The first night we arrived we decided it was time for a drink as we hadn’t had one in a while…anyway a few Long Islands later we were both extremely worse for ware and have vowed not to drink again 🙏. Local Vietnamese spirits are lethal!
The next day we made it across the river to Dani’s friend Clair’s flat. She lives on the 29th floor and has stunning views over the city, after a tough day nursing deadly heads this was a glorious feeling! We bought ourselves copious amounts of crisps and pot noodle.
So the main (tourist) things we did in Ho Chi Minh were the war remmenants museum and a day trip to Cu Chi tunnels. The war museum is a must if you’re there, it’s only 15,000 dong and gives an interesting account of the Vietnam with some really eye opening photography.
The Cu Chi tunnels we are not so sure on, it was what felt like a really long day with not much time actually at the tunnels. It was over a two hour journey from HCM. It was good to see the surroundings and try to understand what it must have been like but it was quite pricey ~180,000 dong (bus and tunnels entry fee) and a long trip, the museum in the city centre was much more informative and you could get a much better feel of what really happened. The Cu Chi tunnels tour was interesting but much less informative…if you have a penchant for small spaces though you’d love it! you get the chance to crawl through one of the tunnels, Danielle got half way before freaking out, but I couldn’t even go in 😦
Whilst staying with Claire she took us to two lovely restaurants, one aimed at the expatriates; pretty classy food with a price tag to match. We had a lovely ‘English style fish and chips’ which was perfect after being away from home for so long! The other one was a Thai restaurant.
We decided to get a long layover in Singapore before going to meet Lara’s Dad in Hong Kong.
We tried to get on the free tour they do from the airport but as we wanted to get off and then do our own thing they wouldn’t let us; apparently there are no stops. So after walking back and forth through the huge airport we got a taxi to the gardens by the bay. We didn’t pay to go in as we didn’t have too long but you can still walk around the outside which is lovely.
After this we walked to in infamous Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling and monkey nuts. They are making a killing on the drinks at £20 a cocktail but I guess you only do it once in your life!
We then went to meet Laura (Lara’s old school friend who now lives in Singapore) in a wine bar which was much more reasonable! We had a great time catching up :), Laura then took us for dinner at Satay street which is a night food market. The food was pretty cheap and really good, try and fit this in while your there ! (Look up the days it’s on as I’m not sure it’s all the time, we went on a Thursday). Lau then went home and we got an uber to the airport, thanks for our night in Singapore Lau :).
In the morning we would be in Hong Kong.
We arrived into Bali’s capital from Cairns (check out our last posts for Australia East-Coast) pretty late so were keen to get on with our hours journey to Uluwatu. And evidently half of the Balinese taxi drivers were keen to take us…For a small fortune of course. At first we tried to get an uber but later realised they cannot get into the airport so had to go with one of the guys waiting outside. *
*Note uber is only effective in certain areas of Bali, it’s pretty taboo in general and the local taxi drivers will tell you it’s illegal. We will try and highlight where it’s good to use.
So back to the airport taxi drivers; after being hassled and heckled we finally managed to barter one of the drivers down to 150,000 IDR (approx £9). This is about reasonable, they’re starting prices are crazy! Don’t accept straight away.
When we got to our hotel there was no one at reception…as it was about midnight we started invisigioning a night on the benches. Luckily about 20mins later a man showed up on his moped and we sucsessfully checked in after a few communication issues. Sleep time!
Next day we wondered around and had our first Indonesian coffee…interesting experience. Try it once, then look out for the machines! We hired a moped in the afternoon and drove to the Uluwatu temple. Definitely go do this if your in Uluwatu it’s a good cultural visit, and you can experience the local monkeys. We had the moped the next day too so drove to the beach (1000 IDR entry fee) and had a little swim. Unfortunately we wernt in the right season for surfing but normally it’s a good surf spot.
In the afternoon we ordered an uber*successful*to get to our hotel in Seminyak, this cost 120,000 IDR and we had a really nice taxi driver from Java so he gave us some tips for what to do there.
Our hotel in Seminyak was nice and we went to a local restaurant for dinner that night, good food but tiny portions. *
In the morning we hired a moped and took the obligatory trip to Potato Head Beach Club. This took us a lot longer than anticipated as the location on Google maps is incorrect, look out for the Alia hotel and you will find it more easily! When we eventually arrived we ordered a cocktail (mocktail for Danielle) which was beaut, just watch out for the price tag, London not Indonesian.
Check out our next trip where we explore Ubud and the Monkey forest.