Day 72: Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh

We were rudely woken up in our bright room at 8:30am, it wasn’t the light that was the issue, instead it was a power cut, meaning our room was a hot box. We managed to stick it out and watch the final episode of Dexter before deciding to have a shower. Pfff…pff…pf… Great, the shower didn’t work because the water was off too, not wanting to fester in the green house we went for breakfast. When we told them of our issue they simply said it was a power cut that happens every once in a while. They said it wasn’t restricted to just the hotel, and that our water would be back on in 20 minutes. Our next issue was when breakfast was served. We clearly ordered the fruit platter with ice cream, we pointed to it on the menu, we even signalled two using our hands. Yet when the guy brought the dishes out, we had the yoghurt option. He was then cheeky enough to try and tell us that’s what we ordered. In the end I was the only one to eat a dish, as Sarah sent hers back. I begrudgingly paid the bill and headed for our pool. We had the whole thing to ourselves. Sarah chose to sun bathe while I splashed around, occasionally watching the handymen attempt to restore power to the building using a generator.

After sitting by the pool for an hour, in an attempt to dry off, we returned to the room to pack our bags and shower. The room was still hot unfortunately and to our frustration the water wasn’t back on. We finished clearing up the room before Sarah stormed back to the owners to get the water issue resolved. When she returned she had Jamie along with her. For the second day running he walked all the way to our place. It turned out the water was coming back on without Sarah going down to make a fuss, probably had something to do with the generator kicking in. We then headed to reception to check out, with Jamie carrying Sarah’s large backpack. We received our passports and made our way to the Sinhtourist services to drop off our bags. We had a bus to catch to Ho Chi Minh at 1:30pm. Seeing as it was only midday we made our way to another lonely planet recommendation for some food.

This place was called “Phat Hamburgers” and supposedly sold the best burgers in Mui Ne. They certainly lived up to their reputation and we passed the remaining time there enjoying their delicious beefy goodness. The only thing that ruined the place slightly was when a man came in off the streets begging both us, and the staff for money. With five minutes to spare we returned to the bus depot, checked in, and said a temporary fair well to Jamie (as we’d be meeting him again in Ho Chi Minh). We then climbed aboard the coach for a very bumpy 6 hour journey. It was 7pm when we arrived. The journey became quite slow at the end when we got stuck in rush hour traffic and the roads became grid locked. Our bags were the first to be offloaded, then came the job of finding accommodation. Again, the bus dropped us in the thick of it, and the road around the corner had plenty of hotels to choose from. We looked in two different hotels, before settling with the second option. This was a backpackers hostel. We chose a private room at reception and told the lady what we’d like for breakfast in the morning. We then went up to our room and unloaded our bags. After having a quick shower Sarah made a Skype call to her family. Sarah’s brother was available to talk to, seeing as he’d been here before, was a big help with things to see and do. He also recommended a brilliant Italian restaurant which would fix my pizza craving once and for all. The Internet was very patchy, so we said our goodbyes and went out exploring.

I felt quite irritable that evening so hundreds of scooters flying around, lots of noise from the bars, and constant beeping of horns didn’t help matters. It did look like Ho Chi Minh was going to be a fun place, resembling that of Koa San Road in Bangkok. The city is broken up into districts, with district one being the backpacker area. We explored the streets, and eventually came across a theatrical show at a nearby park. We wandered around for ten minutes. There, we passed lots of different food stalls and a game of hacky sack being played by four people. We then returned to the main area and located an Italian restaurant called “Good Morning Vietnam.” Unsure if this was the one Marc was describing, we went in anyway. I ordered myself a pizza in the hopes of it being the right place. When it came out I was very happy with the result, this probably had something to do with the Italian chef who worked there. I decided that would be the last pizza I’d order in a while (there’s only so long a guy can eat pizzas before he loses that lovely size 8 figure) before paying up and returning to our hotel.

When we got back to our room I attempted to phone my nan and mum, because the Internet was extremely patchy it meant I could only do a voice call. It was a shame I couldn’t see their faces on their postponed Christmas Day, but it was nice to hear their voices and catch up. Before going to sleep Sarah made a second call to her family, where her brother told us we had visited the correct Italian restaurant. Knowing that would be the pinnacle of pizzas made it all the more easier for me to quit my cheesy habit. After we said our goodbyes we watched a bit of tv, got ready for bed, then drifted off to the sounds of the busy streets outside.

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