On my own for the first time. I decided to check out the Jade Emperor Pagoda, a little pagoda off the beaten path. I took a motorbike there and it was a fun ride and a great way to see Ho Chi Minh city from a different perspective. The chaos you see from the sidewalks doesn’t seem as chaotic once you’re on the road. I could see myself driving this and actually prefer it because everyone is very aware and actually trying to get somewhere instead of just driving on auto pilot like in North America. He dropped me off and before I got to the entrance there was some baby turtle and bird vendors, I read that the pagoda was home to many turtles so this kind of made sense. The pagoda was quite normal but they had a pool with maybe a hundred turtles. It was crazy, all stacking on top of each other and hanging out.
I love turtles so this was great. Really worth the trip. After that I chose to walk back, I then stopped at that local market from the previous day again and had the best sandwich I had ever had. I think there was some sort of pork and chicken on it with the special sauce, cucumber, chili sauce and coleslaw. I’m drooling just thinking about it again, sorry, I had to.
I walked back to the park near the hostel and decided to sit and enjoy the rest of my sandwich. There was the Vietnamese cardio group going at it again and I decided to join in asking one of the leaders about it. She said that anyone could join in so I did it and made a bunch of the girls laugh being the tallest, whitest, biggest and most filled with testosterone person doing the workout but it was fun! Loved it and such a good full-body workout. It’s a core, arm and leg work out, I don’t remember the last time I sweat like that. It was great fun because it was to Vietnamese Techno music to add on to that.
On my way back to the hostel after the workout, the badminton crew I had played with the night before was walking by and waved me down to follow them to play again. We played for 2 hours and after an hour some other guys showed up and and we started a winner stays on tournament. My partner and I cleaned up!
I left badminton to go sleep but on my way I was stopped by two Vietnamese girls on a scooter, and they said: “Massage in your hotel room”, I said no thanks, then they said, “oh you like happy ending massage eh??” and winked at me. It got a little awkward but I smiled and said no thank you, they proceeded to say, “OHHH Okay, You more of a sucky sucky man eh?!” with another wink and I said No I’m seriously fine thanks though, then their last pitch was “okay okay, we can do boom boom if you want.” I just kept walking at that point and didn’t answer. So I finally got to my room and did some more planning and resting. A good last day on my own. 🙂
Woke up early enough, Finally caught myself up on my writing and planned a little more. I left the awesome hostel to check in to my hotel and got ready to meet the group. Met my room-mate Ryan first, he was a cool american from hawaii/colorado. Met the rest of the group but went to bed early enough to keep my planning going and because I was still exhausted from the workouts of the day before.
Nha Trang did not have much to offer, it was a resort town, so I booked a motorbike tour of the country side, before we left for our Night Train Journey. I got top bunk on the train with Ian from Scotland and the bottom had Martin(Canadian) and Ryan.
We had a couple drinks and I passed out early enough, but woke up a couple hours later and I started to have a mini panic attack feeling claustrophobic, I was on the top bunk and the ceiling is closer than an arms length to your face and that made me uncomfortable for whatever reason. I had to get up and go for a little walk around the train and I was a little better after but I had to play some music to calm me down. Other bad thing was that the bed was leaning towards the middle of the room so I was leaning on the railing of my bed the whole time. Eventually I fell back asleep and woke up every now and then but survived well enough till we arrived in Nha Trang in the morning, not a very good first night train experience 🙂 Motorbike day ahead!!
Oh and just for fun here’s a video I got of the turtles playing, and a turtle floating on another turtle 🙂 Also props if you said the title like the journey song 😉
Stay Awesome and follow your dreams!