Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Love Day!

Two years on, I still get a giggle out of Vietnamese to English translations.

Tonight we celebrated Valentines Day, or "Love Day" as it's referred to in Vietnam, at the Hoi An restaurant in Saigon's District 1.

Hoi An is a fine dining Vietnamese restaurant, catering to foreigners, that serves up Imperial style dishes from central and south Vietnam (as well as a few northern dishes for good measure!).

We were led to a table scattered with red rose petals (aawww!) and offered a pink heart-shaped menu with love-themed cocktails and food.

Sadly I didn't take a photo, but one of the dishes was called "Love Lobster" ... you get the drift! 

I had a fit of the giggles when the waiter handed Rob a blank Valentine's Day card, with a note directing him "for your written wishing to your lover on the Day of Love". The look on his face was priceless as he tried to guage whether the guy was actually serious!

From the way the waiter explained it we were both concerned that whatever message Rob wrote was going to be read out to the entire restaurant! (just in case, he kept it clean!)

Another priceless lost in translation Vietnam moment!

Happy Love Day!

Love Day aside, today we also celebrated two years in Vietnam. This time 24 months ago we packed our life into 4 large suitcases and boarded a plane headed for Hanoi.

While for much of the early months in Hanoi I could have easily run back to Australia with my tail between my legs, I'm glad we stuck it out.

Two years on, the frustrations are but a distant memory and I now actually miss Hanoi and appreciate the time we had there.

The friends we've made, and the travels and experiences we've had along the way, have made the low times more than worth it.

As scary as it is to not know a definite timeline for our future in Vietnam (12 months more, but who knows?) I'm happy we're still here.

Here's a few shots of Team Somerville two years ago at the Brisbane International Airport as we headed off on our great adventure. Ahhh, memories!

Georgia and Tash

Mackenzie, Rob and Georgia

Sunday, February 6, 2011

{Team Somerville TraveL} Last day in Langkawi

We kept our promise to Georgia and Mackenzie and spent our last day at the resort. A morning at the kids club followed by hours running between the pool and the beach.

They are not pleased about going home tomorrow!

Mackenzie...poolside picnic

Saturday, February 5, 2011

{Team Somerville Travel} Life's a beach!

On today's agenda ... the pool, the beach, followed by a bit more pool and a bit more time on the beach! With only 2 days left we decided to spend the rest of our holiday at the resort.

After a few hours at the pool we booked a boat to take us across to Anak Datai Island for a picnic.

It was high tide so there wasn't a lot of beach to sit on, but it was goregous and secluded and we felt like adventurous explorers!

That is, until the clean up crew from the resort next door dropped onto the island for the daily clean up! They were nice enough to stay away from our picnic spot.

On the boat to the island
On the island

A view of The Andaman from the island

Mackenzie the Explorer!

Setting up the picnic


We spent more time at the resort pool in the afternoon exhausting Georgia and Mackenzie so we could leave them to terrorise a babysitter for the evening while we went to the resort next door (The Datai) for dinner at the Gulai House (a Malay Indian restaurant). Delicious!

Dining at The Gulai House at The Datai

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

{Team Somerville Travel} The monkeys of Langkawi

Our little monkeys...breakfast at The Andaman Langkawi
One of the things that attracted me to The Andaman resort on Langkawi was the promise of enjoying our holiday amongst the rainforest wildlife.

Review after review on Trip Advisor mentioned an abundance of monkeys, as well as lizards, squirrels and flying lemurs.

Last night as we went to bed we realised that, aside from a few monkeys playing by the roadside on the drive in as well as a squirrel and a lone flying lemur as we ate dinner at the Beach Bar, we hadn't exactly been overrun by wildlife.

Were we missing something? We were just not paying enough attention to our surroundings?

This morning after a late breakfast we spotted our first resort monkeys on the way to the kids club!

Being several metres away up in the trees (i.e not within grabbing distance!), Georgia and Mackenzie quickly lost interest as the toys beckoned.
A dusky leaf monkey

Mackenzie in the kids club

According to the hotel guide there are two breeds of monkey roaming the resort - the shy dusky leaf monkey and the more aggressive (i.e. will steal your food kind!) crab-eating macaque.

While eating a late lunch at the main restaurant, the hotel chef alerted us to a group of dusky leaf monkeys playing low in the trees near the pool.

So cute! This time the girls defintely paid attention as the monkeys came swinging down from the trees onto the ground to forage in the garden in front of the restuarant.

At dusk as we relaxed on the balcony waiting for Georgia and Mackenzie to wake up from a long afternoon nap (bliss!) the crab-eating macaque made an appearance.

They came in numbers, watching the tourists on the balacony to suss out whether any of us would be stupid enough to offer them food.

Once they realised that no food would be thrown their way, the cheeky buggers started jumping from the trees onto the balconies hoping to find an open window or door!

Monkeys at dusk...the came in a pack!

The crab-eating macaque - makes a nasty growling noise!