Location: Halong Bay, Vietnam
hey everyone, hope your all well, im sure youve read heidi's last travelogue, yes i did have a few too many aftershocks (some type of very strong alcohol shot Christopher is fond of!!) hmmmmm the name surely rings true, we hit the one million dollar tab that night, whoa did chris & i drink lots, it was good tho!! so the real story of our few hrs in Hanoi goes something like this.......... we drunk heaps, alienated our carriage mate Sammy from Israel on the train, didnt make any new friends :( for the life of me dont know why hahah), ended up in what Christopher and i dubbed "shit town" at the end of our train journey, the place is actually called Loa Cai or something not worth remembering really, we got there around 6.30am-ish on a sunday to find we had missed the first bus to Sapa our intended destination,& next bus wasnt til 8, there was only 1 ATM in the town which was located inside a bank which was closed, so due to spending up big on alcohol the night before we didnt have enough cash on us all to get thru our stay in Sapa as there is no banks there.... realise we would have to wait until the next morning for the bank to open and then continue on. meanwhile im laying on seats at train station whishing to god that i hadnt had that last aftershock which put us over the 1million mark (whoo-hoo), so christopher & heidi head of to find us a hotel & suss out bank situation (at this stage i am in no way moving my body for fear of collapsing) by time they get back to me they have been swindled out of almost $150,000 dong and managed to find a crappy hotel just across the road, and i have thrown up on a tree, ( gotta love alcohol), also while they have been gone i have had a few locals awake me to see if ok, to which i would wave my hand, give a grunt and try to block out any more light!!! just on christpher's and heidi's arrival so too does a policeman and a few other locals thinking i was really ill and maybe needing medical attention, quite funny now feel great again and the thought of alcohol not making me shudder!!! hahah, So now we are in Sapa which is north east of Hanoi, its an amazing place, lost within a mountain, our hotel room has a window that you can step out of onto a roof top that over looks all around the mountain, the weather here is quite cold, feels like winter back home, Sapa is a very small privince that has many tribe type people, we did a 14km trek yesterday which was something else, we got not only to climb up, down and thru the mountains we went across rivers and into the villages of one of the tribes, wont go into too much detail and bore you but wow when you witness how these people live it make you thankful for the life you were born into, but also amazes you as well as to how simple their lives are and they are truely happy, friendly people. the kids are the best, we went for a drive back down the mountain today and came across a pre-school where as soon as you got out of the jeep the kids would be surrounding you with huge smiles on their faces being just as amazed at us as we were of them, today is a very misty day so the drive was quite scary to begin with, i kid you not you coulnt see more than 10meters in front of you, and we were tearing down the side of a mountain on a road just barely wide enough for one car let alone the trucks etc we had to pass and traffic coming the opposite direction. but we made it safely back to our hotel, we have been here 3days now and are leaving 2moro for Hanoi again and then out to another beautiful place called Halong Bay where we will be staying over night on a boat then back to Hanoi again which will be our last stop in Vietnam before heading over to HongKong. We've done loads of things (other than drink) since i last wrote but too much to type, plus its very cold and my fingers are slowing down & christopher has just come back from shop with munchies, (have done nothing but eat & drink since being here, will have to sign up for jenny craig when get home!!).
until next time everyone take care
lotsa love jules xoxoxox
ps Glenn...... oh my god cant wait to see the new you :) thanks for the email.
Location: Back in Vietnam, Vietnam
hey all, thanks for all your emails its great to hear from you, Nicky 10 days huh well i guess it will be less than that now, so in the future if i ever need a lawyer/dentist im covered right!!! congratulations sweetie. Della great to hear from you too and will definately be having few drinks with you for your birthday when i get home. Dek we're not too far behind you, we decided to head straight for Hoi An from Cambodia, but a shame we probably wont meet up- hope your having as much fun as we are. Danny great to hear from you too and no you probably wouldnt want to taste snake wine believe me. Khoa thanks for the tips will be looking out for it, we actually got brave last night while waiting for the train to head north where we are now in Hoi An, and ate with the locals, although they couldnt understand a word we were saying it was good, they kept laughting at us tho!! think they were a little suprised foreigners would actually eat from their side carts. We had something in our food which we later found out to be fish (thanks Lamy for the translation dictionary), which Heidi is allergic to so that was a bit scary for her, luckily she realised as soon as she chewed a bit....christopher eats whatever is put in front of him basically so he ended up with all the meat we had, i think im a little too fussy when it comes to that, sorry Khoa went against your advice and have been eating loads of ice and vegetables :) feeling fine tho!!!!
