Bushwhacking on the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Hoi An Travel Blog

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We arrived in Hoi An as the town was waking up. Hoi An is a really cute quaint town with narrow alleys. It's a UNESCO site. We ate Pho in front of someone's house and then asked for soy milk. We were directed to the main road where we had a little miscommunication and were given chocolate soymilk. Not as delicious as the original. But we were instructed to park our bums down on the tiny chairs and drink the milk. And the nice lady even moved the umbrella for us. We walked around some more and found a tailor that I thought was ok at the time, but I realized I'm pretty disappointed with her. Got fitted for a suit, a coat, and a dress. I like the coat and the blazeer. The skirt and pants of the suit are a wash and the dress is questionable. It might have been the fabric I chose. We rode on the back of motorbikes to the beach, a beautiful stretch in Hoi An. Every 5 minutes someone came up to us to sell us goods/services. Kids ask you if you want to buy postcards and if you say no, they ask "Why not?" and don't leave till you give a good reason. Young women sell jewelry. Women in their  30s try to give foot massages, manicures, and hair removal by threading. I can't count the number of times women said we'd be prettier if we had less hair on legs. At which point Regina and I just shrugged, because we're really over personal hygiene on this trip. Old women come by selling cigarettes, chewing gum and try to pick up your cans. A lot have stained black teeth from chewing bettlenuts and wear the traditional conical hats. I feel so mean when I say no to them. Especially this darling grandma who had glasses and was 4'8''. She was adorable! I felt guilty and bought overpriced jewley from this young woman who spoke practically perfect English but needed to learn French too to be able to work in a hotel instead of selling jewelry on the beach. It's such a contrast to see Vietnamese women fully covered from head to toe and all of us Westerners running around in bikinis. I'm now as brown as a nut, which would probably disappoint my grandma and the taxi driver in Cambodia. Well, at least when I get back to work it will have been obvious that I was on vacation. We have our first air conditioned room of the trip, a welcome respite from the heat, especially since it seems to be hotter in Hoi An. We ended up a restaurant (not street stall!) where we tried to local specialty of Cau Lao, this type of yellow noodles that I found to be rather greasy. Ended up getting fitted for a wrap around stretchy dress that I liked. And got fitted for some flat black boots.

June 6

We woke up early to go to My Son, a UNESCO site of Cham ruins. It was a 45 minute ride on the back of a motorbike but I actually got a helmet this time! We got to My Son, at the very start of the path, it diverged into 2 paths. We decided to take the one to the right. After an hour of bushwhacking and scrambling over rocks up a river "trail" (in flip flops mind you, we decided to turn back). We ran into some Vietnamese youths who were swimming in the river and thought we were crazy for scrambing up the trail. They directed us back in the right direction. When we actually got back to the entrance, the actual ruins only took half an hour because we were so exhausted and everyone was laughing at the mud up to our shins from our trail blazing. We headed back to the beach where we promptly fell asleep. We waded into the ocean where the salt stung our various cuts from our morning adventures. We had rice porridge at a street stall for dinner but I neglected to eat the blood pudding in the soup as i've never been a fan. Also got some sandals made in a last minute buying spree.
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Hoi An