Posted by Julia:
So, after 6 days we finally decided it was time to make a break from Hoi An (before breaking our bank balances) and continue the move South. We booked soft seater air con train tickets from Hoi An to Quy Nhon and hoped to spend the day watching country life out the window of the train, relaxing, listening to music and reading our books.
WELL…. that was a bit optimistic as the air con carriages come with ‘entertainment’ Vietnamese style. We got to watch a variety show type thing on TV’s with music blaring from speakers along the ceiling of the train… it was so noisy we couldn’t sleep, read OR listen to our MP3 players. So instead Megan entertained the little 5 year old boy sitting behind us (he was a cutie and obviously so chuffed to be playing with foreigners), we played cards for a bit and basically just ‘waited out’ the 5 hour journey trying not to let the music stress us out too much!
We arrived at Quy Nhon, a little town off the beaten track that was recomended to us by a Kiwi and Ozzie that had a ball there. There are a few Kiwi connections to Quy Nhon as there are a number of NZers volunteering in the area. We stayed at a place called ‘Barbaras Backpackers’ (run by a Kiwi called Barbara) and our first stop was dinner at the ‘Kiwi Cafe’. I must say,after the Kiwi pub in Halong Bay the Kiwi Cafe in Quy Nhon was a bit disappointing – not an iota of kiwi paraphenalia anywhere and the only ‘kiwi’ food on the menu was home baking, scones, fish and chips and vegemite. Having said that, vegemite is technically Australian and the jar that was provided with my bagette expired in Feb 2007 and had a thick layer of dust on the lid! Oh well, it was a nice treat (Marmite is disgusting, Vegemite rocks!).
So… in the morning we decided to take a walk along the beach – now that was an exprience in itself (poor Megs took an hour or two to recover)… there is an area that is very poor in the middle section of the beach where the government has tried to relocate the people against their will and has knocked down the ‘illegal’/unregistered buildings. The people haven’t moved and are simply squatting in the rubble… it seriously looked like a disaster zone. We felt uncomfortable walking along the street so I decided we should walk along the beach front…. not a good idea at all. Two minutes walking along the water I saw a girl going for her morning poo near the waters edge – I looked around and saw that we were actually walking though the town toilet… this explained the terrible smell (along with the rotting fish) and needless to say we left Quy Nhon as quickly as we could!
We legged it to the train station, the only seats we could get were hard seats with fan (in the scheme of things this really didn’t matter). Believe it or not it was a lot more relaxing than the air con variety show entertainment train experience the day before!!! We had a great time being stared at, playing cards, playing with the kids, checking out the live chicken sitting in the seat next to us, talking (sort of) to the locals and just watching the world go by. We are now in Nha Trang, a nice beach town about 3/4 down the length of Vietnam – we have found a room with a sea view, balcony, pool and free internet for $15US a night. We have discovered a bar down the road that sells 2 yummy cocktails for $3.50 NZ (thats for 2 cocktails!). Tomorrow we plan to spend the day on the beach working on our tans while we get food and cocktails delivered to our deck chairs….. bliss…. watch this space!
Oh and before I forget, we hit a new motorbike record today: we spotted 2 adults and 3 kids on the one motorbike! The previous record was 2 adults 2 kids.