Mandy and Jon's Journey 2005 travel blog

ahhh. the pool

Chris soaks his toes in the South China Sea.

Man Getting his fishing basket back safely to shore.

"Presidential" balcony of our "presidential" suite, with a very "presidential-looking" JQ

View of Vung Tao's back beach

boats through the driftwood on Back Beach

Doing as the locals do,(those that can do it) we took a three day holiday from the bustle of the city and hopped a hydrofoil boat down the Saigon to the beach city of Vung Tau. Hydrofoils are not built to allow you to sightsee as you travel. They are more like bullets, or above-water submarines, with air-con and a TV with vietnamese news. The clouds thickened above us as we traveled our hour and 15 minutes to the seaside city, and the precipitation politely waited until we had deboarded the boat and had just about gotten into our cab. Only slightly wet (JQ moreso, because he took on luggage duty as his Dad and busied ourselves with our raincoats, the gentleman he is)

we took a short ride to The Rex Hotel, feeling quite lucky that we had avoided the now torrential monsoon and were cozy in a cab.It is not quite the Rex Hotel that is in Ho Chi Minh, we find. (Listen to us now, spoiled by the Majestic, now we're rating 3 star hotels after staying nearly 8 months in places where stars will never find their way). It was a bit of a "pimped out" hotel room, if you will. Pleather couch, gold memorobilia on the walls, plastic tv case, and the best asset, a light-up photo of Ho Chi Minh city in the bedroom. Classy.

But, it was great, and really fun, and it kept us dry and lazy as we watched the rain pour down on our beach holiday. oops. Who'd a thought it would rain at the beach during South Asia's monsoon season?

But, it rained for only that day. The next days were brilliant. And our next hotel was fabulous. We moved to The Sammy, because the Rex got to be just plain too weird for us. Jon's Dad yet again spoiled us with a grand room for three, this time with a massive presidential balcony. we were wowed. and happy. and content. and if the sun hadn't been shining on our beach holiday, we would still have been happier than pigs in shit.

We spent the next three days swimming at the pool across the street. Literally. We stood/swam/sat in and around that pool for many hours, yet it never seemed long nor boring. It was perfect. We caught up with goings on at home, heard war stories, talked politics and movies, ate lunch, swam more, got a bit sunburned, and then did it all again the next day.

One day we ventured off to climb the hill to the random big Jesus that loomed over Vung Tao. It was a hot climb, with beautiful views, and very nice stone steps. Jesus was there at the top, he was, bigger than ever.

So, that day, we climbed to Jesus in the morning, and swam in the pool in the afternoon. At night we'd pick a spot for dinner, then we'd go home and maybe watch a movie on HBO. SUCH A TREAT for us. Pools, Air con, white sheets, big hotels, and television. And most importantly, some family to visit with.

Our Vung Tao days were fairly uneventful- yet full nonetheless. Travel can be like that. Because every image around you is new and different, and language and food foriegn, simple days turn out to be not that simple. When your head hits the pillow after a night of pooling and sunbathing in Vung Tao, Vietnam, there is still so much to ponder and consider about your day.

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