Vietnam Explorer Day #9

Today was the day I had been looking forward to most, and it didn’t disappoint. I was anxious about it too!

Firstly we were off to see some rubber and coffee plantations. I was a little bored with this, as me and Adrian had watched a programme already about these – but was also nice to see with my own eyes. The highlight (or maybe not highlight, more like most interesting thing about being there) was that we saw this huge, weird exotic spider. I of cause, kept my distance. But it was very vibrant. We couldn’t get a very good picture of it unfortunately, and I definitely wasn’t going to get too close to get a better one. I found an image online however:

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I’d be pretty scared if I saw that crawling round my house. After the trip here, we had a long drive to go and see the elephants! Once we got there, we could see them minding there own business in the lake in the distance, and then the Vietnamese got in boats to go out to get them. Apparently they don’t get that many tourists so I think the elephants get plenty of time off!

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I was quite anxious at first and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to go through with it and get on – but I felt better when I found out it was two to an elephant. We had to walk up this big concrete thing to be able to get to the same height as the elephant to be able to clamber on! It was quite jolty once on and moving around, but I felt safer knowing we were on the biggest elephant, and we had the most senior elephant handler!

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The elephants all walked in a line down the road, one of the couples didn’t want to go on one so one of the tour guides went on one instead and he shouted behind him “Okay, now we go across the lake!”. My thoughts were, ahh okay that’s the end of the elephant ride, we’re going to get off now and take a boat across. Oh no. The elephants started descending down the banks of the lake, and I started to panic. Not only were we being tipped forward because of the angle of the elephant, we were going in WATER. Those of you who know me, know I’m not a big fan of any open water. Once in however, I was feeling okay. It was a really large lake, and was getting deeper and deeper as we were going in the middle. Thankfully it never got up to our feet but it was pretty close!

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Once on the other side, the elephants circled around some trees and then we got off. We got in dug-out canoes to get back to the other side, which was interesting but I hardly moved once I got in because every slight movement seemed to tip it more than I was comfortable with.

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Once we were back, it was back on the bus to go to a restaurant for lunch. After lunch we had some traditional Vietnamese music with dancing, which was quite interesting… we had ‘rice wine’ and it was so strong, and had like a woody taste to it because of the container that it was being held in.

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We had a long drive again back to the airport ahead, and on the way we stopped at a Vietnamese Coffee place where we could just sit and chill out. I had my usual caramel latte, but iced seeing as the weather was so humid. I needed the caffeine as we still had a flight and a drive to our next hotel.

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We arrived in Ho Chi Minh city, our last destination (apart from home) by plane at around 9pm. Our stay was at the Grand Hotel, which was in the built up district. It was a beautiful hotel, and was surrounded by equally beautiful hotels and buildings. We were having one night here, before traveling by minibus to Can Tho for one night, and then coming back to Grand Hotel for another two nights.

Thanks for reading!

Creative Cowell x

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