Nah trang and reunion part 2!

After a very bumpy night bus, we arrived in Nah trang super early! Rosy, Ella, Emma, Miles and Henna had already been there for a day, so we headed to mojzo inn where they were staying. When we arrived the guy on reception was clearly expecting us as the others had obviously mentioned it, while we were checking in he went up and woke them all up to let them know we were here!! Barring it mind it was 6am! We felt very bad, but luckily everyone went back to sleep!

Charlie and I couldn’t check into our dorm until midday so we chilled out in the lounge area until it was time for breakfast. We had great pancakes and an omelette while we waited for the others to wake up for a second time! Once everyone had eaten we decided to head to the mud spa that I’d heard about. We all got changed and were picked up by an elongated golf buggy!

When we arrived we were taken straight to our bud bath. As there were 7 of us we were given the biggest bath. As they started filling it with mud we were taken over to the first mineral shower area which was a huge circle with tones of shower heads at the top. Once we were all soaked we were taken back to our bud bath. One by one we gradually got in. The mud was lovely and warm and also much thinner than we were all expecting! It didn’t really stick to you in the way you would imagine, it was far more watery. We all covered ourselves in the mud and took a variety of funny pictures on rosys water proof camera before getting out to shower off. The next part was like a big grown up mineral water park. The area that you go to to wash off all the mud was full of jets pointing out all over the place! There was one that looked like a big fountain with jets shooting up from the floor, one that was like a walkway with jets shooting at you from both sides and one fairly normal looking shower one. As we didn’t know the difference we decided to try them all!

Once we were all dried off we claimed some sun bed by the pool and went to get lunch. The food was actually pretty good and the portions were HUGE! When everyone had eating so much they felt sick we went to go lie in the sun like big beached whales! After a few hours we headed back to get showered properly and changed for our big night out!

We went for dinner at a roof top bar type place, the food really wasn’t that great, but Ella and I both enjoyed ours! Next we went to a bar with the craziest promoter lady ever!! She came running out into the street to hug us all before forcing us into her bar! We had one drink there before slying off so we didn’t get stopped! Next we went to a place called red apple as the others had been there the night before and said it was really busy, however when we turned up we were the only people there! But it was happy hour and they were doing two for one on sprits so we stayed. After Emma and miles had played their game of pool we decided to move on again. We ended up at a place round the corner from where we ate which was much more lively.

We stayed here and had quite a few drinks, had a dance and generally enjoyed ourselves until charlie decided he was hungry so the two of us as well as Emma went in search of some food. We found a little shack selling some sort of German sausage and got one of those before going back and attempting to sleep, while the girl and guy in the bed above me went at it like rabbits all night.

The next day charlie and I wanted to go to vinpearl which is vietnams version of disney land, minus the Disney characters! The others had already been the day before so they went to the beach instead. Charlie and I got a cab to the cable cart that takes you across to vinpearl island……yes it’s on it’s own island! As soon as we got off we jump straight onto the only “roller coaster” they had there. It was a bit like the flying fish at Thorpe park only shorter! Then we headed straight over to the water park section as the others had told us this was the best part. We dropped off our stuff and headed to the first slide. We went down and all the Vietnamese were laughing at charlie because he made such a big splash when we came down!! We went on pretty much every water slide they had and spent a good two hours there before realising it was almost 3pm already and we hadn’t had any lunch yet! So we got dry and went in hunt for food. Sadly vinpearl was very limited with there food selection. There was either a big “fancy” restaurant or lotto which is effectively a shit version of burger king and we had already been warned not to go there. So we found a random food stall that did the classic Vietnamese dish “chicken nuggets and chips!” I probably should have mentioned before that Nah trang is FULL of russians. I’m not quite sure why, we havant really come across many Russians elsewhere in Vietnam, but for some reason they obviously love Nah trang.

Anyway, after we’d had our delightful lunch we decided to cue for the lugging style ride next. Well I say cue, it was more like an elbowing match until we got into a space where people couldn’t really push in front of us any more! After cueing for about an hour we finally got to the front. The cart that you sit in was similar to lugging in that you have a leaver that you lift to make you go and lift further to break. It was on a raised track that gave you a beautiful view of Nah trang. The idea is to go down it fast, hence it being in a theme park, however you are slightly limited by how fast you can go by the person in front of you as there is no way of over taking. Sadly I had some granny in front of me who clearly thought this was more of a scenic view than a ride as she was breaking at every given opportunity. We got to the end a little pissed off that we had cued so long for it to be ruined by someone woman who had pushed in front of us!

