Hoi An - shoppers paradise :)
Hoi An Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
Thanks so much for the messages and smiles, guys! Love jumping on to update and then get a surprise when I read the emails and messages on here. It is great. You all know what a sucker I am for home-sickness (normally kicks in after only 2 hours or so).
Hang in there, Nicole. Those twins of yours cant come until we get home at least. Then, it's a free for all.
Ok, back to Vietnam...........
The bus ride to Hoi An was really pretty. It took about 3-4 hours up and down hills and along some beautiful beaches. We stopped to have a look at China Beach but it was about 44 degrees and climbing so we literally got out and then back in the bus again. Cannot imagine how all those troops got around in uniform and with all their gear here - I'm struggling in short-shorts and a tank top. Just near here is Danang which is full of remnants of the Vietnam War with old US bunkers and things like that.
Apart from that though, this is a really beautiful town set on the beach and a river.
There has been lots of motorcycle catching going on here. It costs about 80 cents on the back of a bike to get from our hotel into the heart of town. It is probably a 15 min walk but by the time we get from our hotel room to the foyer, we are all drenched in sweat so any further and the moans and groans from the kids send me spare. And, I really love the bikes!!! So do the kids!!!
Yesterday we visited a kids orphanage for mildly and severely handicapped kids from 10 days old to teenagers. Confronting. Everything from cerebral palsy to severe autism. We stayed for a couple of hours just chatting to the volunteer staff who work there from all over the world and also playing with the kids. It’s amazing that for kids with such disabilities and not a word of English, they could still communicate with us in their own way.
After that we did a quick bike ride around town. Just me, James and Lauren on our own. We had to keep to the one road and head in that direction then turn around and come back because we didn’t have a map and feared getting lost. With not a lot of english spoken or understood around here - that could be adventurous. It was great and we saw some interesting things including a few temples and even a little parade. Heaps of dogs and chickens roaming the street but, unlike Hanoi, they all look really fat and healthy here – just ready for the cooking probably.
For dinner last night we had a cooking class. It was really cool. Our chef, Lang, took us through the market (where James learnt to breathe through his mouth because of the fishy stench) and she showed us how to pick out the freshest vegetables and produce for the meal that we were about to cook.
We also managed to squeeze in a trip to the tailor for some custom made shopping. Lauren got a beautiful new dress made and James picked out a nice corduroy jacket. Of course, you have to have new shoes to go with the new clothes so off to the shoe maker, too. New runners all round.
All in all, we love Hoi An!! Off to Nha Trang tomorrow by plane. Should be quite a scenic flight I’m hoping. Not thinking that the plane will be able to climb that high with all the excess luggage we are now carrying – even had to go out and buy a new piece of luggage – ‘genuine’ Polo....only 15,000 Dong. Bargain!!
Some negatives to date....
· We did leave our toiletries bag on the bus.
· Lauren managed to score a urinary tract infection – never fun.
· I woke up this morning to find our balcony door wide open – we are on the first floor but near a wall – easy breaking and entering access. Yep, someone had been in our room.
· I took a little dive today with Vietnam belly – still think I’d take that over Lauren’s UTI anyday.
Some real positives....
· Got the toiletries bag back the next day – amazingly enough it still had all my stuff in it – drugs and Christian Dior J
· In the toilet bag had some medicine for Lauren and me. Now we are all fit and well - happy little campers again.
· Nothing was missing from our room – think when I woke up that I must’ve scared them off. Bit of a wake up call (pardon the pun) for future hotel stays, that’s for sure.