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Category: Vietnam

Trip to Vietnam 2015.

Hue by motorbike

Hue by motorbike

Yesterday, took a cheap motorbike (for $2), and made a tour of the city.

Picked the bike up for cheap very close to my hotel, the Sunny Hotel, Hue. Didn’t seem like not worth doing for that price.

Had a little ride around, over to the island, around the citadel. Then out of the city.


Not a lot to impress really.

Motorbikes are simple too stressful in SE Asian cities.

It’s only a numbers game until someone smashes into the side of you and knocks you off.

My advice is stay off them. They’re a death trap. If you’re going any distance, take the bus. You’ll see just as much of the country with 1/2 the stress.


Cho Ray Hospital – The second coming

Cho Ray Hospital – The second coming

This time it was outside ‘Tet’ festival. This meant that the wonders of the ‘Foreign Patient’ wing were in operation.

The hospital was a lot more busy, and when I visited the counter for service, I was ushered to this ‘Foreign Patient’ wing, instead of being put in with the Vietnamese.

Foreign patients

In the Foreign Patient wing, I was feeling pretty crook. I gave the lady my diagnoses from 3 days ago, documenting my problem and the prescription the doctor had given me.

I was given a little form to fill in, with some basic details, including name address phone number and passport number.

I was then taken to ‘room 1’, which had a sign saying ‘foreign patients’ above the door.

I waited for around 1/2 an hour. At which point I was ushered in and had my blood pressure taken. I was then shown the doctor.

After asking me how I was feeling, she said I should go upstairs to the Urology dept. and they would sort me out from there.

I went upstairs, after paying 250,000 VND about $12, for the priviledge of being shown where the Urology department was.

Urology department

Once in the department, the doctor checked my papers, and said I needed another X-ray and CT scan. I said I already had an X-ray from 2 days ago and a CT scan in the accident and emergency department.

After this I spent another 1 1/2 hours hanging around the A&E, trying to get them to release my records from the previous day.

After some discussion and to-ing and fro-ing, they decided that they had the X-rays but not the CT scan and that the CT scan was going to cost me 1,000,000 VND, which is about $50.

I said this was a joke, and that they were simply fleecing foreigners.

The doctor sent me back upstairs to the Urology department. After some telephone calls and discussion, the Urology doctor wrote another prescription from the chemist.

All pretty crazy. All pretty time consuming.

I just wish it could have all happened during tet, then I wouldn’t have had to pay the crazy ‘foreigner’ charges.


Still, never mind.

At least I have some prescribed drugs which will either heal me, or not, until I reach Hanoi.

Saigon outpatient

Saigon outpatient

My arms and legs are aching.

I feel drowsy and run down.

pieCurrently, I’ve only felt like eating chocolate wagon-wheel type things, although I may have a proper meal later.

Tomorrow, I will go back to the hospital. I have a feeling that the drugs are very strong, but will not be effective to deal with the root cause.

Vietnamese hospital

Vietnamese hospital

Cho Ray Hospital, Saigon – to be exact.

Contacted them from my homestay, which was in Vinh Long, the woman let me borrow the phone. The woman spoke English and was very helpful in recommending some drugs that could give immediate relief.

I took her suggestions to the pharmacy and they prescribed the drugs for 21,000 or $1.

Took them back to my homestay, Ngoc Phoung.


I was in quite a lot of pain by this time and had been sick on the ferry.

Took the drugs, got in bed, went to sleep. Woke up caught a taxi. Got a bus.

Spent 3 hours on the bus from Vĩnh Long to Saigon.

Got off the bus, caught a motorbike taxi.

Went directly to the hospital.

Cho Ray hospital Saigon
Cho Ray hospital Saigon

Cho Ray Hospital – Vietnam

Once inside the hospital, I initially approached the remittance desk, where there was only one boy working. I showed him my phone, which has Google translate for Vietnamese installed on it, with the words ‘I am ill’.

We had a little wander round together, in that typical East Asian style, eventually he decided to send me into the A&E ward – with the red sign over the door. ‘Blue’ he said, which obviously means red. Luckily, there were some nurses hanging around, and I also showed them my phone. They ushered me into, the A&E ward, where I was given a bed and a girl took my blood pressure.

After a while, a doctor approached and asked what the problem was.

I said that I had been suffering from high blood pressure and vomiting, I showed them the drugs that I had been given for my kidneys Mofpa and Mobic. And that I was in pain and my arms and legs were tingling.

The doctor asked for my passport.

They checked me in, and gave me a bed on the A&E ward for real (pictured).

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Ha Tien – Vietnam

Ha Tien – Vietnam

Trapped in Ha Tien – Vietnam.

Ha Tien - Vietnam
Ha Tien – Vietnam

All things close for Lunar New Year. This means the ferries taking me to my next destination, the island of Phu Quoc, will not be running on that day.

Ha Tien

Ha Tien has some geological formations – in the form of limestone caves and outcrops playing host to Buddhist temples and sacred sites.

These are not free to visit.

There are two.

Da Dung mountain

The more impressive of the two, spread out over 3 square KM. A winding path snakes  around the mountain, which is pitted with various caves, which play host to Buddhist statues or flashing lights, or both.

Da Dung Mountain - Ha Tien - Vietnam
Buffalo on the plain..
Da Dung Mountain - Ha Tien - Vietnam
Temple entrance.
Da Dung Mountain - Ha Tien - Vietnam
Winding path.
Da Dung Mountain - Ha Tien - Vietnam
Limestone cave.
Da Dung Mountain - Ha Tien - Vietnam
Electric Buddha.

Thatch Dong

Looks better but less to do.

Thatch Dong houses a set of Buddhist relics and a working monastery.

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Thach Dong Mountain
Temple entrance.
Thach Dong Mountain - Ha Tien - Vietnam
Calcified rock.
Thach Dong Mountain - Ha Tien - Vietnam

New Café

Got dragged to the New Café in Ha Tien by some locals.

It’s the only place in Ha Tien open after midnight.

It was kicking.