When I wrote my list of what I will miss when I leave Dalyan it automatically meant I was thinking about what I was looking forward to in Vietnam. Some of them are pretty obvious:
1. Captain Caveman – after 257 days apart I was really looking forward to seeing my other half again.
2. Pork – I rarely eat pork in Turkey whereas it’s a very popular meat in Vietnamese dishes.
3. Tropical fruits – I love mangosteen, pomelo, pineapple, jackfruit, dragon fruit and passion fruit which are pretty cheap in Phong Nha.
4. Our own private pool – not having to worry about a boob popping out when swimming, or sharing the pool with a neighbour who clears their airways in the water, is always a bonus.
5. Cheap beer – at 250,000vnd (£9) for a case of 24 Huda cans I can get used to leaving the Efes behind for a bit.
6. The Staff – living in a managed property means we get our own team of lovely people to assist us. Whether it be cleaning the pool and rooms, doing the laundry, tending to the garden, driving us to or from the nearby Farmstay makes it feel like I’m always on holiday.
7. Buffalo – I love seeing the buffalo every day, especially when they get too hot and have to wallow in the muddy rice paddies.
8. People – while there are far less expats or westerners in Phong Nha there are still lots of locals returning now, so I will get to see friends I have missed.
9. The rice cooker – I never did buy one in Turkey so I’m looking forward to having plenty of perfect rice once again. I definitely plan to bring one back with me as they are so much cheaper in Vietnam.
10. Less distractions – with Captain Caveman down a cave a fair portion of the time, and me not being able to work in Vietnam, I’m looking forward to having spare time to work on a few projects and return to Turkey better for it.