January 2017
  • Day6

    10,9,8,7.....0 oops!

    January 27, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌬 84 °F

    27/01/17

    New Years Eve in Nha Trang (Vietnam)

    Walked miles for breakfast for something that noblets stomach could take. Eggs and bread job done.

    Sent him back to bed whilst I sunbathed. Late afternoon he surfaces and we go for some food... This is progress he's putting chilli sauce on his plate... Then I remember no chilli sauce whilst I'll rule lol.

    One of the things on the menu is crocodile which is quite popular. Tut tut.

    For tea we went to a restaurant recommended by trip advisor which ended up looking awful so we both ordered soup 😂

    Ice cream to complete and then we hit the hay... I'm knackered and not feeling great... 12.5 hours later I wake up.... Turns out Noblet went to see in the new year. As they are terrible at time keeping there was a dance act going on when the clock suddenly said 0000 and then some automatic fireworks went off over the dance troupe. He said it was hilarious if a little anti climatic!
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  • Day5

    Stop Russian Around!

    January 26, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ 🌬 84 °F

    26/01/17

    Doc Let Back down to Nha Trang (Vietnam)

    Stop Russian around!

    After the drama of yesterday ee decide we'll check out 2 days early as its so grim.

    Noblet writes a snotty email to Agoda & trip advisor for their dodgy forwarding techniques.

    Then says to me.... "I've accidentally sent that email to the hotel, we better leave" so we pack at a hundred miles an hour and check out pronto laughing all the way!!

    He's ill to be fair I'll let his idiocy slide 😂😂😂😂

    Bus back down to the main town and bag a nice hotel £15 pn.... This is more like it YEY!!

    Phone call to iResort a spa type of thing, and they come and pick us up in a golf buggy and drive us the 6km to the resort.

    Next thing you know we're scrapping in a mud bath mud wrestling disturbing the peace.... Then, its into a giant pot of tea where we soak in Lipton for 20 minutes! Then we get in some geothermally heated salt water... Which is a massive swimming pool with giant water falls and a view over Nha Trang to die for!!! This is brilliant! Living the dream (although still not as good as the one with beer in iceland with dad!)

    Once we've chilled out we head back down for a foot massage. They make us change into some communal bathing outfits we look soo Chinese! The lads start the foot massage which is lovely until they start karate chopping your feet.... Wtf pal!!!

    Feet finished and feeling thoroughly violated we head for some food and more chill.

    It's quite late and though the park is meant to be open until 8pm loads of the pools are being emptied and clean and we can't find the flumes... Nooo!!

    Traditional handstand competition and then drowning each other sesh and it's day done!!! What a great day for £20 each!!! Imagine how much that would be in the UK!

    Top notch chicken pie.... Uuuhhh I like pie.

    Went to get a taxi home and the Russians (of which there are many) are worse than the Chinese at queueing we kick off to not much avail! Then two cheeky Russians approach is having the crack about pushing in and then realise we're not Russian! They proceed to push in front of ten people and barge into the next taxi.... Psssshhhhh this is ridi!! Anyway now even the Russians think we're Russians. What is with people assuming we're German/ Russian... It's constant!

    Must be how fit we are!

    Jump in a taxi and share with a few Chinese brilliant! Obviously the driver asks us for the lions share of the fare as we're white. Honestly the racism we're on the receiving end of on this trip is ridic! I feel like Leon!

    German sausage and chips for tea to try and get Noblet eating again.... It seems to have worked touch wood!!
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  • Day4

    DUCK!!! ... Where?!

    January 25, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 77 °F

    25/01/16

    Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang (Vietnam)

    We're transferring a sick Noblet to a different hospital today as HCMC doesn't seem to be working for him.

    So we fly to Nha Trang (1hr flight 1.5hr delay). During the delay we both enjoy team Chunder in the airport facilities. Noblet learns of more difficulties of maintaining a beard when I explain to him that only Mr Twitt keeps vomit in his beard!

    Finally we find some European water and get on the plane. Bus into Nha Trang and then recieve some helpful directions from the bus driver explaining how to get the bus to our next destination.

    Why do you need to get another bus you may ask?? You've just landed at your destination. This is true... In Holly's world.

    However, turns out the bright spark has booked us into a hotel 40km away from everything.... Not twigging when the trip advisor review said 'isolated'!! Brilliant, so he's sick locked in a room and I'm now in an isolated shack. Brilliant.

    On the plus side we were told a bus to get there would be around £30 and it ended up costing us £2.50 (for the pair) as we got a normal bus.

    It's also raining cats and dogs. Like proper Manchester never ending bleak rain.... I'm not sure the bus driver can handle it too well in the wet he's throwing round bends like Schumacher. Loads of women on the bus have one roller in their hair.