We went back up to the main entrance area just to catch the end of the parade before jumping back on the cable cart to go back. The others were leaving that night so we wanted to make it back in time to say goodbye to them. Once we’d said our fair wells, charlie and I headed to a place called lanterns for dinner. It was a really cute little restaurant with no ceiling, covered in lanterns. We had the most amazing dinner there, we both tried their yellow curry as it was recommended and it was sooooooo good!!

When we were finished we went back to the hostel to pack up all our stuff and get an early night as we had a 6am bus to catch, however this didn’t quite go to plan due to the assholes in our room who came it shouting at 3am and then deliberately carried on when they saw we were trying to sleep. Then more of them came in at 4am, again being as loud as they possibly could. It’s safe to say both charlie and I were fuming and very happy to turn on all the lights and slam the door when we left at 6am!

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Hoi an

As the journey from hue to hoi an is only about 4ish hours they run a day time bus rather than a night one, so we left first thing in the morning. The journey wasn’t too bad apart from the fact that there was no air con! We got chatting to three lovely english students who had just done a semester in Singapore. When we arrived the five of us sort of stuck together and we went on the longest hunt for accommodation!

Our friend James who we met at the farm stay was already here with our other friend Nadia. They were staying at an hoi hotel and had said they had managed to get us a pretty good price, so we set off for there. Unfortunately when we arrived it was a different person on reception who knew nothing about the arrangement and was trying to charge us $20 for a room which was out of our price range. So we decided to carry on looking and stupidly thought the beach was pretty close so we headed in that direction. After at least an hour of traipsing around in the midday sun with our huge bags we decided to give up as the beach was no where in site and we were all hungry and tired. So we got a cab back to an hoi and started negotiating. We managed to get them down to just $14 if we didn’t have breakfast, but we had heard breakfast was pretty crap anyway so we weren’t too fussed! Hoi an is a beautiful little town with a very strong French influence so it was funny walking around everywhere as it almost felt like the back streets of Paris!

After showering and chilling out for a bit we all meet up to go for dinner. The only up side to having walked around pretty much the whole town that day was that we had already pretty much got our bearings and knew where stuff was! We ended up at a restaurant called green moss, which despite the name did really good food. James and Nadia met us there and we all had a lovely group meal. Once everyone had finished someone mentioned pudding, so we went in search of some cakes! There are also tones of little French patisseries dotted around the town so it wasn’t hard to find somewhere. While we were polishing off our cakes we heard a huge crash from the street, we all ran out to discover there had been a big motorbike accident. We were all a little stunned and didn’t really know what to do, there was a guy lying unconscious in the road. Luckily he had a helmet on otherwise it could have been a lot worse. Eventually someone who looked like police arrived so we figured there wasn’t much we could do. We headed back to the hotel but spotted a cute little night market on the way. At night hoi an gets even cuter as it is covered in colourful lanterns that are all lit up. There was a huge stand at the market selling them, but charlie and I agreed we had no where to put one!

The next morning we had a bit of a lie in before meeting the others to go to the beach. We decided to get a cab this time, rather than walking for hours! We arrived at lunch time so we found a spot on the beach that also did food. We chilled out here for a couple of hours before heading back. Once we got back we decided to have a wonder round the shops. Hoi an is know for its tailoring, so every other shop is a tailors of some kind, be it clothes, shoes, bags, anything! Nadia was already in the process of getting some stuff made, so I arranged to meet her for her fitting so I could see how it turned out. She was getting two jackets and two dresses made at different places, so we went off in search of the first one. All of the stuff she was getting made was lovely! In particular one of her coats. When she put it on I fell in love with it, so much so that I decided to get one made too! After I’d been all measured up we went to meet charlie and James for dinner at a place called good morning Vietnam, which had been recommended to me by miss squire! It was a lovely little Italian place and the food was AMAZING!! Once we’d finished eating it was still pretty early, so we decided to go for some drinks. We had a cocktail at this one awful bar before quickly leaving and finding somewhere better! The next place that we went to was much nicer so we settled there. While at the bar we got our first glimpse of snake wine. We had heard of rice wine but not snake wine and it wasn’t until charlie spotted the snakes head staring at him in the jar that we realised what it was! It was very creepy looking, and we all agreed we didn’t think it would taste great so passed on that one! Many cocktails later we realised we were the only people left in the bar so we called it a night!

