Monday, February 21, 2011
We are headed south today. Well south-ish. Central Vietnam. Halong Bay was beautiful, fueled by rum and good times, but it's cold up here. We live in Britain. We need some sun, and fuckloads of it.
We deliberated on how we are going to get south for a few days. Most travellers take buses or trains. Most travellers are here for a few months. We are here two weeks. The train ride is 21 hours. Non-stop. Either we could throw ourselves willingly into the burning cauldrons of Hell or...fly.
Flying internally in Vietnam is almost the same price as taking a Death Machine, aka bus/train. So who am I the fuck to argue?
We booked a flight, and two hours later we nestled in sub-tropical central Vietnam.
This is the part of the trip that we plan to blow some serious pound.
We henceforth threw off the ski jackets and checked in at the Palm Garden Resort, on the edge of [exquisitely ridiculous] Hoi An.
The taxi driver: "You Amelican?"
Peas: No not American.
Peas: You hate American?
Taxi driver: Yes. I hate Amelican. Me in war. Look, marine base, there.
Sure enough, a large, huge, inhabited old marine airforce base, right on the beach in Danang. He was the first Vietnamese person we'd come into contact with who'd openly admitted hating Americans as a result of the war.
So we cruise into our resort. Jump on the bed, slip into the complimentary dressing gowns and slippers, spend a lot of time in the spa bath in our room.
As a friend of mine is known to say, I quote: This is the life in which I was meant to be born.
The following day, we took our Pasty Is Tasty bodies to the beach, and promptly burnt my feet. Blister-style. Lobster feet as a result of schoolboy errorous lack of Factor 30.
Albeit, the obligatory pina coladas were consumed while I splayed out my body for a proper bronzing in the sun. I'd almost forgotten how.
We got sozzled on gins by the pool, in between eating and reading a real book again. Jesus how long has it been since I turned real book-bound pages?
Hoi An was, and still is, the most beautiful town we went to in the whole of Vietnam. As it was Chinese New Year, there were lanterns and shit hanging everywhere and was super festive. The buildings are all thousands of years old, and the streets were filled with tourists as a result of it's ancient oriental stunningness.
We bought the token cone hats and walked around in those for a few hours. Then the Brit stood in a nest of fire ants and lost his rag.
Ended off on a rooftop terrace, eating local 'cao lau' - noodles, croutons and pork - over wine. A full three course meal, in this incredible setting cost us altogether 20 pounds. Ridonkulous.
The following day we booked ourselves in for some hectic pampering. Or in the Brit's case, man-pampering. Sauna, steam room, Peas got her nails done, body massage, foot massage, with meal thrown in.
Basically couldn't do much after that except laze around in a blobby euphoria.
So that was our Vietnam splurge. I took back 5 years of my life thanks to it.