It’s been good to slow down.
Instead of hurtling across the continent on various forms of public transport, trying to cram in as much as possible before our visa expires, we’ve chosen to spend the last 10 days moving no further than a couple of square miles, settling into our new Vietnamese lifestyle.
Our days consist of morning yoga, a leisurely breakfast, a trip to the market & the deli to buy the day’s provisions, back to our bungalow for home school, and then either a stroll around the town, a trip out or simply spending the rest of the day in the pool.
In many ways, I feel we are seeing more of the country, not less, by doing so. Travelling with children is a different experience. We’ve got past the stage where all the old ladies at the market shout “Sing-ba! Sing ba!” (triplets) over the entire area and create a mini-crowd-surge of excitement around us. They know us now, and are very welcoming, and very funny. We talk to them in English, they reply in Vietnamese, and we seem to get along just fine. For the first time in the trip, the girls have been able to enjoy the pleasure of exploring a really good fresh food market, and finding out what all the ‘funny stuff’ is, without being hassled. It’s lovely.
We’ve also found ourselves a great place to stay. We have a ground floor flat in Botanic Garden Homestay, with 2 bedrooms, a living room and a little kitchen. There’s space for the kids to play, and a little swimming pool to cool down in. We got a good deal for our longer stay, and are compensating for our wild overspend in Hong Kong! It’s lovely to be able to cook together and we’ve even attempted some old favourites – spag bol and bangers & mash have banished our home food cravings.
So what’s next? We’ve just extended our stay for another week, so more of the same. There’s some ancient Cham ruins, and a couple of promising beaches that will make good excursions. But mostly we’ll be staying right here. And loving it.