Sunday, March 18, 2007

Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Saigon, Phnom Penh

I haven't been in touch in a good while and alot of the stuff I've done is even fading from the memory banks. I had to look at the photos to recap what I'd done.

More photos here:
Hoi An, Nha Trang, Mui Ne

We headed to Marble Mountain the following morning. Was very nice. Some of the carvings of Buddha in the caves were very impressive. Could see China Beach from ther top of here. This was the beach where the Americans were sent for R&R (Rest and Recuperation) during the American war. The beach wasn't too impressive and is really only an extension of the much nicer beach in Hoi An which is about 40 km south of here. We had to get back to Hoi An from here and then we were back on the bus for another 12 hour trip down the coast to Nha Trang. I tell you Magellan and Columbus had it easy.

Nha Trang was just fabulous. The beaches here were amazing although the water was a bit dirty with hints of the beach in Cahore when they open the gates of the canal. Alot of what we did here was lounging about on deck chairs working on our sunburn. The first night we were here we met a crowd of Irish and an American. It went downhill from here. Needless to say the next morning/afternoon was very slow to start. We had great craic here and the nightlife was super. We did mudbaths the following day. The heat of the water here was amazing. The 4th day night we were here we did a tour of the islands. The snorkelling went fine until a couple of jellyfish were blown in my direction. Didn't get badly stung but it messed up the snorkelling. On one of the islands myself and Caroline did paragliding towed behind a speedboat. The floating bar was also good with Caroline doing well at leading the band at a couple of bars of the Fields of Athenry. Some of the photos in the Aquarium on the way home were very good.

It was off to Mui Ne with us the following day for more beaches. This is a surfing kind of town. Nice and relaxed kind of place. The second day we headed for the sanddunes which are so big it's like a desert. Very impressive though.

2 days in Mui Ne and then we were back on the road to Saigon. The highlight of the bus trip being when the bus driver was trying to force her into a seat she says "same same" in her best Vietnamese which has the tourist section of the bus in stitches. Saigon was lovely. Much nicer than Hanoi. I went to Cu Chi tunnels outside Saigon/Ho Chi Minh city which were very interesting.

After Saigon we did a 2 day Mekong delta tour to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Was decent in parts but was a bit too long. Phnom Penh is grand. It's alot less hectic but with the pricing of everything in dollars it's quite dear compared to Vietnam anyway. Saw the killing fields and S-21 or Tual Sleng prison where the Khmer rouge tortured their victims. Very scary. From estimates they reckon between 750,000 and 3 million were massacred here.

Paddys day was quietish but we met an Australian and his Irish girlfriend which made it good enough. Had the Irish stew in the Irish bar and got to see the rugby. No harm that they lost. It might wake them up for the world cup. Good result with the cricket.

In my fact finding mission for St. Patricks Athletic I have found out that Charles Mbazi Livingstone is playing in Hanoi. His heart defect has sorted itself out!!!

Well off to Siem Reap tomorrow so must go for a Beer Lao now. Slan. If anyone else has news let me know.

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