…and I hope you all are having a much merrier Christmas than I am. Yesterday’s “four-hour boat trip” turned into a 13-hour nightmare–well, actually, up until we arrived, it was only 13 hours of standard Third World travel (I’ll write more about that later). After we arrived at 2am, though, we spent half an hour tramping up endless steps (with 40-lb pack, thank you very much) trying to find a hotel room that would please my temporary traveling companions. (I have since jettisoned them.)
Finally we found one place that suited them, a very-expensive-for-the-location hotel that turned out to be too noisy to sleep (right on the main road). I put in earplugs at 5am, only to discover at 6am that I had an east-facing window with paper-thin curtain, so I still couldn’t sleep (too much light). So finally I got up, packed my bags, and am now popping into travel agents to get me OUT of this godforsaken city. I want to get somewhere quiet where I can unwind and relax, and it ain’t gonna happen here. I am definitely not up to another 11 hours on a bus, so I am taking the next flight out to ANYWHERE. I think.
In this case “anywhere” is most likely Hue, Hanoi, or Nha Tranh, but I’m not sure where yet. Hue is in Central Vietnam, and will probably be my final destination since it’s near the Lao border crossing. Hanoi is (reputedly) a great arts and cultural center, but it’s also all the way on the other side of Vietnam–so I would have to fly 1700 km (1000 miles?) to get there and then travel another 500 miles to get to Hue and the border crossing. Nha Tranh is a beach town about a third of the way between HCMC and Hue. It’s reputed to have one or two good diving sites, so it might not be the worst of places to unwind.
Nonetheless, I’m crabby and in a vicious temper this morning. I hope I don’t get hassled by any moto drivers, because if I do, there’s going to be blood on the floor. At the moment, anyone who gets in my way is going to get their head ripped off and shoved someplace bloody unfortunate. Hopefully, I’ll get breakfast and a plane ticket before that happens.
Anyway, I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and hope yours is going better than mine…I saw some very interesting sights on the way into Vietnam, I’ll write more about them later, once I’ve had a chance to relax and unwind. (Hopefully elsewhere!)