Inflatable Doom

Day 37. Tues 6/14

Nha Trang

Sailing Club, Beach, Kids Play Zone, Mojzo Inn



After a good night’s sleep, I woke up still thinking about how good my chicken sandwich from the Sailing Club was last night. Kaija and Max had booked a diving trip this morning so they were gone, but the rest of us four wanted to spend a day at the beach so we thought the Sailing Club lunch was a good place to start. I tried buffalo (loved it) and Josh ordered two entrees (what else is new).

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We were still at the Sailing Club when Kaija and Max returned so we got to hear about how awesome their dives were. The rest of us had decided not to go because the dive master mentioned a low visibility and potential bad weather – which had taken away from our diving in Koh Tao earlier. So of course the weather was gorgeous and they had a great time. I’m happy for them, but dang it! They got to see an inflated blow fish!

Hillary’s little caravan left for Ho Chi Minh City just after noon but the rest of us had declined the ride so that we could spend more time on the beach and avoid paying for a hostel by taking a night train. However, we realized that an early morning 1 hour flight was only $17 (the night train was $35+) and we ended up booking beds at Mojzo Inn just a five minute walk away. They had a free beer hour at 5pm so we figured we would just hang out at the beach until then to check in.

We soaked up the sun for a while and then got antsy. I had a noticed an area down the beach with inflatable structures and a trampoline. Josh, Mike, and I went to check it out and decided it was worth the $3 for something to do.

There were children playing on the trampoline so we made our way to the bigger structures in the deeper water. Mike and Josh pretty quickly scaled two of the floaties while I struggled to find a path up mine that didn’t have crucial hand/foot pieces torn or completely missing. Josh jumped off his first (pretty tall) inflatable into extremely shallow water and that should have been our first warning that nothing good would come from this adults playing on children’s toys. But we didn’t take the hint (20/20 hindsight) and continued to scale the structures and then slide down them – not fun – until the coveted trampoline opened up.

The tramp was connected by 2 ropes to an inflated rectangle landing strip, and we assumed that one person would sit on the end of the strip and the other would jump from the tramp onto the end of the strip, sending the other one flying (i.e. Jackass 3?). The hard part was getting to the strip. Josh held the rope to bring the strip closer (there was a small space between the two floaties) and Mike jumped from the trampoline and slid down the side of the strip into the water. The forward force sliced Josh’s fingernail as the rope slid through his grip 😫 I think that counted as strike 2. I decided to jump on to the landing strip much slower by sliding gently from the trampoline. A little too gently actually – I didn’t get on to the strip completely and then started sliding backward, about to fall through the space between the tramp and the strip. I panicked and tried to fall sideways but my feet had already gone in between while my top half went off the side. So I ended up draped over the rope and got a gnarly rope burn while trying to wiggle my way out. It all happened so fast and when I finally fell in the water the salt stung my fresh burn. We finally took the hint and evacuated with a burnt hip, ripped fingernail and torn dignity, heading back down the beach past all the parents and children who continued to play on the inflatables. Child endangerment much? I now understand my mother’s concern and refusal to let me or Kellen play on similar playgrounds when we were younger. I guess I had to learn my lesson the hard way at age 23. I wonder when Kellen will learn his…

The Mojzo Hostel turned out to be pretty awesome. We got our own room because they weren’t fully booked, the air con worked, the ladies at the front were extremely helpful with our travel arrangements for early in the morning and other recommendations, and we made it in time for free beer.

I took some time to run a few errands before dinner (read: buy shampoo and get pedicure) and then we took a cab to a street market the front desk ladies recommended. We got dropped off in an area that was completely dark and mostly deserted, with people cleaning up and creating big piles of stinky trash. We decided to take a detour to KFC. Which was out of chicken (???) so then we detoured to Baskin Robbins. Which had a buy one get one free. We win.

Food log:

  • Buffalo steak with a carrot puree, grilled shallots, beets, and potatoes. V yummy
  • Baskin Robbins – chocolate love potion and Belgian waffle – because ice cream for dinner is allowed on vacation, right?
  • Chicken strips and French fries for fourth (technically third) meal #cultured

 

One Night in Bangkok

Day 4 & 5. Fri 5/13 & Sat 5/14

Ho Chi Minh City▶Bangkok▶Chiang Mai

Flight in to DMK, Suneta Hostel, Khao San Road pad thai, Club Khao San, Rooftop Bar, Back to DMK

This morning we said our temporary goodbye to Vietnam and left for Thailand. Friends advised us that one night would be plenty in Bangkok and they were right. The daytime vibe and nightlife on Khao San Road (the main street) and the surrounding area was crazy – there were people, animals, clothing racks, food stands, taxis, and tuk tuks on every inch of the sidewalks and roads. They were selling everything from RayBans to brass knuckles to dried scorpion to laughing gas. We went out to grab street food for lunch and between all of the bustle and humidity we came back exhausted.

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I tried pad thai for the first time and it did not disappoint. What was disappointing was getting laughed at by a local as I stood up from my metal stool, where I had left a ring of sweat. Then he kept laughing, shook all of our hands and said “good luck” 🤔 Yeah.. I’m just as confused as you are.

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A quick 3 hour nap and we were ready to eat again. For dinner we picked Club Khao San, a place with pictures on the menu, where we could still people watch and enjoy a 3 liter beer tower (well, 2). We had some great entertainment from an old man dancing with some $waggy fresh moves throughout our entire meal. We made sure to stop by, bust a move, and empty our loose change into his basket. We came back hours later and he was still going strong. Talk about a dancing queen.👑

After dinner we went to the Rooftop Bar and had a few drinks. And by drinks I mean a bucket of vodka or rum, redbull and coke. The live band was great – it’s interesting how little of an accent comes through when people sing in other languages. It seems like we hear American music everywhere we go, and from what I can gather Thai people are huge fans of Adam Levine. So many Maroon5 throwbacks.

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We stopped back at the hostel before going out for the night and entered a busy lobby full of Americans, Canadians and a couple Europeans. Most of the travellers were heading to the same areas we were going to next or had already been there. I hope we meet up with a few of them again, because everyone was a ton of fun, especially when we all went for a ride in the tuk tuks, little motor taxis that people use to get around here. We finished the night with dancing and more buckets back at Club Khao San.

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The next morning was rough, but we checked out of the hostel and hit up another street vendor for lunch before heading back to the DMK airport. Max and Josh ended up with an extremely spicy dish and I failed miserably at bartering down some sunglasses. Need to work on that.

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We’ve pretty much mastered the art of getting to the airport at the last possible second, but since we had a few minutes to spare before our plane boarded I got to try the McSpicy sandwich from McDonalds. ‘Twas good.👌

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