Ring, ring, ring was the sound that woke us up on such a fine Thursday morning. It was the lady from reception calling our room to let us know our breakfast was ready on the roof. For the second time during our trip we’d be eating breakfast while taking in a beautiful view. When we finished the delicious omelette baguettes it was back to the room, even though the weather outside was sunny. To be honest, as far as sightseeing days go this day was kind of a write off. We remained in our room for several hours, like usual watching tv shows. Sarah made a phone call to reception as we were having hot water troubles and she really wanted a nice shower before we headed out. The lady came up with a handy man but left shortly after, claiming all we had to do was turn the tap to the left. For some reason that bit of common sense didn’t work when we applied it the previous night. Not ones to complain, we pretended we didn’t know that’s what we were supposed to do and Sarah got her hot shower. Seeing as out hotel was a stones throw from a never ending beach, we packed a bag, applied some suntan lotion and decided to pay it a visit.
On the beach we removed our flip flops and walked as far as we could before the tide came bellowing in. Not wanting to end up stranded we returned and quite literally retraced our footsteps. During the walk we saw a washed up jellyfish, I couldn’t resist and prodded it with my flip flop, to my surprise the creature was hard. We saw a nice resort on the beach and decided to stop for a drink. As we sat to the table the wind started picking up, and off in the distance it was very obvious a storm was brewing. A lady came over with a menu, where I ordered a plate of fruit and a chicken burger. If there’s one thing the people of Asia know how to cook it’s chicken. The weather grew a lot worse just as my food arrived. The lady then suggested we sit inside to get out the way of it. However, inside transpired to be more outside, as the area was pretty open.
When I was finished we returned to our hotel, as the rain started to fall (see, this lifestyle we lead isn’t all sunshine and rainbows). Once again we were back in our little cave, but during our absence the staff were kind enough to clean up after us. We only stayed indoors for a couple hours this time, as Sarah found out cinema times for a showing of the new Christmas movie “Rise of the Guardians.” At six o’clock we made our way to reception and found there was a taxi outside waiting for a fare. The lady from reception came out to help with translation issues, then the driver took us to the plaza.
On the way we had the opportunity to see the city in lights. We had to cross over the Song Han Bridge, this is a famous bridge which allows tourists to travel from their hotels to the area’s beaches. In the middle of the night traffic is stopped from crossing and the bridge swings on its axis to allow shipping traffic to pass along the river. It was beautiful to see the bridge in lights as each bulb shot up and down its beams. The neighbouring Thuan Phuoc Bridge was equally as beautiful, as it’s rainbow coloured lights lit up the night sky it was almost as if the two bridges were in competition with each other. A 10 minute taxi ride later we had arrived at the four story super complex.
Inside it appeared half complete, on the ground floor there was a mixture of clothing and jewellery stores, as well as closed and abandoned ones. The second and third floors had a supermarket, and the fourth and final floor had what we wanted, the cinema. There as also a very popular arcade there too. We bought our tickets and seeing as we had time to spare we went to Vietnam’s KFC equivalent Loiterria (I think that’s the name). The menu was identical to that of the colonel’s, after we had our food we returned to the cinema to watch our movie. An enjoyable two hours later we left the cinema feeling really happy with what we had just watched. We then paid a visit to the supermarket where we bought toiletries, fruit, M&Ms (which seem to be the chocolate that’s sponsoring our adventure) and drinks (to replace the ones we had from our minibar).
When we left the bizarre plaza we were asked if we wanted one of the many yellow taxis outside. Sarah was hoping we’d be able to get some pictures on the bridge, so initially turned down the gentleman’s offer. Due to the rain (which looked like it was settling in for the night) I managed to convince her that it would be in our best interest to get one there instead of walking. We started out asking only one guy to take us to the bridge. However, because he couldn’t understand us, we ended up with every single taxi driver trying to decipher the word “bridge?” In the end we asked to be taken back to our hotel, but because we couldn’t pronounce the name of it we had to say the neighbour hotel, Jimmy. They all knew what we meant when we said that, we agreed a price of 50,000 dong. The driver pulled up onto the pavement giving us a literal door to door service. We paid the man and returned to our room. Due to the nature of the film we just watched, we had to go to sleep aware of the fact this would be the first Christmas either of us would be spending away for home.