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Published: April 17th 2013
Day 7 -
Today we had a long drive to Hoi An going over the beautiful and scenic Hai Van Pass. On the way we stopped to see the China Beach, the Cham museum and Marble Mountain. Here some of the caves were used by the Viet Cong during as a hospital during the Vietnam War. I was also surprised to see a giant marble Budda inside and one on the hillside which looked so white apparently it had been painted to restore it. We walked up the steps to the Mountain but there is a life on the outside which really looks out of place and was for the very lazy tourist!
We will spend three nights here in Hoi An which will be a welcome rest.
Day 8 - We had the morning to ourselves and I decided to get a dress made by one of the famous tailors here in Hoi An. After my fitting we decided to have a break from noodles and rice and found a delicious cafe recommended by the Lonely Planet called Cargo Cafe. Delicious food and amazing desserts. I can recommend the Mango cheesecake. After lunch we headed to My Son the Cham civilisations spiritual home. The war had destroyed much of the site as the Viet Cong used to hide in the mountains. On the way back we stopped to take pictures of local rice growers. I think they all thought we were made busily taking photos while they were simply carrying on with their working day!
In the evening I got the opportunity to have a Vietnamese cookery lesson. It was awesome! We learnt some great techniques for making pancakes, spring rolls, red snapper cooked in banana leaf, chicken curry and chicken and papaya salad and I have a little recipe book so I can try and recreate them at home.
Day 9 - Oh no, it's pouring with rain! Of course this is the morning we are going on our walking tour. Nevermind, we're British so we got our rain coats and brollies and made the most of it! We visited the Japanese bridge, a living museum (which was really a shop with very pushy sales people) and a temple. We also enjoyed walking around the market although the woman with black hands from pulling out fish guts all day made me realise that I am happy being a teacher.
In the afternoon there was an optional bike ride which for me ended up being one of the highlights of the holiday so far. A fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with the local people, village life, vegetable patches, fishermen and cattle. The only downside was when I fell off my bike into a big muddy puddle. Yuk! I was soaked through and had the spend the rest of the bike ride and then a boat ride to an island for our bbq very wet and muddy. However, the bbq was fantastic. You can't beat these one off experiences.
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