Tag Archives: vietnam

Blast from the vast (continent of Asia)

28 Mar

Today’s post is a retrospective. A “Retro Cut” if I were in radio. I do this only because being a self-proclaimed travel blog, I feel it’s necessary to write about actual travel at least once every financial year. It’s the blogging equivalent of paying your car registration on time so you don’t need a new roadworthy certificate.

My blast from the past sees us travelling all the way back to January 2012. Ahhh, those were heady days. Toto had released their latest phonograph cylinder, the latest top-of-the-range wireless cost two shillings and sixpence, and people were heard to utter the phrase “I give this two and a half men show three weeks, tops.” It was also the month I spent on a slow horse-drawn carriage through Vietnam.

I say horse-drawn carriage because when you are actually travelling by bus in Vietnam, the two are similar enough in speed to be called the same. That being said, it’s cheap, it usually gets you where you want to go, and it obligingly pulls over when you’re hungover and need to “toss a sidewalk pizza”. Curiously enough, I’m told most Melbourne cab companies fail all three of these elementary aspects of transport.

Raucously hilarious transport satire aside, Vietnam has climbed on to (and stubbornly remains on) my list of favourite places to visit. Without wanting to bore you in to rereading some of my earlier funnier work, I present you with a list of reasons why Vietnam deserves such a lofty post (from where it can look down it’s nose at places like Bali*):

  1. It’s cheap, like WAY cheap. My prime example is that in Hoi An you can get draught beer for 3000VND = AUD $0.14
  2. The currency conversion means you can drop lines such as “let’s put 20 Gs on it” when playing pool (AUD $1)
  3. You can get literally anything tailor-made for you. This is also in Hoi An. I had the shoes below made, but I’ve since sent away to Hoi An for this outfit.
  4. The haggling culture. This basically means you can assume everyone is out to rip you off. This is common knowledge though, so it is your fault if you don’t know, leading to you not haggling and getting ripped off. Get the best deal you can, but assume you will pay at least 200% more than the locals. This guy drove a hard bargain, but in the end I got a good price for my novelty cone hat.
  5. The food. Anywhere you can get street food for $1 or less with only moderate bowel disruptions has got to be good.
  6. Clearly this place is the capital of inter-species harmony.

Let’s just hope when our alien visitors inevitably arrive, they land in Hoi An.

Safe travels. J

*No offence Bali, the fried rice in your breakfast buffets is still as good as anywhere I’ve been.