A Travellerspoint blog

lee day

my special trip, meeting up with Charlie and Ross

After my 15 hour journey and an overnight stay in Bangkok I took a short flight to Luang Prabang, full of anticipation and the excitement of seeing Charlie and Ross again.

I sat next to a very nice young Thai man who told me all about his lovely family, he offered to share his nut's to which I politely declined.
I soon learnt along the way that the Thai's and the Vietnamese are more than happy to share what little they have.

Luang Prabang airport is very small small and more akin to an old fashioned English country railway station.

Walking through I heard "HELLO" and there they were, the two of them looking so healthy and happy with a definite travellers aura. We set off to the Government office. They had arranged to have my visa sorted out by a very kind man who had opened his office on a Bank Holiday!
Once sorted we made our way to our guesthouse which was lovely. I soon settled in and felt very relaxed and happy.
Luang Prabang is a beautiful little place along the Mekong River with quaint streets every which way, very laid back with lots of art galleries and good value restaurants and spectacular views from the highest point, well worth the 300 steps!

After a few days we took a flight to Hanoi, we had no idea it would be so cold. We arrived late in the evening only to find our hotel closed for TET holiday! we went to a hotel next door to a warm welcome and left it to Charlie to negotiate a good rate, which of course she did. We settled in and went off to explore the local area. It was full of backpacker haunts playing good music and serving good cheap food and a much needed hot rum toddy, two for one. We marched our way around like tourists, taking in the sights keeping warm and laughing all the way.
In some of the more upmarket bars/restaurants we were surrounded by very young 'trendys' who drank milkshakes and ate chips whilst texting on their latest mobiles.
One of the most interesting places was the war museum, we climbed into fighter planes and tanks and I have to say it sent cold shivers through you at the vulnerability and sheer fear they must have felt. One area was bombed by the Americans at a rate of 4 bombs per head!

An overnight train took us to Hoi An, we shared our cabin with a nice Vietnamese family who kindly bought us food on the way. I really enjoyed the journey much to C&R's surprise.
We arrived at our hotel, took one look at it & the feeling of dread filtered through the taxi...the bags came out..the bags went in..the owner came out "welcome we have no hot water but we fix tomorrow". We were back in the taxi 'toot sweet' and off to a much nicer hotel.

Hoi An was much more attractive once the shops were closed, and free of tourists, you could then see the real beauty of the buildings, all very colourful and French. We found a great restaurant called Sreets run by an American couple, the ethos being similar to Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. Ross made good use of the book exchange shops while Charlie and I browsed the many silk shops.

We all agreed by now that we needed some sun and beach, so we headed south to Nha Trang which has a lovely beach. We had a lot of fun and laughs with the many elderly beach hawkers, they were very sweet and had a cheeky sense of humour. The noisy city was too much and we had had enough of dodging scooters that never stop to let you cross the road. That said we did make light of it and just did the same as everyone else...walked straight out without stopping..it work's.

We then booked a flight to Bangkok arriving at a backpackers hostel, I had no idea what to expect and to my surprise was cool & modern with a great atmosphere but, the lady at reception looked worried! "so sorwee I have no woom, booking not come froo". After some deliberation and phone calls Ms 'No Woom' escorted us to another hotel nothing like hers but for one night it was fine. It was a small hotel/ traditional coffee house with all kinds of coffee making paraphenalia. After eating some street food around midnight with some kind toothless locals, we slept. By 07.30 the next day we were on a train to Hua Hin, passing paddy fields, shaks and 30's style houses. A tuk tuk took us on a bumpy ride to our little boutique hotel. It was everything we wanted, stunning rooms with big comfortable beds and stunning decor. We hit the beach asap and relaxed, got baked in the hot sun whilst watching the many 'kite surfers' with envy. I loved it! and if anything inspires you to get fit and take up a new sport that has to be it. We had masages on the beach which ended with some fresh pineapple to eat, what more could we want.

A visit to the night market was wonderful, the fresh fish stalls were amazing, some of the fish I had never seen before, we ate out of traditional metal bowls and savoured every bit.
Ross became our very own Mr Bargaining Dude and insisted on 'Thai price' all the way, he was in his element and so were we after parting with not much cash for some great tee shirts and dresses.
We spent my last evening at a beachside boutique hotel restaurant and had the best cocktails under a full orange moon. Delightful!

I feel sad now writing this knowing what I have left behind. I am now back to the reality of work, cold weather and saving to meet up with Charlie and Ross again to share a little more of their adventure.

I send them all my love and thanks for inviting me to be a small part of it.

Posted by charlieandross 09:56

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Comments

Hi Lee,

This is a great piece - we really enjoyed reading about your trip and the experiences you shared with Charlie and Ross.

It sounds like you had a magical time!

Love from
Scott, Anna & Oliver x

by Scott Baker

Thank you for being our first 'Guest Blogger'!!! and doing our travel blog so much justice. We so enjoyed having you join us as part of our trip and it left a hole in our travel group when you went home. Such good fun (sorry it was cold in parts). We'll be adding some photo's shortly, pending internet access. Lots of love, Ross & Charlie.xxxx

by charlieandross

Well done Lee, a very evocative and witty report, we really enjoyed it. You've missed your vocation, park the scissors and take up travel journalism!
Love,
John and Maureen xx

by vancoevorden13

Lee

What a lovely story - enjoyed every second of it and keep coming back to read it again and again. Sounds such a great time - and what an adventure! Hope you make it out again before they are back.
Much love to you all

Phil
x

by philsnipes

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