Joined May 2018 Message
  • Day51

    Day of fails

    May 31, 2018 in Vietnam ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    Today we tried to go to the Galaxy caves 🌌 where you can get a boat ride through some caves and see some limestone stalagmites and stalactites. We had a lazy morning and set off at about 12:30, a map our homestay gave us said it was 12km away which we expected to take half an hour on the bike. We were given directions before we left - to head in the direction of a sign to the caves we'd ridden past on our way to the nature reserve. When we got to the sign it said it was another 18km which was annoying because we'd already traveled about half an hour but we continued. A little while down the road after the turning I realised I should check with Fabien that we have enough money for the entrance fee as we haven't been carrying much money with us lately. Through a series of exchanges it became apparent we actually had no money on us whatsoever and our only choice was to head back.

    By the time we got back it was too late and we were too tired to jump on the bike and go again. So instead we decided to go to the Buddhist temple around the corner from our homestay. There are loads of gates to the Buddhist Pagoda along the road we drive down as we're leaving the homestay but they all seem to be permanently closed. We rode up and down past each of the gates trying to find our way in, had a couple of confusing interactions with locals and after maybe another half an hour of driving around realised we had to drive a surprisingly big loop around the Pagoda to get to parking and the entrance. We paid for the parking, started wandering around, then realised I wasn't well enough to cope with it and so left without seeing anything.

    On the way back we stopped to buy some essentials and asked a group of locals outside the shop where we could get some bia hơi. They couldn't understand us at all and laughed as fabien tried to act out what it was we were asking for. Eventually one guy came along who understood us and directed us down a quiet road.

    We stopped off at a tiny, pretty place. The lady there spoke good English. When we asked for Bia hơi we discovered we'd been pronouncing it wrong because of the ơ being a different sound to what we'd expected. I got out my notebook and spoke with the lady about how I've been learning Vietnamese. She taught me to say rất ngon" (very good) which also sounds completely different to its spelling so she wrote it in my notebook for me.

    While we were drinking some guy pulled up on a bike to buy peanuts and was talking to Fabien and me in Vietnamese a lot although we were really struggling to interpret anything he was saying. He showed us his tattoos and picked some blossoms and gave them to us. He was fun but it was totally confusing.

    A little later while we were still having beers I heard some music from down the road and looked that way to see a kid in a play car with an older sibling using a remote control to steer him up the street.

    When we got back I took this photo of our little home as it looked so cute with the lanterns just turning on.
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