It NEVER rains in Vietnam (except in wet season) but not in the dry season. Yet today, it did.

So after our first blissful sleep in in AGES I woke up to find myself with the sniffles and sneezeys but otherwise in high spirits. After a miserable attempt at a bath which ended up being cold and raining we had breakfast where Dad told us the days plan, a cycling trip to a beach about 14km away. Looking around us we looked a tad doubtful due to the rather dribbly grey weather but it wasn't raining so we shrugged and agreed and went to the bike rental.

Thank goodness dad made us bring rain coats because very very soon after we started it started to pour and pour and pour. I already had a cold so I spent the trip sneezing and coughing with rain and snot dripping from my face (gross but true). Other than being completely soaked though it was really fun and interesting. The beach was lovely though we didn't stay long because of the weather and the journey was fabulous.

I would like to take this moment to tell you all that it has been 10 days since I've bitten my nails!!! This is a HUGE achievement for me and they are the longest they have been EVER in my whole life. I hope to NEVER bite my nails again as my new years and new life resolution...

It is also 10 days till Maeve Dad and Cian are back in Sydney. Mum and I have a different flight which will take us 12 hours or so longer but its okay because Mum will probably spoil us without all the others there!
hehehe....
 


In other news a couple of days ago we went to Raffles for high tea! It was a bit spiffy in an old colonial hotel. We had the high tea in the conservatory which was like a old fashioned glass room and the food was delicious. Afterward we went to "The Elephant Bar" which was also very cool. It was an ecclectic room with big paintings of elephants on the walls beautiful elephant themed cushions and elephant heads on the walls. The whole thing was very special and really amazing...

So goodbye from rainy Vietnam...
Tomorrow we leave Hue for Hoian which is famous for food, tailors and shoe makers!!!

I am very excited but a bit sad as it will be our last stop on the trip:(

See you later,

Happy holidays,

Niamh
 
 
Yesterday we went on a daytrip to a river boat ride through caves along canals through valleys. It was very pleasant and we were all on little three people boats with drivers. Me and Maeve were on a boat together and our rower was very nice,

What wasn't nice was the journey there...

We thought that e would go straight to this river, maybe a 2 hour drive but after driving aroung Hanoi for an hour picking people up we realised this was not the case, when Cian threw up in the bus we knew something was even worse than a little bit of a long bus ride...You see, Cian never gets car sick, in the roughest oceans he is still reading so we knew that it was something worse than Niamh disease. He may have had a tummy bug but in anycase he wouldn't stop so I had to play Cinderella while my ugly sister and went bicycle riding Prince Charming (Dad). so I nursed Cian right through the uninteresting and unnesascary stop at a temple and at lunch. By the tme we got to the boat ride he was better....

So here I sit,  waiting for Mummy....
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Yesterday we went on a daytrip to a river boat ride through caves along canals through valleys. It was very pleasant and we were all on little three people boats with drivers. Me and Maeve were on a boat together and our rower was very nice,

What wasn't nice was the journey there...

We thought that e would go straight to this river, maybe a 2 hour drive but after driving aroung Hanoi for an hour picking people up we realised this was not the case, when Cian threw up in the bus we knew something was even worse than a little bit of a long bus ride...You see, Cian never gets car sick, in the roughest oceans he is still reading so we knew that it was something worse than Niamh disease. He may have had a tummy bug but in anycase he wouldn't stop so I had to play Cinderella while my ugly sister and went bicycle riding Prince Charming (Dad). so I nursed Cian right through the uninteresting and unnesascary stop at a temple and at lunch. By the tme we got to the boat ride he was better....

So here I sit,  waiting for Mummy....

 
 
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Today we said goodbye to mum which was a bit sad... but we are all alright and I'm sure she'll enjoy having a break from family life for a while.