    The best thing about the 40 minute journey is that someone gives the bus conductor a live duck in a bag. The duck is put in the boot on top of our bags, and then taken out at the next stop and given to another family. 😂😂😂😂😂 no plane with a chicken but a duck on a bus will do me!!

    It's nearly TET (Vietnamese new year) so we wanted to reduce our movements during this time as everything's meant to get mental. On the local bus, as well as every where else, everyone is carrying massive bunches of the most amazing flowers, I'm not even a flower girl and can tell. They take these flowers home with them to their villages where they have around 5 days off work... The whole country shuts down and parties!
    Looking forwards to the year of the rooster!!
    The thing with TET I can't get to the bottom of is what it's about... Some places have little chicks in the windows, flowers etc suggests a bit like our Easter. The some places are playing Christmas tunes and shops have tinsel up, and then some are treating it as new year it's all very confusing! Apparently everyone is all nice on the first day as how it is on the first day is meant to be how your whole year will be! (Couldn't deal with sentence construction here).

    We finish our bus journey and arrive in the village in the middle of no where! The wind and rain batters us as we walk towards our resort. We end up having to walk along the beach with all our gear to get into our place.

    I'm excited.... Fingers crossed for something at least average... With windows, apparently there are tennis courts and a fancy pool!

    We get in past the rain.... And we are taken to the worst bungalow ever!!! Omg it's so grim!!! Noblet where have you brought us!! Turns out that he thought booked the wrong hotel and thought we were staying at the fancy pants one next door!! Oh well open windows and doors open so expect lots of midgies!

    Donkey: Noblet for booking us in from 40km away from where he was meant to 😂

    Man: holly for manning up through illness to her Charlie to non destination
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  • Day3

    Write me while i'm gone!

    January 24, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

    24/01/17

    Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

    Managed to take Noblet out for a 5 minute walk this morning but we had to get back to the room sharpish to accommodate his movements 😂😂

    Then I went off shopping for the afternoon for new trainers!! BUZZING!! (This follows me being trainerless since Siem Reap!)

    Walking up to the shopping centre is literally a nightmare. Like everywhere else we've been to in Asia, the pavements are not for pedestrians... They are car parks/ scooter parks, an external display area for shops, restaurants (squatting on tiny plastic chairs) and everything except pedestrians. I can only assume this is because nobody really walks anywhere! Everyone has a scooter and uses that to get everywhere, if fact people look at you like you are mental if you say we're walking. There is no where for pedestrians, you end up walking in the road and the bikes aren't very accommodating with this!

    What's nice though is the lack of the question 'Tuk Tuk?' Every 2 minutes. They only seem to have cyclos (bikes with a human basket on the front), über motorcycles and crab cabs.

    Whilst walking up, there are several roads to cross which I've realised you just have to sort of walk out and generally everything will probably be ok and people will sometimes try and miss you.... I think. It's been working so far, since my initial strategy of waiting for a gap in the traffic (seems completely ridiculous now) didn't pay off, nor did the wait for the traffic lights, nor be confident and walk fast.... All fails. The 'sort of mosey' technique is the best so far. Touch wood.

    When you do get a bit of pavement, you don't get it for long, as many of the motorbikes start using that to avoid traffic lights or a marginally slower moped. I was daydreaming and looking at some festivally music thing and forgot this at one point and literally nearly got mowed at a particularly narrow area of pavement!

    Whits re-asserted I find my way to the disappointing shopping centre which is a bit like a 5th of the trafford centre which is called the Vietnam shopping capital.

    It's so expensive, exactly the same price at home of not a bit more. Which is a bit crazy considering all the sweat shops are out here. Even in the outlets the trainers are the same price which seems mental to me.... Hence coming for a bit of premium air con time Noblet free.

    It really is hard to see the whole communism thing in HCMC. This whole place so far has been basically the most capitalist thing I've ever seen. Like there are so few rules businesses can do what they like. Puppies and animals are kept in tiny cages, in one place a 6month old Rottweiler in a cage 6inches longer than him and the same height 😢, businesses burning rubbish if disposing of it at all, loads of western businesses in the posher areas. I'd go so far as to say the closest we've come to communism here is the hammer and sickle flags on every other lamppost.

    I did some reading and a lot of the top companies are still owned by the state which apparently haemorrhage cash such as coal, cement, obviously agriculture.

    Agriculture is the main place where if people meet a quota for instance of rice, then they get paid from the government.

    I'm thinking that if the UK could go a little bit more to the left in terms of ....