so we are now back in Vietnam we have spent the past few days over in Cambodia which is such a beautiful place, unfortunately we didnt have much time there, it was very very hot, i got sunburnt and am now being called beetroot, its not so bad, we stayed in Angkor in Siem Reap- visited some of the temples, which were absolutely amazing, again because of time we could only visit 5. we got to speak to some monks while there, they speak rather good english and was fasinating to listen to what they have to say about their temples and their country, but wont bore you with all that stuff. for all you bridgeclimbers we spent time with anne, shes doing great despite being on crutches, we had a really good time while there, we went to bar called Deadfish which was really good, they have a crocodile pit you have to walk over to get to the bathrooms, and yes there are live crocodiles in it, approx 60 so they say and i believe it too! for 50 cents we got to feed them, but stupid me not realising how close i was to them leaned right into the pit and got the bee-jezuz scared out of me when they all started to snap for the fish i was holding!!! christopher had to remind me that im no Steve Irwin(dont know how to spell)!!! but i had had a few drinks so thats my excuse, they had a singer there as well but when that finished heidi and i asked if we could get up and sing and they said "sure" but we chickened out,
not enough alcohol at that stage, although i did get heidi to drink a few sips of beer,she stil has to complete her end of our bargain and drink a whole one ( heidi doesnt drink alcohol much).......we have just spent 16hrs on a train from Saigon to Danang, wasnt as bad as i thought, because we left around 11pm we slept 1/2 the way. the country side is beautiful, oh i have to tell you about the kids in Cambodia, the ones that try to sell you stuff can get very nasty if you dont buy from them, we had this one boy who no joke followed us for about 20mins swearing and i mean really swearing mainly at me because i woulnt but his bloody postcards, it was funny at first then it got really annoying, he wouldnt stop even when christopher told him he was a little shit and should go away!! the kids that are not trying to sell you things are so beautiful, i gave one little girl one of my bracelets she was so cute, then the next night we came across another little girl who came right up to us and put her arms up to be held, she was gorgeous and not shy at all.
weve been staying at some really nice hotels as well especially for the price, on average we are paying 15-20$US. and like heids has put in her travelogues here in vietnam we are billionaires hahahahah,,,,,, we're going to stay here in Hoi An for a few days as this is the place to shop, it is a lot nicer and calmer than saigon and the weather is much cooler, i really like it here even tho we only just arrived. Oh Dave, im really sorry.... Happy Birthday for the other day too, the big 30 hope your party was great, will catch you mid Dec ok promise xx..
better run, again thanks everyone for the reply's to my emails, take care all
ps.. we just heard about some terrorist activity in sydney can someone fill us in.
Location: Leaving for Cambodia, Cambodia
hello hello, hope you're all well, we are having a great time.
thanks to everyone for your emails, especially you khoaby...... i think im getting used to saigon now, (just as we're heading off ) crossing the road is much easier now, i just walk and let everyone go around its like playing chicken hahahah. weve just spent the past couple of days exploring the Mekong Delta, what an amazing place, the people basically live of the river, i really enjoyed the days we had there, we saw all different kinds of things, The Mekong is about 3hrs drive south of Saigon and as you head further out of the city the chaos of the place dies a little, still lots of bikes but not as many. We stayed in Can Tho which is the economic and transportation centre of the Mekong Delta, and is the largest city in the region. The best way to get around is via the river so we spent the most part of 2days on the water, and i didnt even get sea sickness, not that its a sea so to speak, heidi felt a little green at times, we did a tour with a group of people, most of them were from sweden, demark , france etc we were the only aussies and the loudest of course, we saw a candy factory but its not a fatory as we know it, everything is done by hand, these women just sit there all day mixing the ingredients, setting it, cutting it then they wrap it. tasted good, mainly all made from coconut and bananas, a dentist's heaven Nicky maybe you could set up shop over here!!!! hahah, we also went to a rice factory, vietnam is the worlds 2nd largest rice exporter behind Thailand just some trivia for you, see im learning things, i can even say a few phrases in vietnamese, pauly,khoa and lamy you'll all be very proud of me!!!... we also went to a floating market, which was an experience, again on the river everything is on boats(of course) and you just drive up besides whatever boat is selling what you want, but its all produce and whole salers- we bought pineapples!!!!!!
ive been really brave and have so far drunk snake rice wine.... yes snake, its basically rice wine that is fermented in jars with dead snakes, uh huh dead snakes, and eaten dried squid which was gross, id take the snake wine anyday over that, the wine tasted much like tequilla but much more potent, oh and we went to a fruit orchard which was kind of weird cos they had all these animals there so it was more like a little zoo, they had a malay bear, the poor thing stuck in this tiny cage just walking up and down constantly, they had bats which looked so scared, lots of snakes, most of them dead though cos they eat them quite often here, lizards, turtles and pigeons all in the same cages just separated by dividers... Christopher keeps eating chicken to my horror with all the fuss about bird flu at the moment.