A couple of days ago we went to Bako National Park and only 5 minutes into this little adventure we had our first taste of the wildlife. Approaching our cabin we were shocked to see monkeys, playing on and around our cabin. Dad went to the bathroom so we were left standing 10 metres away from the cabin with our bags watching the Macacks. What started as "Oh look, they're so cute!" Turned into "that one has a juice popper" to "Oh no, someone didn't close there window and the macacks are going crazy with there room and belongings". By this stage we realised that what we were witnessing was a teenage hoon party with a difference; monkeys were climbing trees with juice poppers which they were pouring all over innocent bearded pigs who just wanted some peace, some were jumping wildly and all were going in and out of the window with all matter of objects. This is when dad came out. Thinking he was a big scary macho man against these tiny little monkeys he quickly started hiising and grunting and stomping to sacre them away. Which worked. In a flash 50 monkeys ran out windows and ran away and most backed away from the cabin...except for one.

Dad rolled his eyes and growled at this monkey thinking it would just run away, but it didn't. It growled back. Again Dad growled at the monkey who this time charged at Dad screaming and ready to attack, suffice to say Dad ran for his life into the bathroom still being chased and shut the door. Feebly opening the window he wailed, "Is it still there?" It was pacing outside the door ready to attack. 5 minutes later it walked away and we told Dad he could come out, The second he came out the monkey saw him and ran at him again putting dad right back into the bathroom. Oblivious and impatient Mum grabbed a stick saying I'm sick of waiting her an stomped up to our room let herself safely in and closing the door. She told us to follow but there was no way I was going to be attacked by a monkey. Cian finally coaxed me to follow him so stick in hand we started up the path to our door. It wasn't long before a monkey came at us and tried to bite Cian, I ran away as fast as I could as far as I could. By the time I came back Dad was safe in the room and Me and Maeve and Cian tried again. We were a meter from the door when a monkey growled at us so I just dived into the room with Maeve, Cian following close behind. We were safe. It was funny and scary and a good story. Dad had been booked into the room next to us (the monkey room)where a couple of other people were staying...It was a bomb in there so Dad grabbed his matress and settled with sleeping on the floor in our room.

I hate to continue and bore you because I know this is long but I must mention our other 2 rainforest stories.
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After we had settled in our room we decided to go for a quick stroll to a beach which was 800m away. "Don't worry about hiking boots, just bring a towel, we won't need water" said Dad. It only took one wrong turn for us to find ourselves on a walk more like 6km than 800m with a steep rocky mountain climb, a cliff face to go down to reach a mediocre beach which we could only stay 5 minutes at due to the time and a storm on the horizon. My crocs weren't up to the challenge nor was our 200ml of water.No one was happy.

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We did end up going to the 800m away beach the next day and it was beautiful, so beautiful that; on our last day we decided to go there again.
This is where the Bear Hunt starts.
on our way to the trail that you took to the beach we spotted a pack of very rare probiscis monkeys that are orange with funny noses. We were only 5 meters away from the and it was incredible, excited by the spotting when they decided to leave the spot we followed them and found ourselves in a mangrovey beach that seemed to connect with our desired location. "We should see if we can go around the point to the beach rather than that hard climb over the mountain". Although only 800metres it was a hard 800metres going over a mountain to get to the beach and the thought of a 200m flat walk around the point was tempting, so we went. The frst challenge was with our monkey friends. Yes, the famous Macacks. Who were blocking our passage along the magrovey beach. We couldn't go around them, nor over them, nor under them so we had o go through them. They groweld at us and tried to hit us and we were all really scared so by the time we had passed them and found ourselves in metre deep sinkung mud I panicked. Again we couldn't go around it or under or over it, so we had to go through it. I was seriously seriously scared. At one point I got stuck and couldn't get out but with a little help unstuck myself. Panicky and unhappy I winged and cried and tried to say we should go back, I was covered in mud and we didn't even know if we would be able to reach the beach. But we kept going, sobbing away we climbed over slippery rocks and I slipped. Now not only covered in mud but also blood for I had scraped my whole leg down a rock covered in oysters. That was the last straw, well it turned out not for Dad told me to stop whining and man up. I did, trying not to cry blood streaming down my leg I clambered over the last rock went through a scary dark tunnel and... WAS ATTACKED BY A BEAR!

No actually we reached the beach and it was nice and we had a nice time and I washed my leg and it was all cool.

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