A long way from paradise

23rd November 2009

We should have heeded the warning signs. The bus stopped on a main road in the middle of nowhere. The other group who had been planning to go to Lang Co made a last minute decision not to get off the bus. However – always looking to break away from the crowd, we stood at the dusty roadside next to our bags, watching the bus speed into the distance and wandering what we’d let ourselves in for. Turns out Lang Co isn’t really a place at all – it’s just a big ol’ beach resort with a smattering of budget hotels across the road to mop up the overspill. We haggled our way to an $8 room and decided to make the best of it – after all, it’s only one night.

In all fairness, the beach is stunning. We said we wanted to get away from the tourist hordes, and we’d certainly done that – there wasn’t a soul to be seen. Lang Co in high season is for high spending tourists who want the beauty of a Vietnamese beach without any of the inconveniences. Lang Co out of season is for well… noone. The sea here, although as warm as it had been in Hue, was not so much angry as furious. Steely grey and baring her teeth to the empty beach, hungry for dinner – most probably a hapless, pink misguided swimmer. Reluctant to become her next meal, we ventured no further than knee deep.

Lang Co is the only place in Vietnam we’ve been so far where we didn’t feel any warmth or friendliness from the people, and the only place where well dressed kids came straight up to us brazenly asking for money. Perhaps understandably – the tourists who come and stay in these all-inclusive resorts probably have more money to throw around than a pair of scruffy backpackers. Our only choices for food were a couple of over priced tourist places with a panoramic view of the main road. Lorries stormed past, blowing dust into our Pho Bo at every other mouthful. There was literally nothing to see and nothing to do. We retired to our room to watch some Vietnamese TV, only to find that our TV was connected to the household TV downstairs, so we had to watch whatever the mistress of the house was watching – basically various Vietnamese couples miming along to love songs. To top it all off, I got food poisoning. A delightful end to a delightful day. We were out of there on the first bus the next morning.


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  1. Bah! Abort abort abort Lang Co mission!

    23rd November 2009 at 2:01 pm
  2. Rich Kelly

    Blimey! That place looks (and sounds rough). Give me Clacton-on-sea any day. x

    23rd November 2009 at 2:10 pm
  3. jan

    ohhh my goodness and it did look so nice ………

    23rd November 2009 at 3:10 pm
  4. Jane

    Coo-er. I hope you had a good book in the back pack!

    27th November 2009 at 10:40 am
  5. Ellie

    I want to hear more about the food poisoning. I think it will make me feel better about being at my desk. Am loving your blog Roz. More more more

    27th November 2009 at 10:58 am