i really liked Can Tho, it was so much nicer than Saigon, we saw the big statue of Ho Chi Minh which is in Can Tho even tho he never lived there!!
getting used to the weather too, its been raining off and on the past few days but the temp stays the same,
we are heading of to Cambodia this afternoon to see Anne in Siem Reap, for everyone at BC she's had a bit of an accident & has broken her ankle, she's fine tho, so cant work for the next few weeks so hopefully she'll be able to travel with us when we come back to HCMC & travel up north with us. Cambodia is going to be great i cant wait to visit the temples and see the monks etc. we will be there for a few days then we come back to VN and head north via train which will take 16hrs with a few stops here and there, we're getting off the train 1/2 way to Hanoi to go to some of the out of way type villages so that should be good.
Della my Bella, HAPPY BIRTHDAY beautiful. its early i know but not sure when will be able to email again.
Dek..... where are you sweetie????? am i guna see you over here????
gotta run guys, ive left all our funny antics out - im leaving the comedy to heidi so will forward her travelogue's to you.
oh,,, cristian i got a lonely planet book, you were right!!!!! no pins yet but they'll be coming i promise. &
kirsty i dont have lamy's email can you send all mine onto her please & tell her i'll do my best to bring nana home. ta
bye bye for now
Location: Saigon, Vietnam
oh my god we have finally arrived, and oh my god what a culture shock.................. we've been here a few days now and i cant wait to get out of all the hussle and bussel of what is Ho Chi Minh City!!!! Khoa & Pauly you didnt tell me it would be chaos like this. Lucky we have Christopher the world renouned traveller with us otherwise Heid's & I would probably be still trying to cross the bloody road to get to our hotel hahahaha, so to give you a run down of our adventure so far, our flight from oz was not as bad as i was expecting, didnt get motion sickness at all, yay *snaps* for me :) but i did have a bozoo sitting behind me the whole time kicking the shit out of my chair, after about 5hrs i sorta lost it at him (woke heidi up in doing so) think she got embarrased cos she left me at this stage & sat elsewhere on the plane!!!! which turned out to be a not so bad thing cos boy does that girl snore...................... we got into HongKong at around 4.30am nothing was open & all i wanted to do was have a shower and eat but we had to wait 4hrs for our flight to Vietnam so i slept on the airport floor- dont recommend this to anyone, my poor back!! for some reason we have a collection of photos of me either sleeping or laying around airport floors,,,, so while im sleeping i tell heidi to keep an eye out for christopher (whom she has never met before) who was due to fly in from heathrow at 7am. 7am comes & goes and i finally wake up around 7.45 heidi's sleeping and no christopher, arrggghhhh i freak out but once we find out his flight was 1hr late i calm down and we go for breakfast and i have never had to go to so much trouble for breakfast, the food places where one level up from where we were and to get there we had to go out thru customs and then back in thru customs, for one level, oh and because hong kong is heidi's turf (her words) she thinks i am incapable of communicating to the person serving behind the maccas counter, she seems to forget where we work!!!!! hahah, oh we had a few minutes in HK where we thought we had lost our baggage too another story tell you all later, finally christopher tracks us down and we head to HCMC.... the first thing that hits when we get to Saigon is the heat, it is soooooooooooooo bloody humidand around 39 degrees, oh and they have no sense of organisation, going thru customs took forever then when we finally reach the counter they want to know where we will be staying so on Heidi's form she write some street name and on mine i put some made up hotel, hope we dont get into trouble oops, we had no idea as to what hotel we would be staying at first....then came the chaos of outside the air port, here when you get a taxi you pay first, and the roads....i havent seen anything like it EVER, Sam Bali is tame compared to here, crossing the road is life threatening, not many people speak english so it can become a little fustrating getting directions etc but the people are very nice, we got lost yesterday trying to find a pub that Christopher wants to go to, think were going to just jump into a taxi to get there today.....tomorrow we are heading a bit further south to Mekong delta for a few days then back to HCMC and then off to Cambodia. because of all the flights we had to get to get here and our body clocks totally out of whack we all slept for 15hrs straight last night, so tonight were off to a pub called apocolypse for lots of beers and maybe some rice wine.......
so not too much to tell you all at this stage so next time hopefully will have some good stories to tell,,,,,,
until then take care everyone, danny can you forward this to sharon cos i dont have her email, welcome home Melly we all missed you very much & cant wait to hear bout your travels. gotta run Christopher needs beer... hahahaha
love jules xoxoxoxox