Thursday, January 20, 2011

nam dreams

I've calmed down to an apocalyptic fit.

We got our Vietnam visas within 48 hours, and that little sticker has ramped me into a dreamy state of pre-holiday bliss.

This is, you understand, the first visa that my Brit has ever had to get. Hark! A Brit having to get a visa, imagine that? I was loving this obviously.
"Ooh now you're going to realise the admin of getting a VISA, darling."


"...the paperwork, the booking of flights, the expense, the standing in queues, the feeling of quasi-criminality..."

Except that it was the easiest visa process ever, ever.

We were front of the queue, had to fill in one measly form, no supporting documents, simply hand over the cashola. Like most third world countries, Vietnam operates a visa system for all foreigners just for the money, not necessarily the security.

Sixty quid and five minutes later, we were done.

Now to just buy our bright and shiny new backpacks. The Brit has already stocked up on cans of sun cream. Which I suppose, is very unBritish. Most Brits are known for lounging around on the Costa del Sol chugging Stella and turning a poignant shade of lobster el rouge.

Not my little Brit. To be fair, my skin is now mirroring the nation in which I now immerse myself. A complexion of the white and pasty manifestation from 80% less sunshine as to what I'm used to.

Since being able to drive (and I worry I am forgetting as the months roll by....fuck! It's been 6 months since I drove a motor vehicle), I have always had a tanned right arm. From sitting in the traffic while the Joburg sun refracts itself through my window.

Nowadays, with a blueish tinge to my overall colour, I'm going to be stereotyped as a classic Brit flying over for cheap cocktails, sun and fuckloads of rice.

'Brits Abroad!' they will yell, as I attempt to squeeze my thighs through the leg holes of my bikini. (Or more accurately, "Blits Abload! Two dollar love you long time.")

We've been scouring our Lonely Planet any chance we get, while looking for places off the beaten track that promise a vacuum in technology (zero Internet access, phones), and have mapped out a nice little flexible itinerary for ourselves:

That's a rough route, using all modes of transport - flights, trains, buses and boats.
A bit of Bangkok, a bit of Hanoi, a bit of Halong Bay, a bit of Hue and Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh.

We'll be doing it two ways - from very basic to a treat somewhere in the middle.
At one beach we will practically sleep on the sand, with a bamboo screen serving as our roof.

At another, we'll throw some pounds behind some luxury. Hopefully encompassing everything from free beach loungers, free cocktails and a few well earned massages.

And we'll be staying on a boat. In this ridiculously beautiful setting. We are going to be pirates!

Hold me back, just over a week to go.


Gail said...

Whoooooooooot! that sounds freaking fakking-tastic!

Natalie said...

make sure to get some clothes custom made in Hoi An - was my favourite place in Vietnam! cute town, great architecture and tailors all in one place. One tip tho - good to have an idea of what you want made before you get there, or take some mags, they only have Next catalogues in most of the shops. boring!

ps. Nha Trang is great for some beach time and cocktails if you can fit it in

Have fun!

Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monkigirl said...

Have you ever seen the Top Gear episode where they drive all over Vietnam on Scooters? Perhaps good research... Sounds really cool though!

Charmskool said...

The boat (pirate ship) looks freaking amazing!!!!!! I wanna beeee there..... How will you sleep till then? You lucky cow. I'm officially jealous.

Peas on Toast said...

Gail - I have to say it totally does, tee hee! :)

Natalie - definitely, we have checked out a few catalogues already and already know which shop we will go to to get our tailored stuff done - me a blazer and the Brit a full suit :)

Still deliberating on Nha Trang, either way it'll be somewhere near there!

Monki - We did indeed! Saw it last weekend, absolutely hilarious! I am in love with Richard Hammond too see, so it was a double treat :)

Charm - I am not sleeping. I am clawing my way to the finish line/the day we depart :)

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