Up the Coast to Phan Thiet

Phan Thiet Travel Blog

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Viet Kids to the rescue!

We're still alive! (So you can stop worrying now Mum!)
It's been a great trip so far, and our little Bonus is doing us well. We have only broken down twice so far. First, the seal went on the petrol filter - it was leaking petrol everywhere. Then we got a puncture on the back wheel. But, both times, the locals have come to our rescue. It never ceases to surprise me how friendly people are in Vietnam (contrary to the beliefs of the snobby Norwegian people we met just now). Within minutes of pulling over to the side of the road we already had a crowd of 7 or 8 kids watching us. Soon after, it turned into 15, then 20, plus two of the local mechanics. 40 minutes later and we were back on the road. Only to suffer a puncture 20 minutes down the road. But, once again, Viet kids came to the rescue and got us going again.

Pitching a tarp on sand - don't try it!
We now carry or own tire wrenches, a puncture repair kit and foot pump with us!

The drive out of Saigon (or, Ho Chi Minh City to the people round these parts - I made the mistake of referring to it as Saigon already) was crazy. The highway was so busy, dirty and smelly. A million bikes, trikes, Ox drawn carts and trucks. We had to stop and buy face masks. Nasty. But once we got past the thick industrial ring that circles Ho Chi Minh City, the beauty of Vietnam began to reveal itself.

We spent the first night in Vung Tau, which was one of the places in which we were thinking of looking for work (I think we have scraped that idea now). It's a small town, and very quiet. Very different from Saigon.
Posing for a wedding photo in front of my rusty old Bonus - Why?
We decided not to hang around for too long and headed off the next morning. We took the coastal road in the direction of Phan Thiet, where we had planned to meet Dave later on in the week. On the way, we spotted a lovely looking stretch of coast line and decided to stop and make camp. I have to say though, pitching my tent in the sand is, possible, yes, advisable, no. The wind picked up and sand began to invade. I think I slept for about 2 hours. Keishia didn't do so well. But I blame that on a combination of the mosquitoes and the one man silk that we both tried to fit into, rather than the sand. For anyone that doesn't know what 'my tent' is - it's not really a tent, so much as a tarp.
Stocking up on Vodka.
It's a roof to sleep under, and it does well in most other conditions. A lesson learned. Other than that though, it was a beautiful night. We sat out on our own private beach, played guitar, sang and drank vodka.

Then, on to Phan Thiet, were we have spent the past 3 days, and where we plan to stay until Thursday. Dave has some contacts here. Mr. Hung, Daves best friends Uncle (Daves best friend from the states is Vietnamese). He is a man of some importance round these parts, although I'm still not quite sure in what capacity that is. Then there is Mr. Hungs friend, Mr. No. Mr. No owns the hotel we are staying at. And of course, Mr. Cuong, the local English teacher, and a great guy. He invited us to his sisters house for a feast, followed by a little guitar playing and of course, more vodka.
Us and the Misters out on the piss.
Mr. Cuong then took Keisha and I round town in search of the afore mentioned motorbike tools, and a large piece of silk to replace the afore mentioned one man sleeping sac. Now we just have to sew it together!

It seems to be rather difficult to find any time of our own here. There always seems to be someone that wants to drink coffee (or vodka) with us, or to introduce us to some friend of theirs. However, after several hours of coffee drinking and talking this morning, we finally managed to get off on our own. Just Keishia, Dave and myself. We went for a swim. The water here is warm, as is the sun! I'm feeling a little burned. I think Mr. No is going to take us to some hot springs tomorrow.

It’s really nice in Phan Thiet. IT’s not too quiet, but not too busy either. A good balance. And of course there is the coast. It would be a nice place to settle down and work, but it seems impossible at the moment. Whilst there are schools where English lessons take place, foreigners are not allowed to work in State run institutions. Only in private language centers, of which there are none. It’s a shame. However, our contacts seem to run pretty high here, and in a year or two, it might be possible for us to open our own language center. The business would certainly be there, that’s no worry. Food for thought anyway!

Much as I love just lazing around doing very little, I’m looking forward to getting back on the road. The mountains await us.

Shakey_Jakey says:
Brilliant Tom ..... just think, you could be in Brighton doing.... er, not a lot! Make the most of it all - sounds like a real adventure. Miss you, of course but getting these updates keeps us in the picture - and you know where we are if you need us! Take care ol' son. Dad x
Posted on: Nov 25, 2007
kirkie49 says:
Mr Hung, Mr No, Mr Cuong...... do they call you Mr Felton?!
The wedding picture is funny, as you say....why?
It all sounds great, keep writing!
love and hugs always xxx
Posted on: Nov 20, 2007
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Viet Kids to the rescue!
Viet Kids to the rescue!
Pitching a tarp on sand - dont tr…
Pitching a tarp on sand - don't t…
Posing for a wedding photo in fron…
Posing for a wedding photo in fro…
Stocking up on Vodka.
Stocking up on Vodka.
Us and the Misters out on the piss.
Us and the Misters out on the piss.
Phan Thiet
photo by: Vivian-lyn30185