Foreword: The Chronicles of JosHan (pronounced josh-in, as in “I’m just joshin”; combination of Josh and Han; clever play on words by all accounts. Zero fucks given on your opinion on this word fusion, unless it’s a positive one in which case “thank you, and yes, I am a legend for stealing this from Josh”) will entail an honest and over-sharing account of me and my partner’s recent time spent in Vietnam and Cambodia. Thanks for reading, enjoy x
Chronicle 1: the getting there bit
I’m used to early mornings. And by used to, I mean I’ve been dealing with 4am-ish wakeups for well over a year now. And although every time I wake up I CURSE ALL OF YOU ASSHOLES FOR WANTING TO TRAIN SO EARLY (jokes/not really), I find I can deal with it much better than I could have, say, two years ago.
Snapping my eyes open at 4.30am on the morning of our trip was no different. I cursed Josh for his bright idea of staying up late so “we’d be tired for the plane”, which was completely ridiculous because I don’t sleep on planes, regardless of my exhaustion levels. I also looked like hagged ball-sack face, so that was annoying. But once I peeled out of bed, the excitement started to kick in and before I knew it we were dressed and nearly out the door.
That was until we thought we’d do a cheeky weighing of our suitcases with my handy travel scales, just to make sure we were under 20kgs. Josh was under – no worries. I took my turn … 24kgs. What the actual eff Hannah?!
Everyone who’s been to Vietnam or Cambodia says the same thing: “you don’t need to take anything with you”, “pack lightly”, “buy it all over there” and I was like: “yeah, yeah” but thinking to myself “as if I’m going to spend my holidays shopping for clothes to wear like a peanut”. Turns out – everybody was right and all I really needed to take was underwear, a couple of t-shirts and buy some awesome flowy, loosey-goosey pants over there. But Hannah knew best ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Naturally, there was a frantic re-pack at the last minute – I pulled out a heap of clothes (mainly workout stuff that I was definitely going to miss – pfft) and got my luggage sitting comfortably under 20kgs.
In hindsight, I didn’t need even eight kilos of that crap. If you ever visit Vietnam or Cambodia, you do NOT need:
- Hair appliances – every hotel has a hairdryer, and it’s too FUCKING HUMID to do your hair or wear it out anyway. If you’re really keen to have nice hair, you can pay sweet F-A to have someone wash and blow-dry it for you every single day.
- Heaps of makeup (same reason as above) – the god damn humidity. I made an effort now and then but poor Josh was looking at tinted moisturiser, beer-belly pale-face by the last week. I officially gave up and it was the best (for me).
- Workout gear. Who the fuck was I kidding? I’m a part-time PT for a reason. I did one workout after I realised I’d gained like seven kilos and I nearly died. Never again. Deal with that mess when you’re home.
- Heels – not once did I feel the need to put on a pair of heels in even the fanciest of restaurants. NOT NECESSARY.
- You don’t need to a) pack more than two or three bikini sets and b) pack the bikinis you’ve been saving for “when you get hot” or “special occasions”. This is a crazy mentality anyway and you’ll be glad to know these are in the god damn bin. Who the hell buys white bikini bottoms anyway? YOU CAN SEE YOUR VAGINA THROUGH THEM.
Anyway, we eventually got on the road …
We arrived at Coolangatta Airport with ample time, however the queue for our particular flight was so frikken long I started to get annoyed that we were missing out on valuable beer-drinking time. I wanted a good solid session before we got on that plane, and I know Josh was no different. Fortunately for me, I am dating an extremely talented man.
Joshua Gift-of-the-Gab Marques, headed to the priority desk to see what the cost was to upgrade our seats … purely so we could just skip the horrendous line. That’s right. We were going to pay for better seats, just so we could skip the line in the airport … #alcoholics. Unfortunately it didn’t seem worth it, but in his mission up there, he got chatting to a lady waiting at the priority area. Turns out she used to work at the airport and said if we pretended to know her, she’d get a friend of hers working at the desk to pull us to the front of line. Well Halle-bloody-lujah for decent human beings. You can imagine me sauntering past the peasants in the line and then racing to the bar to down several pints right? Cos that’s what I did. It was glorious and I’ll always remember that woman. I completely forgot her name the minute I tasted the liquid gold on my lips, but she’s a god damn legend. AIRPORT BEERS ARE LIFE.
*On that note, can we just take a moment to appreciate the wonders of airports? While a lot of the time I hate being in them, it’s the one place you can wear pyjamas, no makeup and have a beer at 7am without judgement. Or without caring about being judged at least. I have no doubt that some people aren’t so impressed with boisterous Aussies sinking bevies in front of their children at the crack of dawn. But if I see a fellow early morning beer-drinker? Let it be known I’m mentally saluting them, if not actually physically raising my glass in a show of respect.
Anyway, we downed several beers as you would assume. Some pints, some bottles – we were officially on holidays and the feeling was euphoric. When it was time to board our flight we naturally pushed our luck and ordered another drink, before necking it and being the last ones out the doors. Ordering drinks at the last minute and racing to gates turned into a bit of a habit on this trip. I blame Josh.
We flew with Air Asia. Let’s face it – you get what you pay for. It’s fantastic for anyone travelling on a bit of a budget, who just want to get there, who aren’t worried about all the little perks that Emirates or Singapore Airlines have to offer. I realised very quickly that I enjoy those little things. Very much so. #airlinesnob
I missed the toiletry packs, the blankets and eye masks, the hot towels pre-flight, the multiple delicious plane food meals and all inclusive alcohol beverages. Yes. That was the worst bit.
Alcoholic beverages were not included on our flights. But did that stop us? HELL TO THE NO. Josh and I got buh-llliinnndd for the first couple of hours before eating our very ordinary meal and then passing out with our mouths open catching flies. Luckily for us we had booked two stand-alone seats, so there was no awkward climbing over people to get to the bathroom, or having to stand up every time the window guy wanted to take a leak. Yes, I woke up in Kuala Lumpur slightly dusty, and with my guts churning because a) alcohol, b) bad airplane food goes straight through you, c) lack of nutrients and d) I’m a pussy … but it was all okay, because I was on holiday. Did I mention I got air-sick? Yeah … no vomit came up thank Christ, but the combination of all of the above and the fact that I can get travel sickness on larger moving vehicles all decided to happen as we were landing. I have never moved so fast to get off a plane.
Our layover was pretty boring. We wifi’d the shit out of that place because Kuala Lumpur Airport suckksssss. Oh my god it sucks so bad. Looking back on it we realised both of us were in the foulest of moods each time we were in that particular airport. It’s the midway point, it’s boring, the food sucks, you’re tired … it blows. Anyway, Josh had another beer while I drank a green juice to help my insides. Josh gave a chef at the bar a little Australian Koala token as a thank you. His face lit up when he got it – that guy was the best part of that airport.
As Josh finished his beer, we realised our gate was 500 miles away. Of course it was. Cue the second occasion of us necking drinks and then speed-walking/jogging to the point of working up a sweat to get to the gate. Of course we made it in time, but damn we cut it close. Me, the natural stresshead was all flustered and annoyed – and then there’s Josh, chill AF “I knew we’d make it”. Puh-lease mate.
The final leg to Ho Chi Minh City was painless. Actually it was beautifully painless – because we thought it was a three hour flight, and were delighted to discover it would be a less than two hour journey. In just a couple of hours we had landed in the capital city of Vietnam, and little did I know that the most amazing holiday of my life was about to begin.
Next chronicle: Ho Chi Minh City