A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Dear Kraft

Thank you for saving me

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That you for saving me on another series of over-priced and long taxi-bus-taxi-ferry-taxi rides. I was woken up at an ungodly hour, didn’t eat breakfast this morning (which we all know is a fatal error in my world) and I mostly didn’t know where I was, where to go or what to ask for. Now that I am on the second last leg of this trip and am certain of my destination, I finally have a chance to cool down and reflect. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that your compact pack of Oreos saved me. Much appreciated.

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I’ll be sure to toast to your global dominance with a cocktail as soon as I find a home, and then bar on Phu Quoc Island.

Yours,
Jayne Tired-of-bus-trips Holness

Posted by JayneHol 07:49 Archived in Vietnam Tagged food vietnam oreos saviour kraft kraft_foods sanity Comments (0)

Phu What?

What booking?

sunny 33 °C

Phew!
Phu Quoc. Phu what? Ph U too. Got room? What room? This room that I paid for. That room? Their room. No longer my room. One night. Last night, not next night. Tonight? Not? Maybe? Yes. And no. No show. Show me the money. Give back my money.

Next room. No room. Maybe tomorrow room. Not tomorrow. No tomorrow. Nowhere tomorrow. You sleep hammock? What? Tent? Uh…I’m spent.

My money? We sorry. Sorry, you’re not. I’m sorry. So sorry. So not. So not anywhere. Anything. Not sympathetic. Seething. Teething. Snarls like dead dog. Don’t book. Don’t not book. Don’t, but do come to such a wonderful island. Ferry tomorrow? Sleep on the beach? Sigh. Seethe. Snarl. Sob. Smoke a cigarette. Just stand and stare.

Why did I give up that room for this one night?

Stand. Stare. Glare. My money? My million? So sorry. You find room? What room? Your room? Their room?

Phu

Stand back. Start again. Sixteenth hotel. No? Yes. Got it.

High season. No season. No reason. Phuck!

Stand tall. Start again.

And end up at the humble place in town across the road. No no’s. No cheats. New sheets. No shit. 3 nights. Hot showers. See the sea. Start again. Sing praise. Say thanks. Sigh. Sleep tight. Smile. SMILE.

I suspect that beyond the money-sick beachfront, there exists a charm I’m so glad to have discovered. Tomorrow will be great. This is a stupidly beautiful island. Thank you to Hotel Hiep Thoai and Quang Vinh restaurant!

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Posted by JayneHol 08:01 Archived in Vietnam Tagged accommodation travel vietnam holiday booking phu_quoc_island hiep_thoai_hotel quang_vinh_restaurant Comments (0)

This is the Life

Phu Quoc Island

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I finally plucked up the courage to rent a scooter like everybody should do at least once in Vietnam. And after all my pathetic fears, I am so glad I did :-) Happy New Year from Phu Quoc Island!

Bai Sao at the bottom of the Island:

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So proud!

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The western side of the island:

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The Jellyfish:

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For Tien, but perhaps a little bit of a gloat and wish-you-were-here to the friends I refused to let come. I'm sorry.

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Happy New Year!

Posted by JayneHol 03:33 Archived in Vietnam Tagged beach travel backpack vietnam island paradise tropical happiness relax scooter phu_quoc_island courage i_miss_you Comments (0)

Best Day in Vietnam

North up Phu Quoc Island

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Today involved a motorbike meander to the top left point of the island- to Bai Dai. And what a splendid day it was!

Okay, so I almost drove into a taxi after panicking and subsequently being unable to trust myself to turn, but after that I remembered to be confident and always look ahead. Successful tips once you've figured out how not to be a road hazard in a busy Vietnamese town and have figured how to get the bloody indicator to switch off and not just to signal the opposite direction.

The panic subsided to reveal long stretches of dirt road along almost deserted beaches, through a couple fishing villages and to the little harbour and village at the top. If you make it out of the 2km stretch of touristed Long Beach, with beach front resorts and restaurants, there is still ample authentic and almost uncorrupted Vietnam to discover. (Sadly, this won't be for long. The villagers of Bai Dai are to be moved in the next few years to make way for a mammoth development project...It's tragic and yet so unsurprising)

For me, this is the way to wind down a brilliant holiday (and get over slight loser complex after a mildly isolated New Year's Eve) and it is what I will remember:

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Posted by JayneHol 03:27 Archived in Vietnam Tagged harbour travel vietnam beautiful bike phu_quoc_island bai_cua_can bai_dai blissful Comments (0)

Sweating in Saigon

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I'm bracing myself for another day of sticky sweat in Saigon.

I hope it's over quickly. I will fill you in when I have returned, showered, settled, sighed and shed another tear (of joy for surviving).

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Posted by JayneHol 20:02 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Sweating in Saigon II

Same same, but different

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I've got 30 minutes until I get picked up to go to the airport. I'm short about 14 hours sleep over the last two days and can only think as fast as a sleepless memory will allow, which is not particularly fast, if it has speed at all. I'll write this entry when I have nothing to do at the airport. Maybe when I have 12 hours to kill in Malaysia. Just not now.

So...Saigon.
Same same. but different. Therefore, not at all.
I'm not a fan. It's another city in the East.

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It stares at me.
People vomit in the road. Other people walk into that vomit. Jens and I laugh at other people walking into that vomit. Jens drops his writing book in someone's pool of spit. I almost vomit.

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I'm bad at crossing the roads. Jens saves me every time. I get it, but I don't get it right. I keeping looking right, which is wrong.

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It's loud. It screams at itself and then it screams back. I scream at it in my head.
It sticks to you like chewing gum. And the 5 year olds that sell it side by side with cigarettes on the sidewalk.
It's proud of people who should be banned from travelling. Maybe they shouldn't. Maybe they should just stay in Saigon. Maybe I shouldn't stay there at all.

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It's selling its soul. I'm sure some's already sold. Not to me. I just watched. And it buzzed and blared by...

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...except when we ate.
First at an enormous local restaurant that is like a fast, furious, hot, sticky, shouting, rice-filled, happy-birthday-song-saturated, plastic-chaired Spur on Steroids.

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And then the meagre R35 indulgence at a street cafe of Saigon sorts with some of the best food I may have had. All simply to toast the making of friends and to say goodbye.

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Farewell, Vietnam. And remember, always keep it real.

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I went for the massage. Life is feeling more ordered. Here are some more pics:

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Posted by JayneHol 16:32 Archived in Vietnam Tagged city vietnam asia saigon ho-chi_minh_city same_same keep_it_real Comments (0)

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