“In Vietnam you can’t just quit a job to travel. I see foreigners all the time do that. In Vietnam, you can’t. You quit your job and it’s very hard to get another one.” When you save enough money to travel outside Vietnam, where you going to go? “I work at the Monkey House part time and I see so many Australians. Those people are so nice. I want to go see Australia”. Meet Hoa, a 22 year old local from Dalat studying to be an English teacher. I met him on the journey from Dalat to Nha Trang. When I saw him come on the bus my initial judgement of him wasn’t a good one. But I couldn’t be more wrong. He asked if I’m from Singapore because I look like someone that would be from there. When I told him that I’m Vietnamese and chinese, he couldn’t believe it. We spent most of the journey to Nha Trang with Hoa teaching me some vietnamese. He is such a sweet kid. After we landed, he even took one of the girls bag who was heading to the same hostel as me and walked us to our destination.
Do you have any kids? “No, with kids I wouldn’t be able to travel!”
Meet Barba from Germany who quit her job to go travel over the past year. An avid traveller, she is the first non Canadian traveller I met who knew where Edmonton is! “I once bought a, I don’t know what you call it in English, camp vehicle? And went from Edmonton to Jasper, Banff, Vancouver, Vancouver island, then I fly to Toronto. All in 3 weeks.”
Meet Santiago and Lucho, two friends from Argentina who now work in the leather industry in China. I was at the bar when these two guys started yelling at my direction. I had no idea who they were, but they remember me as the guy with Sheldon during the Cu Chi tunnel tour in Saigon. They heard about what I was doing and they wanted to be a part of it so they just started telling me tons of stories, some of which I was able to jot down (I left out the R-rated stories):
“We are Argentinians! We live in the battlefront of pick pocketing. We know how it’s done. It’s like we have two sets of eyes” – Santiago recalling the time when Lucho’s wallet got swiped in the streets of Saigon
“When I first landed in Vietnam, I went and bought a coconut for 300,000 VND. I thought this is normal. I then did the conversion and I realized I spent $15 USD! Shit.” – Santiago
“I don’t understand other countries. I recently had a conversation with a Canadian and we got into a debate. I love guns, I wouldn’t ever use it unless it’s for protection” Meet Cody, a 26 year old from Miami, Florida. On the left is Nathaniel, a 23 year old British man who I bonded quickly with upon hearing Cody’s feelings on gun control. These two net in Laos couple months ago and randomly ran into each other here in Nha Trang
This group of 6 Argentinians (plus 3 randoms) are as outgoing as it gets. Close friends, they’re travelling together for 4 months around south east Asia. They can be found at the lobby or bar teaching people “real” Spanish or singing some Spanish music loudly. I ran into these guys in Mui Ne originally at the camp site.
Olivia (24) and Francisco (25) from Ireland and Argentina, respectively. Olivia is a recent graduate in French and Spanish studies. She’s in no hurry to grab a job anytime soon as she’s only two weeks in with FIFTY more weeks to go. Francisco is a sales supervisor. Two months in to a four month trip.
Meet George and Charlotte. This couple from England were my roommates in Nha Trang and were as sweet as they come. As you will see later on, they also entertained our room when George came home at 6am to an unhappy girlfriend.
Meet Sam, a 27 year old geezer from England who was once raped by 3 German guys…almost. “I was in a Thai bar where I met these 3 German guys. They were talking to two ladyboys and I thought that they just were just doing it for fun, as it is common for that in Thailand. Afterwards they asked me to tag along to another bar and I said sure. They end up taking me to the gay bar. That’s not an issue, I have no problems with the gays. But I’m confused now. Then one of the German asks me if I wanted to go back to his hotel quickly to do a some drugs then head back out to another club. I go with him and when I saw what was suppose to be cocaine, I laughed out loud because it was blue. And the ecstasy blew everywhere. 10 mins later the two other Germans come back in and that’s when it occurred to me that maybe they wanted to get me fucked up to take advantage of me. I quickly grabbed my shit and left.”
My time in Nha Trang was pretty chill. I didn’t do much during the day other than go onto the beach. They had a sweet looking water park but the cost to get into the amusement park was 600,000 VND so I didn’t think it was worth it. My first night here ruined me as I ordered three of these drinks called “adios motherfucker”, which apparently had 5 shots in it. I didn’t know at the time but the next morning was the first time in my life that I nearly puked the morning after. I woke up at 830, went for the free breakfast, then went back to sleep until 1245ish. The second night I met this English mate named Robbie who had to be like 50 years old pushing 60. It’s kind of odd seeing someone that old in a backpackers hostel but as I will learn, this guy is a businessman. When all of us went to the bar together, Robbie was there taking cash from random travellers. I thought he was selling dope so I asked how much. He told me “for you, free mate”. So he pulls out this bag of paper, cuts a piece and puts it in my hand. I asked what it was and he said “LSD”. So I quickly said thanks but no thanks…
On the morning of the day I leave, one of my roommates, George, came home around 6am. His girlfriend Charlotte, who had the lower bunk with me, gets up and asked where he was, “I had the biggest trip of my life” George says. The two go back and forth whisper-arguing before leaving the room to go on their tour. Very nice people though!
Here are some other photos from Nha Trang