A Travellerspoint blog

Ko Phang-nan

Where it all went a bit downhill...

sunny 28 °C
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Here's the story you've all been waiting for...
We got a flight from Hanoi back to Bangkok and meet up with Jenny and Steve before heading to Ko Phang-nan for the infamous full moon party. On the bus on the way over we got about 160 quid stolen somehow, we think it was some little local kid running around the bus late at night that might have done it. Not a good start. We didn't have a clue where to stay on Ko Phangnan cos we'd left it pretty last minute and had heard that it gets booked up pretty fast. On the boat over we met another couple (Katie and Sam) and they told us about a place near the party where the rooms are cheap and most importantly: available. So we all jumped into a taxi and headed straight for LEELA BEACH BUNGALOWS (dont ever forget NOT to go to this place should you ever find yourself in Ko Phang-nan). The rooms seemed very basic but they were central and pretty cheap so we snapped them up.
The next day we all hired scooters and had a tour of the island, it was a beautiful island, wish we had the pictures to show you! After a great day we went back to the bungalows to get glammed up for the party. Not long after there was a pretty heavy rainfall followed by a power cut...not a good sign! Eventually the rain stopped and the power came back on so we headed into town to get the party started. This quickly involved covering each other in flourescent paint which looked pretty horrendous cos we were all too tight to pay out to get it done by a professional! 28110004.jpgThen we headed down to the beach to check out the party.28110013.jpg We attempted to stay till sunrise but me and Adam were too knackered so headed back to the room. This is the part of the story where it starts to go horribly wrong...
We got to our bungalow and Adam noticed the window was open, he looked in and saw all our stuff spread out all over the floor. We checked Jenny and Steve's bungalow next door to ours and their room had been broken into aswell. We'd lost our laptop, camera, jewellery, board shorts, trainers, phone, ipods and most importantly Adam's passport. The bastards had even stolen my tampons. It was horrible, especially because we had to wait for everyone else to come back from the party to tell them. We told the hotel staff straight away and they were pretty unhelpful to say the least. Four bungalows had been broken into in total and it was looking a bit suspect. We had to cancel cards, inform the police and the embassy and buy new bags as ours had been slashed and stolen. Adam went down to the police station with Steve to get a report, they weren't really interested, I think it happens a fair bit around the Full Moon Party but we just wanted our report so we could claim it on our insurance. Luckily we had a boat to Ko Tao already booked for 11 that morning so we packed up our stuff and got the hell out of that hole. We were all absolutely exhausted after being up all night and slept like babies that night! Next stop Ko Tao aka Wifeswap island!

Posted by palmer830 04:29 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Hanoi

Rainnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

rain 14 °C
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We had heard that there was some rain expected for Hanoi when we left Hue, but what we turned up in was more like standing under a waterfall. We met a nice couple on our bus, Theresa and Terence, and we all decided to look for some accommodation together. Having got off the bus and managed to stay fairly dry, we had no choice but to get a taxi. This would be ok if the taxi hadn't been small than a mini!!! So with 2 guys, 2 girls and 4 bags and a driver we squeezed into the taxi and headed for the 'Old quarter' of Hanoi. Hanoi wasn't a good time for me. I spent most of it in bed ill with Anna having to try put up with me moaning and finding her own way round Hanoi (She is not good at directions at the best of times and with it being a big new city i don't blame her.) I did however manage to get out of bed to witness the must see attraction in Hanoi, The water puppet show. It was basically large puppets dancing around in water. It was quite good but hard to understand as it was all in Vietnamese. Luckily we had a guide book to follow. We also managed to meet up with Renate and some of her friends for dinner in a nice little cheap restaurant. Then it was back to bed for a few more days for me. Poor Anna. Also with all the rain the drains started to clog up and the smell in our room was vile, and being stuck in there didn't help me much. On our last day there i felt a little better so we decided to do something and we headed to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum on a cyclo (a 2 seated bike taxi, where we sat at the front and the guy peddled behind. Quite scary with Hanoi traffic). The cyclo driver was friendly enough, however he decided he fancied a free tour of the museum and pretended to be our tour guide. Cheeky git. We did get some funny pictures, but we don't have them anymore as you will find out later. We didn't really enjoy our time in Hanoi, mainly because of the rain and me being ill which was a shame, but we have enjoyed Vietnam and definitely recommend it to everyone (just don't go in the rainy season!!!!). Our next stop was Thailand and a return (of many) to Bangkok.

Posted by palmer830 00:29 Archived in Vietnam Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

Hue

rain 17 °C
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We arrived in Hue with limited expectations, fully aware that a lot of people skip this town altogether. Unfortunately as soon as we turned up it started raining so this put a definate dampener on things (boom boom). The first day we just chilled out and went for lunch in a local cafe. The women in Vietnam seem to find Adam hilarious and the waitresses in the cafe only fuelled his growing ego! They were after his phone number but made do with two of his friends numbers instead (shall remain nameless but apologies if you receive a phonecall from some Vietnamese women late at night). In the evening we met up with Renate and a few other people that Renate had met along the way. The next day we thought we'd better get back into sightseeing mode so headed to Citadel which contained the palace where the King lived when Hue was the ancient capital of Vietnam. Unfortunately the majority of this place was bombed during the war so not a lot of it remained. However they are slowly rebuilding it and it was good to see the first thing they'd got to work on was the tennis courts...
The next day I wanted to do something a bit off the beaten track so insisted that we should check out some place called Ho Quyen which was an ancient tiger fighting arena. Sounds pretty impressive, Adam wasn't too sure but went along with it. Things didn't go to a great start when the taxi driver who was taking us there had no idea where it was. When we eventually managed to get there we discovered that it was closed for refurbishment. My chance at finding the next big thing in Hue was lost! We did however manage to peep through and see two stray chickens doing a poor imitation of a cockfight, that was about as close as we were gonna get to seeing some live action! On the upside, the taxi driver got a nice little tour himself which seems to be a recurring theme of our travels round Vietnam.
Wish we could show you the pictures of the land that once held the ancient capital or the outside of a tiger fighting arena but unfortunately our camera got stolen (more on this later) so we've lost all evidence. Next stop Hanoi!

