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Checking out at Ho Chi Minh City

overcast 25 °C

Hello Everyone, first of all, a huge thank you to all who posted birthday messages for me - it was lovely to get them from so many of you, especially as we are unable to access any social networking sites in Vietnam (communist country etc). I'm glad many of you enjoyed Colin on my behalf, I had food envy! For those who have posted things on facebook, sorry I have not responded, but we cannot access anything at the moment.

So, we have had a speedy journey through Vietnam, and at times we felt like we were chasing something that wasn't there. While we all really enjoyed Hanoi - so interesting and atmospheric, the rest of our journey has lacked that 'something'. After Hanoi, we took the 18 hour train journey to Hoi An. Though this sounds gruelling, it was much better than we all expected and we shared a cabin with a lovely Vietnamese family. Ross actually got 'tucked in' by one of them...funny but very caring....and cheered him up on the day the first true homesickness took him by surprise. We shared snacks throughout the journey and everything was going well until the train broke down and was spearated, which meant everyone from the other carriage joined us. Cosy it was, we eventually arrived Hoi An. Hoi An is descirbed as a UNESCO Heritage town (akin to Luang Prabang in Laos). Maybe we were spoilt by Luang Prabang, but this felt more 'oldy worldy' than historic, and overly touristic to be able to see any of the crumbling, gorgeous buildings we were hoping to see. Nonetheless, the place was lovely for wandering around and we found a great little cafe/restaurant called STREETS that supports disadvantaged teens & young adults through employment and culinary training.

TET holidays coupled with the fact that everyone was doing the same as us (chasing the sun), buses and trains were fully booked and slow, so we treated ourselves to a flight to Nha Trang for some beach and sunshine. Nha Trang is described as the Jewel of Vietnam's beaches - the beach was lovely and the three of us had a great time, but the town itself is like Croydon town centre with a beach.

So, here we are, writing from the airport of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), awaiting our connecting flight to Bangkok. We were all very curious about Vietnam and Hanoi in particular was excellent, but overall, the remainder of our trip gave us little in the way of cultural stimulation - this in itself is fascinating for a 'communist' country. It possesses little in the way of identity as a nation/country and appears to be influenced by Japan, China, France and the U.S which is ironic. It certainly feels capitalist and the nation has a comparatively good quality of life, to their neighbours in SE Asia. As a result of this lack of cultural stimulus, we haven't taken many photo's....sorry!

Aside from that, I have loved my Mum being here and we have all had a good laugh throughout, which has been excellent.

We will most definitely return to this part of the continent soon, to visit Cambodia, but for now, we are heading to Hua Hin for some sun & beach (we are feeling knackered), after which, Ross and I may try to get some beachside bar work (Vietnam hasn't been cheap!)

Love to all, keep the messages coming!

Ross and Charlie
xxxxx

Posted by charlieandross 22:06 Archived in Vietnam

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Comments

We really enjoyed the new photographs with Lee and you all look so tanned. We're suffering snow, slush and freezing weather at the moment, so we're a tad envious! As for getting some bar work, if Ross has remembered to pack his 'Borat' style swimming costume, he could hire himself out as an exotic dancer. Just a thought. Actually, it's quite a revolting thought, just stick with pouring drinks Ross!!
Stay safe,
Love, Mum and Dad B xx

by vancoevorden13

Hi Guys,

Sounds like your having so many amazing experiences - and photos look amazing!
I had a nice spa day at the sanctiary yesterday - I know your appreciate that Charlie - hee hee!
Me & Ash kids are all good, ash working as hard as ever, Lilly the ultimate diva and luke still keeping me up all night - ha ha ha. They both loved the snow and we took them sledging which was hilarious, Luke totally loved it and didnt want to go home bless him!

Anyway keep the stories coming, much love

xxx

by StephieB

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