We were up at 4am to catch our flight but when we saw the blue-green sea so early in the morning, we knew we made the right choice and actually, we could sleep on the beach! We stayed at 'Club Tropicana' which was recommended to us and it was a lovely place with bungalows looking over the beach with its white sand and clear water.
We wanted to take a beach break before making the final push through Cambodia and Angkor Wat - so we decided here would be great. It is not very touristy yet, the amenities are quite basic, but it was just what we were looking for.
Not too much to report - our days consisted of rising early so we can run down to the beach and get a lounge chair before the Germans get there first (no offense Miriam!!), breakfast, reading by the sea, lunch, swimming, reading, sunset cocktails, early dinners and early to bed to do it all again the next day.
We have gone for long walks, and rented a motorbike again (Jonathan is an expert now!) and visited the small fishing village near to where we are staying. It's a slow pace of life here and the villagers are all very friendly and haven't caught on to the tourist thing yet which suits us just fine.
The waiters at the hotel are keen to practice English and are a really funny lot - they have tried to teach me a little Vietnamese which they find very funny! Vietnamese is a tonal language and therefore very difficult! So, I can say two things - Thank You (Cam En) and Large Water (Nuc Loy) and that is about it! One of the waiters, who comes from the Mekong Delta area, told us how he came here to improve his English amongst the foreign tourists. He is 24 and single and dreams of going to Saigon (like many Vietnamese) where he will make his riches - he is a great guy and we really hope he makes it and realises his dreams....
Unfortunately, a few things occured in our week here to put a downer on our spirits - firstly, my brand new flip flops were stolen. Now, this doesn't seem like a tragedy, however when you have feet as big as mine, it is impossible to find new ones in South East Asia! Luckily though we are leaving the beach in a few days, and now someone has a well-loved pair of flip-flops. Secondly, as we are in a bungalow, we noticed many flecks of brown on our sheets in the evenings when we return from the beach. For the first few days, we just flecked them off thinking nothing of them. On our last day we realised that actually, they were bird poop from the roof of the bungalow - but the friendly staff here quickly gave us a set of new sheets as Jonathan had had about enogh of the poo experience! Finally, I almost lost Jonathan - no, not in a motor-bike accident like I feared everyday he got on one, but from a falling coconut that missed his head by about 3cms! Whew - it missed him!
On a serious note, we have enjoyed our time in Vietnam immensely. We have found the people extremely friendly, quick with a joke, eager to speak English, generous, hard-working and all around fun. The country, from the north to the south is stunning with its dense forests to the west and its beautiful sand beaches to the east. The food has been good and the seafood as fresh as you can get it. We already look forward to our return and anxiously look forward to Cambodia.