    Brainstorming

    At the minute we're a lot like it's ok to only put shareholders first and nothing else really matters. This can lead to short termism like what happened with BHS... Because no one is focused on longevity or a sustainable business model as soon as they have shareholders. It's about having a good annual report and maybe up to 5 years in the future but not much more. Companies literally put in their publicly available reports, shamelessly, that their aim is to maximise profits for shareholders, and that's ok. And this is how everyone judges success, by how happy shareholders are.

    Noblet told me an example of a guy who was brought in on a 6 month contract as an MD. In that 6 month period he cut everything out of the business and reported that the business was now making x amount more profit since he had been in charge. He then leaves the business and puts on his CV this is what he can do in short periods of time. The business spends 3/4 years putting itself back together again.

    Surely if we put a little more into making balanced businesses, with profitability still at the top but with more focus on

    Sustainability of the business
    How are the pensions doing
    Input back into the community
    More effort to help the environment
    Ensuring there are no skills gaps in ten years
    Longevity and quality of product
    Using local products/ materials
    Responsible taxation (REDUCE)
    H&S (non of out here)

    These things are all covered generally these days (I happen to think construction is one of the better industries for this!) but like, not really taken seriously its just written about a bit, but when making business decisions cash is still king.

    I reckon just a little more input from the government we could have it all boxed off! I cannot really think of many countries doing it much better than us.

    Just looking at construction schemes which make us better at most of the above include

    Considerate constructors
    BREEAM
    Building control
    Planning
    Frameworks which request minimum standards in relation to the above

    But in essence capitalism & communism are both too extreme for me.

    Reckon the world needs to do what we do but 5/10 more to the left! But not the left that only looks after the poor.... The left that looks after the world.

    Anyway I get my new trainers.... Won't say how much incase Noblet sees but they are fit!

    Then on the way home I stop into a chemist and think I'll try and sort Noblet out. Did I mention they don't speak English in this city? Well that's no exception in the pharmacy. Can you imagine my sign language trying to describe dioreah .... Many large hand gestures with squatting etc.... 3 mins later we're not getting anywhere. Then the chemist had the bright idea of google translate. Great. Oh crap, how do you spell 💩?

    I tried and eventually we got there. She handed me the pills from under the counter.... Immodium.... Fucking Imodium are you kidding I could have just asked! The whole shop has gobbledegook medicines with herbs and stuff and she gives me Imodium. Suppose we got there in the end.... I'll bare in mind in future just to say a brand 🙈🙈🙈 *note to self add Imodium Gam On to phrase dictionary!

    Whilst walking home I visited a 'iconic cathedral' which was basically the same as the Catholic Church in weaverham! Disappointing!

    Donkey: Noblet still being ill bored hurry up and get fixed!
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  • Day1

    GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!!

    January 22, 2017 in Laos ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

    22/01/17

    Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

    GOOD MORNING VIETNAM

    Ohhhhh... I mis heard 9 hour journey for 17 hour journey, my bad Mr travel agent!!! 😡😡

    To be honest those emojis are a bit over the top! We've gotten quite used to being lied to by travel agents!!

    The best bit on this journey was seeing 9 hours to HCMC at every bus stop (separated by 3 hours each) along the way!

    First stop is to get some dog out of the cash machine... We try 5 to no avail.... Call HSBC... No use. We use the Jaipur technique and Google HSBC and go to a branch.... Success they sort us out so we withdraw millions!

    We go for some food and there is a massive language barrier... Noblet has the bright idea of using his tiger t-shirt to order a beer.... It worked!! 😂

    Monied up we head to the "War remnants museum" formerly the US and China war crimes museum... Awks.

    It was without doubt the most one sided museum we have been to, however the one side was pretty true and was so graffic. I've put some of the photos on just to show how bad it was. Agent orange what a bastard.

    To cheer us up after viewing so many dead people with horrific injuries we decided to go to a water puppet show (having had no luck in Phnom Phen). This is a fantastic children's entertainment medium telling tales of the life of the Vietnamese people.... Aimed at children in their language we naturally found it to be hilarious.

    Their unicorns don't look like our unicorns though.

    After the show (where adults still smoked in the theatre) we wandered into some kind of massive local talent show... We think! In a park there were hundreds of displays of giant (what look like bonsai trees)! There were also fish tank displays, xylophone playing and singing all sorts!

    We lost at darts and balloons and were generally in awe at how mental everything was.

    We also stumbled across a couple of dragons performing the new year dance (in a couple of days everyone is excited!)

    I'm buzzing that we get to go to this restaurant where you have your own BBQ and cook up your own meat how you like it! We get there but all the smoke aggravates noblets illness he is defo not on form... And didn't finish his beer, I knew this was serious!

    Ot ohh not again!

    (Not many photos on my phone all on the camera as I died!)
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