Posted by palmer830 06:24 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Hoi An

Shopper's paradise

semi-overcast 17 °C
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We arrived in Hoi An after another horrendous bus journey on our whistlestop tour of Vietnam. It's a really pretty little town with a French feel to it. P1010659.jpg Unfortunately Hoi An has become world renowned for its sheer volume of tailors. They were literally everywhere you looked, Adam was in paradise! We didn't really know which one to go for and thought it best to bide our time and suss out which one was the best. However before we knew it we'd signed up to get a whole new wardrobe! Well a few extra additions at least! Adam got a 3 piece suit and a tweed jacket and I treated myself to a new jacket. P1010689.jpgWhile we waiting for our clothes to be made we met up with Victoria and Jeremy and Renate who we'd met in Don Det. We found a great little place to eat on the river where everything was cheap so you could just order a load of food and pick all night long. In Vietnam they give you two little bowls to share your food out into, very cute!
The next couple of days we waited for our clothes to be made and I desperately tried to keep Adam away from the shops...to no avail. Before I knew it he'd bought 2 kimono dressing gowns (matching I might add - not my idea) for a mere $20. When our clothes were ready we sent the whole lot back home along with a few other purchases we couldn't help buying. Not much else to say on Hoi An, wish I could tell you about its cultural attractions but unfortunately we got way too sidetracked by shopping to do any of that stuff! After breaking the bank here we headed to Hue where we weren't expecting too much and weren't disappointed....

Posted by palmer830 05:16 Archived in Vietnam Tagged shopping Comments (0)

Nha Trang

....and the broken camera

sunny 28 °C
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We decided to go to Nha Trang as opposed to Mui Ne cos we'd heard it was cheaper...and that was pretty much our only reason. We met up with Jenny and Steve in the evening who we'd travelled around Laos with, it was really good to see them again and felt like we were meeting up with old friends! The first day we spent deciding exactly what to do with ourselves and, in the true indecisive style we'd picked up since travelling we spent so long deciding what to do we ended up doing not much! Well we checked out the beach but that was pretty much it. The beach was ok but nothing in comparison to Cambodia and Thai beaches. The waves however were absolutely lethal, as soon as you stood up you were literally swept off your feet.
The next day we decided to go over to an island called 'VinPearl', sold as a poor mans Disney. It had vinpearl spelt out on the hill, Hollywood style, the ultimate in tack. P1010523.jpgI loved it. We went to the waterpark which was brilliant. First stop was a bit of toboggan racing for the 6 of us.P1010530.jpg Turned out the boys were ridiculously competitive and there was a fair bit of cheating going on (I'm only sure of this because I came last every time).The park also had a ride called 'Tsunami' (still a bit too recent I thought), where you slid up and down a huge wave. P1010527.jpgWe spent pretty much all day at the waterpark then decided to check out the rest of vinpearl. We found an amazing arcade with two floors of games that were all free! P1010579.jpgI found a great game under the 'erotic' section where you had to 'spot the difference' between two hunks (This is Anna writing). After a pretty exhausting day we went back to the mainland and chilled out in 'why not?' eating cheeseburgers :-)
We spent the next couple of days chilling out on the beach and preparing for Adam's birthday. I spent an hour getting lost around Nha Trang looking for a few presents for Adam to open on his birthday, managed to find a birthday card and some wrapping paper too, was a bit of a mission! On his actual birthday we went to a local mud bath and hot springs centre. Jenny and Steve had told us it was a leisurely 20minute bike ride but we got lost and by the time we got there we were exhausted! We slipped into a mud bath and thought we had it to ourselves until two guys 'Matty and Steve' turned up and joined us. I made things instantly awkward by saying 'I hope none of us have a skin disorder'. We baked in the sun for a bit to dry out the mud then went into a lovely hot bath to soak...where Matty and Steve swiftly joined us. Afterwards we went to check out the swimming pool which was a sizzling 38 degrees.P1010621.jpg In the evening we went to a restaurant we'd been to a couple of times before which a lovely guy owned who gave us free wine for Adam's birthday.P1010629.jpg We ended the evening going for a waffle and ice cream which is where the evening took a turn for the worse. Some German bastard whose name I didn't catch so I'll call him Arsehole offered to take our photo. As I went to hand the camera over to him I almost dropped the ice cream out of my hand so in a quick but fatal move i decided to rescue the ice cream...dropping our beloved camera in the meantime. The look on Adams face was as if I'd dropped a newborn baby, he was literally speechless. Unfortunately the screen is pretty much screwed but luckily its covered on our insurance so once we get to Hanoi we're getting it fixed pronto, in the meantime apologies for our shitty photos. Next stop Hoi An! On a side note we had to make sure we left Nha Trang with 4 passports due to Jeremy and Victoria deciding that they didn't need them anymore. So we agreed, for a price of course, that we would meet them in Hoi An for the exchange.

Posted by palmer830 10:22 Archived in Vietnam Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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