The next morning I had arranged to meet Nadia so we could go to our fittings together. Charlie decided he’d had enough of shopping the day before so he stayed in bed. James decided to join us and showed us to this great little coffee shop that did amazing pastries, so we grabbed some breakfast before heading to the fittings. My coat was basically finished which I was amazed about! How they managed to create a brand new coat from scratch in about 12hours was so impressive! And it was basically perfect, only very tinny adjustments needed to be made to the hood and buttons! Once we were finished i grabbed some lunch from cargo the coffee shop we went to for breakfast and met back up with charlie. We decided to go to the beach again as it was a lovely day, however this time James had a different spot to show us. We got a cab down there again, and the area he took us to was lovely. It was far quieter with hardly any people trying to sell you stuff, and far prettier. We stayed there for most of the afternoon before heading back for mine and nadias final fittings. Everything was perfect so I collected my cost and Nadia got her bits too, luckily hers were all good as she was leaving that evening. We met up with the boys and sadly I was out numbered in wanting to go for a curry so we went to a place called Ganesh which James had been to before. It was horrid and I didn’t enjoy it, but everyone else seemed to! After dinner, sadly, Nadia had to get her flight down to ho chi min, so we said our goodbyes.

Charlie had now decided that he wanted a coat too, so we went back to the place where I had mine done and he showed them what he wanted. After they had measured him we went back in the direction of the hotel as James had a 6am flight to catch so didn’t want a late one, but we ended up stopping off at a little place on the way back anyway for a couple of beers.

The next day was our last day in hoi an. Our bus left at 4:30pm for nah trang so we had half a day to fill. We grabbed breakfast at cargo again before heading up for Charlie’s fitting. His coat needed quite a few tweaks so he was a little disappointed at first. Once he was done we wondered round the shops and grabbed some lunch, killing time before his next fitting at 2pm. When we went back his coat was much better but still needed some bits changed. Eventually when we went back at 4pm everything was done so we had to make a quick dash back to the hotel to get our bags and jump on the bus.

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Phuket and koh lanta

We jumped on our boat to Phuket just before lunch time and it took a couple of hours. We made it to our hotel after a long treck with our bags an checked in.

We didn’t do a huge amount while we were in phuket as we had had a few days of partying hard so we wanted to chill a bit, and save some money! We were also quite unlucky with the weather as it rained for a couple of days which meant we did pretty much nothing but play cards!

On our second to last day however we booked in to go to a cooking class. It started just after midday and charlie and I had already picked the dishes we wanted to cook. Charlie learnt how to make a panaeng curry, raad na which is a noodle dish in a thick gravy sauce and dancing fish with green lipstick, don’t ask me why it’s called that, but it was! I learnt how to make a red curry, noodle soup and paad su which is very similar to paad thi but with soy sauce instead of peanut. We were doing the class with 3 other Australian ladies who were all very nice. We started off learning all about different Thai herbs and spices and what each one was used for. We also learnt about different sauces such as light and dark soy and oyster sauce, what goes into them and what they are used for. Once we knew the basics it was time for each of us to make one dish each. Charlie made his raad na and I did my paad su. We were both so surprised at how quick they were to make. Once everyone had made there first dish we all sat down and shared all the food we had made. It was a delicious feast and everyone was swapping notes on how they made their dish. When everyone had finished eating we started cooking our second two dishes. To start with we needed to make the paste which is the base to any Thai curry. First we tried all the different ingredients that go into the paste and then added them all to a pestle and mortar and crushed them all together. Once that was done we could all start cooking. Again the meals were done super quickly and soon enough we were sat down again this time with an even bigger feast!

The next day charlie and I left for koh lanta, it was a fairly long tip as we had to go all the way back to koh phi phi and change boats to go on to koh lanta. When we arrived we managed to haggle for a very nice room and ended up staying for 4days doing nothing but chilling by the pool and beach and eating great food! We tried to have a really chilled out few days as our next stop was koh phangan for full moon so we knew it would be crazy from then on.

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