grabbed a couple of hours extra sleep! We were awoken by a knock on the door from Tash and Andy and headed out to grab some breakfast and catch up! After breakfast we headed off for Vinpearl island, supposadlly Vietnams version of Disneyland. It wasn't quite Disneyland but we spent most the day in the waterpark, taking on some big slides, some little slides, the lazyriver and the wave pool, after we had exhausted ourselves there we headed out and into theme park area, here we went on the Pirate ship and a small rollercoaster however we bottled out of the large spinny twirly thing which looked too scary! We also found some bumper cars, and as all the rides we included in entry to the island had a few goes on these before heading back for some dinner and few drinkies!!
Following day we were up early and headed out for a couple of dives, though there werent as many fish about as when we had dived previously the coral walls, caves and tunnels made it just as enjoyable, and was good fun diving with tash and andy, they had arranged for our dive master to take some photos and videos which we will post up somewhere soon. We grabbed an afternoon nap before heading out for what turned into quite a drunken night, but as always a bloody enjoyable night! The next day Chloe didnt make it out of bed due to the previous nights antics, i managed to join tash and andy on the beach for an hour or so, but i couldnt managed too much more, in the evening we went for a good old curry and another goodbye to tash and andy who were heading off the following morning, our second farewell but not our last!
Me and Chloe aimed to make up for the lost day the day before and so rented some bikes the next morning and set off, we cycled along the seafront, visited some Cham towers and took a long ride through some small towns to a mud bath! Here we caked ourselves in really stinky, horribly brown, dirty water...apparently its good for your skin, but my experience was it just makes you stink like s***! With the mud promtly washed off we took some hydro showers, soaked in the mineral baths and took a swim in the pool! After this rather relaxing experience (apart from the s***ty water part) we got back on our bikes and headed back to the beach for a while, in the evening we managed to find some proper cheese and grabbed some wine and sat on our balcony for a cheese and wine night! The following morning we were off to Dalat so we indulged on the balcony then turned in feeling rather sick!
The bus journey to Dalat was one of two halfs for me, we had been told we would be going down the "new" road and therefore expected a nice smooth journey. What we had forgotten is that in SE Asia when they say new road, they mean a road which has just been given approval to be built, and once its been given the ok they dont wait to finish it before opening it up to the cars, instead everyone drives down it straight away. Therefore the first half of the journey was spent on a dusty track, which hadnt been flattened but just cleared of rocks, which was bumpy to say the least, and the bus filled with dust making it hard to breath! We stopped after a couple of hours for toilet and drinks stop, and then the second half of the journey was probably the best journey we've had so far, back on concrete roads and we headed up into the mountains on real windy roads, huge drops either side which meant chloe didnt enjoy it so much but the scenery was amazing!
Upon arriving in Dalat we found a nice little hotel and headed out to explore the town, the town itself wasnt anything special, infact neither of us particulairly liked it at all, i think this may have been helped by the number of people trying to sell us things on the streets and how persistent they were! Also when we stopped for lunch we were pestered by a rather weird man who sat next to us and kept writing love notes to chloe on bits of paper, then he would give chloe the paper and pen, then run off, we thought he'd be gone but infact he was just popping to the shops to buy another pen and start again! Thankfully when our food came he moved on, after lunch we booked onto our canyoning trip, something we were looking forward to doing in Dalat...canyoing!!
