[Picture: my first view of the incredible beach we are lucky enough to camp on in Hong Kong – excuse the poor quality]
In two weeks I’ll be heading to Guangzhou airport, driven by Sam-the-man (our trusty driver guy), and I’ll be on my way to start my busy summer holiday…
(I so almost wrote vacation then, lord help me…)
I’ll be taking an early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh where my childhood best pal, Alice HD will be waiting for me in Hangout Hostel after embarking on a very long flight the previous day. So far, we have no plans. We’ve booked to stay at that hostel for 2 nights together (Al will have been there for 3), so we plan on spending that first day we’re together planning, organizing and getting SOME sort of idea together about all the places we want to definitely hit on our trip. We have roughly 4 weeks to make it from Ho Chi Minh to Bangkok. That’s a pretty solid length of time, especially as we don’t plan on doing Thailand itself. (Alice has never been there though, so we’re going to fit in a couple of days in Bangkok if we can!)
We were stuck for ages trying to decide whether to go North to South (the original idea), or South to North… in the end we decided to start in the wetter area of Vietnam (the south), and head for drier times and days at the end of our trip (the north). SO, after comparing flight prices, weather reports etc., we chose to start in the south (Ho Chi Minh) and head north to Hanoi before we have to make our way to Bangkok (either by crossing through Laos on land or flying over.)
My research for this trip has been minimal to say the least… I’ve skimmed over a few blog posts describing others routes and suggestions, I’ve stared at a map for hours on end trying to etch the countries shape into my brain… but, I haven’t sat down with a notebook and written a list of the places I want to go. I don’t have a set plan of the places I must see on our trip. I’ve been so distracted by booking the flights, planning my summer as a whole, working out money etc. that it completely slipped my mind to actually do some solid research into a country I’ll be spending almost 4 weeks in! I mean, I’ve still got 2 weeks, so I have time… but it was a lot easier when me and Shelb were planning our trip last year as we were able to eat rice, sit on the sofa/on the balcony and just research the sh*t out of it together, compare ideas, brainstorm etc. you know how it goes….But, with me and Alice being in different countries, living 7 hours ahead/behind each other, it’s proven quite difficult.
We’re both mad busy with work etc. so we’re barely even able to organise ourselves let alone find a time to organise things together. Like I said, I have 2 weeks left… which means 2 weekends… but… I actually don’t have ANY free time… This weekend, Friday afternoon/evening in fact, about 12 of us are heading over to HK to crash in a hostel for the night (after paying a visit to the awesome Mexican place down the road), and then early Saturday morning we’ll be making our way over to the very same beach we camped at 2 months ago (how the f*ck has it been 2 months?!). Last time was great, but it was a bit of a shambles trying to organise so many different small groups into one, and we were not ready for a fun time on the beach at night… so… this time, we’re taking no chances. Although there are about 12 of us, it’s going to go much smoother (here’s hoping), and we’ve sorted ourselves out with glow in the dark body paint, glow sticks, inflatables for the water, and we’re going to try and build a fire (so we don’t have to trail the beach like hobos like we did last time). We’ll be arriving (bags full of snacks and drinks) mid-morning/afternoon, we’ll have the whole day to chill on the beach, in the water, or go for a walk up to a cliff jumping spot. Our tents, mats and sleeping bags (and hopefully an umbrella) will all be reserved for us and we just have to collect them, pay, and take them over to the other beach and pick a spot to build our camp! Should be a great final weekend for everyone before the end of term, and, for some people, before they leave CGS or even China for good!