Got up 7:30am and headed to breakfast. We had a long drive ahead of us to Quy Nhon
. The first stop was alongside a rice paddy where about a dozen women were cutting the rice using scythes. When the ladies saw us stopped by the side of the road taking pictures they wanted photos taken of themselves so we clambered down into the rice paddy. We all had a go of scything too - back-breaking work but the scythes were very very sharp. Our lunch stop was at a place which had bottles filled with wine and also assorted creatures such as seahorses, snakes etc. It looked horrible. There was cock-fighing too. I had a not very nice beef stirfry. One last stop before Quy Nhon was along a beautiful strip of beach.
There were a few crabs scuttling along. The water was a pleasing temperature but there were jellyfish of about 15cm-diameter washed up on the shore. Finally we hit Quy Nhon and our first stop was the Nguyen Nga Training Centre which made our Intrepid bags. There many disabled students are taught trades: sewing and stone cutting for the deaf people, and painting and musical skills for the blind or almost blind students. The first thing we had was a musical performance by two blind young men, who played the harmonica, keyboard and guitar very well. We met a lot of the students doing their work. Lam, a deaf painter and sewer, was particularly communicative and signed lots of questions: how old were we, did we have a boyfriend, what was our job etc. After the tour we visited the showroom and had the opportunity to purchase some of the students creations.
Nguyen Nga Training Centre
I bought five paintings, mostly done by Lam, and two scarves, for a total of 444,150D. A New Zealand lady working there told us a bit about the centre's origins and told us they finally had some space to build a new centre but if they didn't start building in the next two years (at a likely cost of US$800,000+) the government would take the land back. After visiting the centre we headed to the Seagull Hotel, located right on the beach. Apparently four stars, to me it was no nicer than any other place we'd stayed. Still, the beachfront locale was good. I spent the afternoon sitting on the beach with K. Lots of Vietnamese tourists wanted their photo taken with each of us, it was highly amusing yet a little embarassing also! Met up with the group at 7pm for dinner which we had in the Morning Star cafe at the hotel. I had sauteed chicken with cashew nuts and an orange juice. Went back to the hotel room after that and watched the end of a scary Brad Pitt/David Duchovny movie, then the whole of 'Marley + Me'. Cried buckets at the end. Didn't get a good sleep due to K's snoring, sore ears from wearing earplugs for so long, and being way too hot - K was too cold to have the air con on and I subsequently boiled!