The next day was one of the best days we've had, in my opinion anyway, chloe hated some of it! We set off on our canyoning trip about 8am and got driven a few km's out of town, where we were dropped off and hiked for about 45mins down river. We were given a quick lesson on how to abseil down a small slope, before we turned our attentions to the first cliff of the day. The first was a small cliff face to get us going, 17m's in height and no water involved, and we all made it down safely, from the bottom we trekked a bit more before coming to the first jump of the day, unfortunately i was at the front of the group and so was first to go, the jump was only about 5-6m's in height but there was a massive clump of rocks in the bottom which we had to clear, after getting myself together i launched off and cleared it all ok, chloe was a few more people back in the queue, and when the girl infront of her only cleared the rocks by about an inch chloe decided against it and climbed down. From here we trekked abit further and then came to our first slide of the day, this was a small waterfall, with a small incline, we literally sat at the top and then lay on our backs and slide down the waterfall, great fun!! The next stop was our second abseil, a 18m cliff face ending up in a pool of water, again we all made it down safely and with no real problems. After another trek we arrived at the big abseil, a 27m decent down a massive waterfall, the first few metres involved keeping your footing and walking down a slight incline but with the water smashing away at you, then you came to a little platform where the drop became vertical, and the water hits you in the face and chest, from here you abseil down untill your about 5m's from the bottom and then jump! This was how it was meant to go... for me i slpped near the top and slid most the way down to the ledge, from here i scrambled to my feet and started going over the edge, i got about 2m's down and then slipped again, this time i smashed into the wall, let go of my rope and fell a few metres before regaining my grip, from which point i was only a few m's from the bottom so i jumped, wasnt the most gracefull decent of the day, and i smashed my elbow and knuckles up pretty well, but was good fun!!! Chloe made a similar start, slipping at the top, but once back on her feet she managed to make the rest of the way down without any trouble, however she did not enjoy it and came out the water in a state of shock, there is a video we'll try and get up which shows this, hilarious!! Next stop was another jump, this one was a bit bigger than the last, again chloe opted out, i also opted out of the big 15m jump so climbed down and jumped from 10m's. We had a lovely picnic lunch at the bottom and then moved on for another slide, this one was bigger and faster than the last slide, and this time we went down feet first, then head first and upside down! The final act of the day was called "the washing machine", you abseil off a cliff so you are hanging off the edge and lower yourself into an oncoming waterfall, you the continue to lower yourself, although you have no idea where you are due to the water pounding you all over, and keep going untill the rope runs out, then you drop into the basin at the bottom and swim out, but due to the amount of water falling on you you get pushed under water and dragged out by the current... again i loved it, chloe came out looking like she was going to cry and in a state of shock, sadly i didnt get this breakdown on camera but was also hilarious! The day ended with an uphill trek out the jungle to our van which was waiting at the top for us! All in all a great day!!
The next day we spent the day walking around Dalat, our first stop was some old railway station which chloe wanted to check out, for some reason she's become midly obsessed with old railway lines and stations, unfortunatly for Chloe we were unable to track it down, so we headed for the cable car! The scenery was fantastic but this was one of the scarier cable cars we've taken and we both climbed off at the end dripping in sweat...and it wasnt heat but fear! At the other end there wasnt too much to see, atleast not enough to take that ride for, so we grabbed some noodles, walked around the temple then braced ourselves for the return trip! Safely back in Dalat we took in the markets before grabbing an early night. I spent the night throwing up and visiting the toilet regularily so the following day was a rest day for me, we were due to catch a bus but we reorganised that for the following day and i slept off what turned out to be a 24hour bug of some form.
I was feeling much better in the morning and we caught our bus for Mui Ne, our next stop, and on our way out of town we saw one of the most bizare things we've seen on our travels. A young Vietanmese man was running around the main street, stark naked, smashing bird cages with a huge stick in the middle of the road, throwing oranges at the police and buckets at any scooter which dared to scoot past him, sadly our bus driver didnt stop to see what was going to happen, and couldnt speak good enough English to even start to explain what might be going on, but we shared an international giggle and got on our way! Lucky i was feeling better as the journey was bumpy to say the least but not too painful and we arrived in Mui Ne 4 hours later, where we checked into our hotel, had a swim in the pool, some dinner and a mooch around before turning in for the night. Our room for the night wasn't great, and being next to the kitchen and with the fan not working it was unbearably hot and smelly, so in the morning we got up early and rented a scooter to go find a better place to stay, we found another cheap option down the road which was nearer the beach and with much better rooms so shifted our gear down! Once settled, and as we had the scooter we set off on a ride around Mui Ne, we went to see the famous Red Sand dunes which seemed endless, scooted through several small fishing towns and eventually came to the white sand dunes. Unfortunately the road up to the dunes was in a bad way when we got there and we couldnt get the bike up there so we had to sadly turn around, which was even more annoying as it was a 30km ride out to the dunes and my arse was killing me!! Anyway we had no choice so we headed back and spent the rest of the day resting our cheeks on the beach!
The next day was Chloes birthday.. whoooo!!... and being the great boyfriend that i am i let Chloe choose what she wanted to do for the day, so we spent the day relaxing on the beach! Then we grabbed a bottle of wine and some fruit and sat on the beach and watched sunset before heading off to one of the nicer restaurants for some dinner, Chloe treated herself to some tasty old prawns whilst i gorged myself on roast duck!! We finished the evening with a few mojitos! Sadly Chloe also realised that she had lost her dress which she'd had tailored for her, and also her present for young finley! But all in all a good day!!
The next morning we were off for Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh city, which ever you prefer, but i'll be calling it Saigon as its easier to type), but i will leave it here for now and will bring the following chapter shortly, we are currently in Pattaya at the moment and i can hear the lady boys calling so i'm gonna go get ready!!
Bye for now
x x x