I took delight in meeting Murrill at the airport and racing him the 20 minutes or so into District 1 (town center) via motorbike. If you don't know already, the roads in Vietnam are, well, unorthadox.
I received the execpted reaction of '****** ***** Jon, this place is crazy!' (not that Toby swears a lot, thats just for an exaggerated effect). I of course was acting all casual, shurgging my shoulders and explaining how it was Sunday and the road was quiet........I don't think he ever quite got used to the roads - its not possible within two weeks, it took me at least two months!
So I helped Toby out with some friendly backstreet accomodation and a good place it turned out for me to practice my Vietnamese. Although they can speak English there, they love it when white boy can badly pronounce a few words of native tounge. Here they are <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Luckily the middle weekend I had a couple of days off school, leaving a clear run of 4 days. We went to Nha Trang by overnight train. Nha Trang is not too far up the coast, but we're not talking the most modern of transport systems. Nha Trang looked something like this:
Phew! That took me ages on Photoshop - I'm rusty. Nha Trang obviously beautiful. Despite the fact that its only 8 hours from Ho Chi Minh, it has a totally differant climate - we left the wet season to enter the non-wet season. Great! We went on a boat trip which at first looked like it would be a complete disaster, being sandwiched amongst some serious contenders for tourist of the year, and the tourleader having no trouble attracting dogs to the quayside through the 17th century tannoy system. The day however panned out to be very pleasurable indeed, our worst fears subsiding as we went snorkeling, had a nice lunch and then drank at the floating bar in the sea. The rest of the time was spent, justifiably, on the beach. Me bronzing up, Murrill trying to wiggle out of the 'milkbottle' catagory. No comebacks on here Tob, sorry.
So back to HCMC and more of the same. Evenings eating out and me having the pleasure of introducing Minh Chi, she didn't fail with her usual charm, and it was great to see my best friend and my girl getting on so well! Here we are eating Vietnamese foods including 'Banh Xeo', Vietnamese pancakes...mmmm!
Good food and good company = good times!
Finally here is a shot of Minh Chi and myself.....in my house, picture courtesy of TM.
Hope this brings back the flavor of your visit Toby.
Thats all for now.