I was very much looking forward to Vietnam - I've only heard good things from those who had been there. And so it was with eager anticipation that we awoke to this:
And we weren't the only ones up and about to see our new port:
It was already a humid 28C, and my camera steamed up as I went from air-conditioned comfort to step outside and take pics. The ship had docked in Chan May, a container terminal port, and judging by the scenery, as pretty as it was, there wasn't too much around, except the odd resort.
As is our wont, though, we hadn't booked a tour. There was a shuttle bus that took us to a nearby resort, Lang Co, so we hopped on that. The resort was a bit run-down, if I'm going to be honest. We were warned that the taxis at the wharf were illegal and that you could possibly end up being taken up into the hills and never being heard of again. There were taxis at the resort, but to get to Da Nang (the nearest city) was going to take 1.5 hours and it was already 11am.
Did I mention it was hot? It was soooooo hot. 34C, blazing hot sun and over 90% humidity. So hot. And that kind of made us all a bit cranky with each other. So after some cranky discussion, we decided NOT to catch a dodgy cab, and to make the best of the resort. Except they wanted US$5 per person to sit by the pool and we didn't have US$5 per person on us. Why? Because someone (um, me!) got hassled down the beach.
Now I am going to admit straight up that I am the worlds worst haggler. We wandered down to the beach and were immediately greeted by Vietnamese ladies selling all sorts of pretties. I had not really acclimatised to that yet and started having a chat with them. They were wearing long-sleeved shirts, socks, hats and face masks. I asked them if they were hot, and they said no, but the reason they covered up was because fair skin is highly valued in Vietnam. Anyways, a bit of a haggle back and forth and I got my silver elephant bracelet for roughly $15 Aussie dollars and I was happy with that. But Wombat Girl had also picked out a bracelet, so I paid for that too. And that pretty much left us with about $10. Enough for a couple of beers. Or to be able to sit by the pool (because the beach was too freaking hot). But no. They insisted on $5 EACH and so, the pool was out of the question, because I had spent nearly all our Vietnamese money.
[caption id="attachment_2048" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Hey look, I'm tall![/caption]
So Hubby and Wombat Girl decided to get changed and go for a swim in the South China Sea. I contemplated it, but to be honest, getting my fat ass out of my sweaty clothes and trying to wiggle it into a swimming costume made me feel exhausted and Video Boy doesn't much like the beach, so we sat and watched from the best vantage point - the set of stairs leading down to the beach, in the shade, with the odd breeze to cool us off.
Did you notice how red my face was? Kids kept asking me if I was OK. Yes! I'm OK - just ridiculously hot! The cool of the ship beckoned and we decided to head back.
I just Googled Lang Co to put the link in this post and apparently, there are Elephant Springs just 15km away. With shade shelters and cool, clear water and ice-cold beers for sale. I'm a tad cranky at myself now. Always Google before you travel, people! Far out, brussel sprout:
Let's pretend I never saw that, shall we? If I ever find myself back in Chan May, though, I know where to head. Either that or actually take the damn tour.
We headed back to the ship. It was a sight for sore eyes and sweaty bodies:
I nearly had to perform first aid on a very unwell looking elderly man who was in the queue in front of us. He looked DREADFUL, people! All sweaty and gray and yuck. Got him a chair. Personally, I would have been calling the docs, but his wife just took him back to their room, along with her HUGE haul of purchases from the little stalls in front of the ship. Poor man is nearly dying because she shopped til he dropped! Hope they enjoy their tea-towels. (PS: I know he was OK, because I spotted him later on during the cruise).
A quiet lunch at the buffet and a swim was in order.
And onto the next port, because I can pretty much say that one was a bust. Except I have a really lovely silver elephant bracelet that I wear at work now :-)
And for those of you who enjoyed the Ingi-sweat-o-meter so much in Port Douglas last year (scroll right down to the bottom), I think Chan May, Vietnam was right up there with reasons to show off my girls. You're welcome!
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