Our Asia Trip Diary – Part Six

Check out part five here!

For Monday morning we planned something fun! We are going to Ubud Monkey Forest. It’s a sanctuary and a natural habitat of more than a thousand Balinese monkeys. Such a fun experience! The park is bigger than we thought and we walked around for more than two hours. There are monkeys everywhere and they even tried hugging my leg, but I was too afraid of them to react. We see monkeys playing with each other and we even spot monkeys jumping into a water hole! If we could bring some drinks into the park, we could have spent even more hours watching these playful monkeys. But of course, taking drinks or snacks is at your own risk as the sneaky bastards would take it all!

On Tuesday morning we go to the hospital, Marnick is still sick and it doesn’t get any better. After a blood test, he gets antibiotics, which should help to recover. In the afternoon we drive with our scooter to Tegallalang rice fields. It’s a picturesque hill covered with rice fields and we’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a cloudy and rainy day, so we have the rice fields almost all to ourselves. 

Wednesday is another scooter day on the island! After a morning walk at Campuhan Ridge we leave Ubud and drive to the north, to see Mount Batur, the active volcano on Bali. We come across a cute restaurant overlooking the volcano, so we order a snack and enjoy the view! Can you imagine we are the only ones here? Afterwards, we drive back to Ubud, now taking a different road, passing Tukad Cepung Waterfall. This waterfall is special because you can only reach it by following a little stream through rocks and a cave.

We’re tired when we’re back in Ubud, maybe we shouldn’t have done so much in one day. We spoil ourselves with some of the best pizzas in Ubud at Umah Pizza and even order chocolate mousse for dessert. It was all surprisingly delicious.

Thursday we’re flying to our next destination! It all goes well, we take one last swim and go out for lunch, until we arrive at the airport and notice there is a mistake in our visas to enter Vietnam… Long story short, we somehow managed to escape a scam we landed in which could have cost us $300. This hustle gave us so much stress that we are run down when we finally arrive in Ho Chi Minh City. I was so stressed  that I vomited for the entire flight. 

On Friday we only go out of the hotel to get some food as we’re both sick. So sad as we were both excited to discover the city, but we need to give our bodies some time to recover. 

Saturday I already feel much better! The vomiting and diarrhoea (which also came to say hi) have almost stopped and also Marnick is feeling a bit better as well. Time to discover the metropolis! We walk through some cute streets and are positively surprised by how modern this city is. We thought it was a business city but there are cute bars and places everywhere. When strolling down Nguyen Hue Walking Street we come across The Apartment Café. It is a whole apartment building and each apartment is a cute bar / coffee place. Our stomachs aren’t fully recovered yet, so we order ice cream and yoghurt for lunch. 

In the afternoon we go to the War Remnants Museum, where we spent a couple of hours. We see a lot of cruel photographs but don’t learn as much about the Vietnamese War as we thought we would. After the museum, we walk via City Book Street to Saigon Japan Town where we end our day with some sushi. 

Sunday we take an eight-hour sleeper bus from Hồ Chí Minh City to Đà Lạt (300 km). We didn’t expect much of it but this is so fun and well-organised! We buy our tickets at the bus office and from there they bring us with a minivan to the sleeper bus. Before entering the bus you have to take off your shoes and put them in a plastic bag. When you find your seat, there is a blanket and curtains to make you comfortable. There even is free wifi on the bus. We have two stops, one of fifteen minutes and one of thirty minutes, although we didn’t stop for that long at all. The second stop is at a big restaurant where everyone is having dinner. As the menu is only in Vietnamese, we are just stupidly looking at the kitchen. A man comes to us and helps us with ordering. We share a chicken noodle soup (phở gà) and need to hurry as our bus crew is already calling everyone back. 

When we arrive in Đà Lạt, we get into another small bus which drives us to our hotel. Even though no one from the bus crew speaks English, they manage to bring us to the right address without communicating with us since booking our tickets. This is all included in the VND 620.000 (around €25 for both of us).

It was an intense week for us, but we’re both feeling better! We are very tired, so will take some rest in the coming days!