So, what to tell you?Perhaps about the driver who didn't stop belching for an entire 4 hour car journey, being forced to eat Sainsburys basic chocolate because we had been starved of any chocolate for a whole fortnight, or the little student waiter who, whilst chatting Nat up, asked Wattsy if he was her Dad?!Perhaps not!
Once we left Ho Chi Minh on 5th, we headed to Mui Ne on the south coast of Vietnam for a bit of sunshine and some beaches.It was really warm and really beautiful but, in the afternoons, really windy - a perfect playground for kite-surfers!We hired a little motorbike for the day and headed to see the sand dunes the area is famous for, as well as having the chance to potter around the main town, which was basically a one-road 5 mile strip of hostels, restaurants and tour agents. The food was amazing, all fresh seafood - imagine the luxury of a huge plate of squid for £3!Cleary a favourite with the Russians too - town was full of them!Even the shop and restaurant signs were in Vietnamese and Russian!
From Mui Ne we headed into the mountains to Dalat.It was much cooler there, but along the four hour journey, the views as we headed up were stunning.So much cooler in fact that the locals wore coats, scarves and hats at all times, even in restaurants - clearly they had never experienced a British winter because we were happy to head out in a thin jumper! We picked up an Easy-Rider tour (2 little men with motorbikes) who took us into the mountains for the day and showed us lots more local business, from silk farms to weasel coffee factories and flower hothouses.They also took us to Elephant Falls, a huge waterfall which was awesome from the top but was simply breath-taking after a 20 minute scramble down to where it fell.Check out the photos of us behind the falls and of us afterwards - wet wet wet!!Our little tour guide also told us tales of when he fought for the Americans in the Vietnam war - so interesting!!
From there we hit another 4 hour bus journey to Cat Tien, the biggest and best protected national park in Vietnam, where we stayed at a forest lodge with birds, gibbons, civet cats, frogs that sound like ducks and all manner of lizards and geckos for company.We trekked through the forest to 'Crocodile Lake' but there was not a single crocodile to be seen!Nick was in seventh heaven with all of the new birds though and even Nat was impressed by the massive stork we saw!We also visited a tiny gibbon rehabilitation centre, which is doing fantastic work to rescue, rehabilitate and ultimately release back in to the wild gibbons which are hunted, orphaned or kept for years in cages as pets.If you get a minute, add Endangered Asian Species Trust (EAST) on Facebook to see a bit more.
Then it was back to Ho Chi Minh on another 4 hour trip (this is where the belchy driver came to the stage!), which is where we write now.Off to Phu Quoc, an idyllic island between Vietnam and Thailand tomorrow then up the north next weekend.Just another day in Vietnam! xx