Rachel and Matt’s World Tour
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Vietnam Part 2

Hello everyone.

From Hue we took a short (for Vietnam) 4hr bus trip south to Hoi An. The old centre of Hoi An is a very pretty place with lots of small alleys between the 200 year old buildings, and lots of lantern shops lighting up the river at night. It is also the tailor capitol of Vietnam. There are literally hundreds of tailor shops in the town, offering excellent custom made clothing for bargain prices. Both Rach and myself had a few bits made, which we were very happy with.

We took a half day trip to My Son, which is an area dotted with temples from the Cham era. Unfortunately the US bombed the area during the war and destroyed much of the temples, so there weren’t many left to see.

After a few days in the sweltering heat of Hoi An, we took an overnight bus down the coast. We had started to think that rainy season in Asia was a myth, but it tipped it down as soon as we got to the beach resort that is Nah Trang. Our snorkeling trip was canceled due to the bad weather, so we didn’t really do much there to be honest.

Next stop was Mui Ne. A big stretch of beach, with great swimming and restaurants. Again the weather wasn’t really suitable for beach bumming but we did manage to get out on a scooter to the sand dunes a short ride away from our hotel. 

They were massive and not something you’d expect to find in Vietnam. We had a great laugh sliding down the dunes on plastic sheets. The same evening we went out for an Indian and had the best curry since leaving home!

Our last stop in Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon. We had a great hotel right in the middle of the action. First day we took a walk to the Reunification Palace. The palace was left in the same state as when the North Vietnamese captured Saigon, so the interior is very 70’s retro, and from the outside it looks like an office block. The same day we also visited the War Remnants Museum. This was particularly harrowing as it included very graphic photos of the war, though with very one-sided descriptions of the action.

The next day we went to Cu Chi Tunnels on a day trip. Our guide Joey, was very unintentionally funny with his controversial comments relating to race, gender, sexual preference, you name it. The tunnels were a 200km+ network of tunnels built by the Vietcong from 1954 and used to fight the French and Americans. Most are inaccessible due to the booby traps still present but the ones we climbed through were still very dark and claustrophobic. We also got to see a selection of very medieval looking traps designed to kill American troops who dared to investigate the tunnels. I also got to fire a real AK-47 on the shooting range. The noise was unbelievably loud and took Rachel by surprise. Oddly, a woman nearby couldn’t seem to stop laughing (see video page)!

That rounded off our 3 weeks in Vietnam. We both agree that it is a fantastic country with great scenery and culture, though the second half wasn’t as good as the first. The food and drink were also superb and we didn’t see a single McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut or Starbucks!!

Till the next time…


1 Mum and Dad Silsbury { 08.10.09 at 6:06 pm }

Hi there,
Must be quite strange to be in a country with no fast food outlets or do you actually miss them? Matt looks dashing in his buddha outfit perhaps he should wear it more often ? Thanks Matt for pointing out my wireless switch, we spent a lot of time trying to sort it out, frustrated at the lack of internet access. Hope you enjoy Cambodia as much as Vietnam.Keep on trekking!!

2 cool car { 08.11.09 at 8:23 pm }

Well you 2 what can i say , i got 2nd place this time after your mum and mr bob ,am going for the top spot next time .Dont bump into pol pot in cambodia and his skulls unless he is dead by now ,seems to be a hobby over there. t.t.f.n.

3 Mum & Dad Doran { 08.15.09 at 10:02 am }

Hey Guys, Vietnam Part 2 looking good. That temple at my son looks like something out of Indiana Jones! And as for those tunnels etc at Cu Chi, that place looks scarey. I did fancy the sand dunes tho. I thought in one of the fots that Rachel had lost some of her tan and then realised that she was covered in sand! We had a lovely evening out last night at Broadlands, for the last night of the summer proms( BSO were playing) lovely music, good weather, good food and fireworks at the end. Summer has happened at last – altho today its all horrible again. Fee on IOW . with Ashley and his old biddy! Paddy is looking well these days, especially suits his new hat, looks just like a native. Keep safe & well.Mum & Dadxx

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