Our blog which is now focusing on our travels in Europe during the Winters and working across the UK in the Summers.
It also has all our adventures from travelling India and South East Asia in 2018, the Philippines in 2020 and Sri Lanka in 2021/22
Oh my! The heat which had slowly been getting hotter the
further north we went in Vietnam, was pretty unbearable by the time we hit Nha
Nha Trang is a fairly built up seaside town but you have
long white sandy beaches with well maintained park areas offering some shade,
big city malls with delicious air conditioning, skyscraper resorts and
expensive beach bars rubbing shoulders with grubby street food shacks, karaoke
bars and a lot of building work. We were staying at a place called Funny House and
had booked an apartment with balcony for 5 nights, which was perfect as we got
the luxury of a fridge and freezer in the room. The owners also run the café
downstairs which is where breakfast is served, and you can always get a warm
ginger tea or cold beer. The breakfast choice was good with options of eggs any
way with the baguette style rolls, French toast, fresh fruit and the drip
coffee with condensed milk was lovely, which you could have hot or iced.
As I mentioned the heat and humidity was intense, this was
definitely the hottest we have been this trip, with daily temps of mid 30’s but
a real feel of mid 40’s. (it was 32 degrees before 9am) Most afternoons you
could count on a short but very welcome torrential rain shower. These might
only last 10 mins or a few hours and the humidity was no better after they left
but they were very welcome none the less.
Most of Nha Trang comes alive at
night when the temps are cooler and all the restaurants and bars are open, it’s
got a bit of a party city rep but to be honest I’m not sure how it got that as
we didn’t see much partying, just lots of Russian restaurants and massage
palours. We decided that due to Paul still feeling sore with chest / rib pains
and because we’d seen such amazing reefs and sea life in Indonesia, that we
wouldn’t throw money at the over priced diving and snorkelling here. This meant
we had a chilled out 4 days with lots of reading/ movie hours during the heat
of the day, lazy walks to the beach and shopping malls.
We took a taxi to visit Po Nagar Cham towers, which is an 7th-11
century Hindu temple complex just north of the main city centre. It’s a small
and compact set of temples set on a small knoll within nice gardens overlooking
the river but gets very busy with selfie stick waving tourists setting up the
perfect shot. The manicured gardens and repaired temples are a nice way to
waste a couple of hours though
The Buddhist pagoda Long Son is a short distance off to the
East of the town and is much calmer place to potter around. When we arrived,
the main hall was shut off and all the monks were congregating for a prayer
session which we declined to watch and headed up the steps to a huge white
seated Buddha. Although it was hot we made the climb up and from there could
see right across town. Inside is a small shrine with beautifully ornate walls
and outside hundreds of dragonflies flit around the trees, it’s quite relaxing
to sit in the shade of the Buddha and watch.
There are no shortage of decent restaurants in Nha Trang, we
ate everything from pizza to traditional fish claypot and even saved money with a
supermarket picnic on our balcony one night. Finding cheap beer was more
difficult as the beach bars wanted to charge 70k for a bottle, but you could
find it for 15-25k in most places off the tourist strip.
Our final day was abit of a strange one as we had to check
out at mid-day but didn’t catch our night bus til 6:30pm. The hotel looked
after our bags and with no aircon room to hide in we did the next best thing
and went to the cinema. 2 tickets, popcorn and drinks cost us under a fiver, so
it was a cheap way to kill some time plus I wouldn’t have wanted to spend any
more money on seeing Mission Impossible Fallout, it was that bad.
wasted we grabbed our bags and got a quick dinner at a Greek restaurant headed
out to the Sinh Tourist office for the night bus.
Yet another short monthly update, it's now 5 months (22 weeks) since being back in the UK so here is what's happened since last the last blog. We splashed out and got some new crockery and new saucepans, frying pan etc as we were fed up using the ones we had since getting Daisy which actually came with her! Daisy got a few more bits of work done for the MOT, including front brake pipes & hoses, caliper and the previously mentioned power steering issue was just a pipe which saved us a lot of money. Anyway she passed her MOT first time, with only a couple of advisories which will be sorted soon, so that's a relief and now means her MOT is a July date which suits us better as we will be in the UK around that time each year. So with the MOT done and the leak fixed, we took off up to the Peak District for an overnight stay at a pub campsite, just to get out of the city for a bit and also I had a couple of DIY jobs needing doing which required hook up. First up was a small
To get to Ipoh we had decided to do the 3hr bus journey. My sickness bands seemed to have worked quite well so far on other transport, and when you book online you can choose your seat allocation, so we got the front seats with a view to the front. Ipoh isn’t a huge fancy town but we had heard good things about it and it was on the way to the Cameron Highlands, so we decided to stop for a few nights. We were staying at the Ritz Garden hotel, which is a bit rough round the edges but was quite cheap and included a breakfast. It also had the most enthusiastic doorman ever, that dragged me off to show me maps and point out the directions you need to walk in for any of the sights. The hotel does boast of a pool, 3 bars, a library, a cinema and a gym but most of these rooms were locked and empty when we went for an explore, so not sure if they are really used facilities. After a settle in we headed out to figure out the town and to grab some food. The town is quite run down
So, we had arrived at Coron Port, but the island we were on is actually called Busuanga Island, the actual Coron Island is where most of the tours go to, more on that later. Coron is part of the Calamian Islands, of which form part of the Palawan area of the Philippines, where we will be visiting the popular areas of Coron, El Nido and then leaving via the capital city Puerto Princesa. This area is known for its huge expanse of islands, mostly formed with limestone and very similar to Halong Bay in Vietnam. Our first stop here was in the middle of the town, so it was a short tricycle ride at 120 pesos to our hotel, Balaibinda Lodge and we got checked in to our room. It was decent enough, with a little garden area outside and was clean and well looked after. Although one of the reception staff was a miserable sod, we had a pleasant time here for the 3 nights we had booked. We had arrived around 5pm, so we got freshened up and went for a walk around the town. To be ho