This post was originally from February 7, 2012
So the train ride from Ho Chi Minh was not so bad at all!! I had visions of what we took in India and this was by far exceeding any of my expectations. For one, I was with three others from my group. The compartment was fully enclosed with a door and a lock! There were sheets that were clean and a proper light. I was happy. Even the toilet was not bad. The morning was beautiful as the mist was rising into the hills and we watched the locals tend to their rice fields. It was so peaceful and I could have sat there for hours watching the country side.
We arrived to the city of Nha Trang which is right on the beach. (Again my happy place). I spent yesterday soaking up the sun and diving in the ocean when it got too hot…which ended up being about every 20 minutes. Loves it! Ohhhh, but the morning a few of us thought we would venture into the market as we heard it was good. We get there and it was like Dollarama had exploded. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because most Dollarama items come from China/Taiwan/Vietnam. But this was Crap Mecca. The further we got in, the more crap we saw and eventually it turned into smelly fish and chicken stalls. At this point I knew I would be far happier on the beach…but how the hell do you get out of this place? The three of us were trapped in a labyrinth of smelly fish and plastic goods. To top it off – whipping past us as we clutched our bags were motor scooters. (The other night one of my friends had her purse cut off her shoulder as she was walking on the sidewalk while the motorbike flew by-thankfully all the thief got were some tampons!!). The heat intensified the smell and I felt completely trapped. Eventually after walking for quite some time and laughing over what we had got ourselves into we found a proper street. This became a waiting game to see when a taxi would even drive in the vicinity. After about an hour one eventually came by and we were brought back to sanity.
Today was bliss. This morning we went straight to the beach and as soon as we got there we were offered a Vietnamese massage. Okay- twist my arm.!!! So while listening to the waves crash in I got a full body massage. Bliss. Later I sipped on coconut water straight from the coconut. Bliss. Watched many overweight Russians flaunt their robust figures. Not so bliss. Also watched old, wrinkly men lay next to their young Asian girls…not so bliss. So many sights to see at the beach!
This afternoon it was off the the mud baths. Bliss with a capital B!!!!!! Hidden among the jungle hills is this place where you go for mud baths. First you shower off, then step into a massive bath full of greenish mud. It feels so smooth and kind of smells like tea tree oil. We had good laughs while pouring mud over each others heads. When we got too cold we got out of the bath and soaked in the sun until it dried onto our skin. Once we looked like we were cracking we showered off by walking through different kinds of showers and water sprays that pummeled our bodies from all angles. Then it was time to dip into the hot mineral bath. So bloody amazing. After getting tired of that (who could be?)we moved on into huge pools that were more like a Jacuzzi. It was so relaxing. Now you really couldn’t expect it to get better than this but it did! To top it off it ended with a 45 minute full body Vietnamese massage. (yes, I had two today). At one point, my masseuse was standing on top of me and there was a bar attached to the ceiling that she could hang on to. Oh my god, my body was buzzing. It was absolutely amazing.
So the day was bliss and of course full of dong.
Oh yah, I forgot to mention that when we got to Ho Chi Minh we lost four girls from our tour group. Team Ikea (two Swedes) as well as two Aussies left, but in replace of them were 6 Aussie guys. They had this air of immature boys at a frat party. Alas, no wedding bells for Heather. For the most part they are tolerable, but one guy really loves himself and and at any chance he gets he tries to get as much attention as possible. Of course I try to put him in his place whenever I get the chance.
Tonight it is the second of 3 sleeper trains. Apparently the first is the best (which it was amazing in my books), the second not as good because they don’t clean from the first leg of people sleeping in it. This means we get in and the sheets will be dirty with hair and garbage left. And the third…that might be more like India as it will be in Thailand at some point. It is all an experience and just makes for the adventure that much more memorable!