Eli Orzessek is Travel's Digital Content Producer.

Travel Live: Beer, sun and swimming

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Photo / Eli Orzessek
Photo / Eli Orzessek

Eli Orzessek is currently on Contiki's Vietnam Highlights tour. He will be posting updates throughout the trip.

It's amazing what a day of beer, sun and swimming can do for a bad mood.

I was pretty gutted yesterday to discover I'd lost my debit card in an ATM at the airport in Nha Trang. Here's a hot tip - the ATMs in Vietnam give you your cash before your card. So if you're dazed and confused from dehydration it's an easy mistake to make.

Just an extremely annoying one, but I'll deal.

Our group went out on a day long boat ride around the various islands here with Funky Monkey, which is the nickname of this eccentric local guy who has been running boat tours for twenty years.

"I get paid to party," he says with a grin - living the dream.

The crew walk around handing us cans of beer that cost about $1.30 in New Zealand dollars - a fair bit cheaper than back home, that's for sure.

By the time I've bombed into the water from the top of the boat, I've forgotten about my lost card.

After some snorkelling we're treated to lunch on board and it's delicious - spring rolls, morning glory, octopus, these weird caramelised potato chip things and more. It's probably my favourite meal yet.

Afterwards, we're treated to some entertainment from "the best boy band in the world" - the crew of the ship, who launch into a Vietnamese song that is actually really rockin'. Our boat has met up with two other boats with tourists from all around the world, but mostly China.

The band brings people from each country on stage and performs the song they feel best represents the location. England gets Wonderwall, the USA strangely gets the Backstreet Boys, and Canada belts out My Heart Will Go On. Somehow, they know the Kamate haka very well. I'll just stop there.

We do a bit of snorkelling before heading to another location for an outdoor bar - ie a bunch of us floating in rubber rings with a guy in the middle handing out "cocktails", which are plastic cups of Fanta with something very strong in it. Hits the spot anyway.

I'm only slightly sunburned and ready for some karaoke tonight.

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Eli Orzessek is Travel's Digital Content Producer.

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