Saturday, 9 July 2011

Hoi An, Vietnam

Today, after an 8 hour train ride, we arrived in Hoi An, Vietnam. Located on the South China Sea, Hoi An is an historic market town located on the Mekong River.  There are some 120,000 inhabitants and the town is well known to backpackers.

There wasn't a great deal of western people around, but there were noticeably more than in other Vietnamese towns we visited such as Da Nang and Nha Trang.  The architecture is very reminiscent of Chinese towns and as slightly different from what we have been used to seeing in Thailand and Cambodia.

We spent a couple of nights here and during our time we toured the endless rows of markets which seem to go on for miles and miles!  The people are very friendly, and coupled with the towns 'bohemian' atmosphere it was one of the most enjoyable towns I have seen so far on my travels.

Hoi An usually attracts attention due to is sale of rare cottons and silks.  If you want a perfectly tailored item of clothing for a very cheap price - Hoi An is the place to find it.

On our last evening we took a Mekong Rover boat tour at sunset which is a perfect way to see the town.  During our ride, our boat operator allowed us to ride the boat!

If you are in Vietnam in the future then make sure Hoi An is on your agenda.  It is a lovely town, with lovely people and will leave a lasting impression.  The food is cheap, there is no hustle and bustle of city life and most of all it is totally different to anything else you will see in Vietnam.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Thap Ba Hot Spring Mudbath

Whilst in Nha Trang, Vietnam we decided to get a little bit of relaxation after all the bus and train travel and go and have a mud bath.

2 Person Mud Bath

It cost around £25 between us and this included a mud bath for two, then a soak in a hot spring water bath, hydrotherapy and access to a swimming pool. The baths had a pipe inside which pumped in the mud. We took a shower in warm mineral water and got into the bath. The mud was very very thick but felt great. If you lie back you will naturally float which is pretty cool.

After getting out of the Mud we lay in the sun to let it sink into our bodies and dry. This lets the minerals present in the mud penetrate onto the skin. We then showered of and went into a hot mineral water bath which was very warm, especially in 35 degree heat, but it felt good!!

Our skin felt amazing afterwards, definetley worth doing!


    Saturday, 2 July 2011

    Travelling through Vietnam

    Well this was a very interesting experience! We booked our sleeper train tickets in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, which is were we first arrived from Cambodia. We initially were going to fly from Ho Chi Minh upto Hanoi, but we decided to tick a box and go by train.


    The train tickets cost us around £50 pounds each for approximatley 33 hours of travel, but it was definetley worth it as we got to stop and spend a few days in different places. The first train ride was actually quite fun becuase it was abit of a novelty and we got a whole cabin to ourselves. It took us 8 hours to get from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang.

    Sleeper Cabin for 4 people
    We spent a few days in Nha Trang and then headed further up the coast to Danang. I would never recommend anyone to ever go there, the people are very rude and just stare at you constantly and there is nothing to do. Anyway it took us 11 hours to get there. This train ride was slightly different as me and Adam were put in seperate cabins. Adam was sharing with one quiet Chinese man and a Thai guy who couldnt sit still. On the other hand i was sharing with a whole Viatnemese family. Brilliant. There was about 6 of us in a 4 person cabin and everyone was asleep so i couldnt make any noise. None of them spoke english but the woman, or my mum as i renamed her offered me her shirt because i was cold which i thought was sweet.

    boredom sets in\!
    We spent two nights in danang and then embarked on our longest train- 15 hours to Hanoi. We got onto the train at 11.30pm and walked into the cabin and there was two old viatnemese women asleep with the lights off, so we thought to be respectful we would be really quiet and just try to sleep. So we chilled out and got some z's. I dont think that these Viatnemese woman have the same level of respect as 5am, BANG curtains wide open, talking, well shouting to each other. Great way to wake up!!!! And then at 6am they decide to go back to sleep?! very annoying.

    It was definetley a great experience that i would do again, but i think its the luck of the draw who you share a cabin with!!