Hoi An

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November 13th 2008
Published: November 21st 2008
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Hello all and here we go again,

From Hue to Hoi An is a short trip and this one was much better. The scenery is great and the trip is short so when the horn broke just outside of Hoi An and the driver jerry rigged a wire so he could keep up with his daily quota of toots it was funny. We arrived in Hoi An and we were determined not to take the first hotel, where the bus happened to park at, so we donned our packs and off we went we found a lovely place for $12/night ad we haggled for free internet this was a good thing because the rains the next day meant we had nothing much to do and it would have cost us a fortune. (a fortune being probably $10Aus. Here that is big bickies you can feed for a day on 10 dollars). Hoi An is known as the tailoring town and they are not kidding we thought about getting some basic shirt and trouser set made for our jobs in China but decided against it however we spoke to many tourists who had every thing from shirts to suits and thongs (flipflops) made or copied and we were amazed at the accuracy and speed. You can walk in at 11am and have the pants or shirts ready by 2:30pm for the first fitting. Spin me out dude! that is fast!

We found of course a place which made cappuccinos and it was the dearest place in town for coffee but Lynne needed her fix so and it just happened to be the best place to buy a cake or pastry too so the cry from Lynne was Heaven!

Day 2 Hoi An
We hired some bikes from the stall out front of the hotel and away we went. Occasional showers on and off made this hot and steamy but it was a great tour. We set off for the beach and fell for the first trap of this leg the local Vietnamese, under their own authority, have set up a parking garage 100m from the beach. Guy sits in a very formal hut and as you approach he bangs on an official looking sign which instructs you to park across the road and pay for the privilege so we did and we haggled a reduced price from 5000VND to 3000/bike. Only to realize after walking for a while that it was a scam. We promptly retrieved our bikes and set off past the so called guard and 10 or so other people who insisted that bike could not be riden near the beach regardless of the 400 school kids passing us at any one time! We headed in one direction and when we ran out of road we turned and headed in the other ( you know the Forrest Gump thing) A right turn for no reason and we found ourselves being yelled at about parking again and with a staunch tone in her voice Lynne explained to the local restaurant owner if he wanted us to spend VND$ in his place then parking was free! He happily agreed Lynne was happy too. (it turns out the parking guy new the restaurant guy, who'd a thunk it!) so we sat for lunch and chatted with the locals and a nice Spanish guy holidaying in Hoi An also. Lots of fun. A swim would have been good but the beaches are kinda rough at present people keep throwing around the word Typhoon! But to us it is a storm. We returned from the beach and went in search of the pottery village and after a couple of wrong turns and having the sh*t scared out of me by a couple of dogs we found the village and Lynne had a go at throwing a pot (Ashtray....lol) the locals laughed and gathered around all trying to sell us some little whistle thing which seems to be the trinket to buy. (If your an idiot) These people are the poorest of the poor and still make a good life of what they have, they laugh and smile, and enjoy it when the westerners turn up. That night we wandered the town and had a wonderful meal ignoring the constant stream of vendors selling peanuts, ginger, raincoats, newspapers, whistles, postcards, beads, pearls, bracelets etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.................................................................................

Day 3 Hoi An,
We booked a sheep tour the day before to My Son (pronounced me son). A temple of the Cham people found by the French Army and during the resistance war with the Americans (Because they won) was bombed to pieces because the USA thought the VC were hiding there. Now if the USA had've done some research they would have seen the largest building could only hold about 10 people and the entire area was only inhabited by buffalo. So history made this place more famous than Davey Crockett and there are a few of the Cham temples around and still intact for comparison. They are a beautiful place again a tranquil area only disturbed by the constant clicking of tourists. The tour was Bus to My Son, then Boat and lunch to Wood carving village then bus boat back to city centre. It would appear that the tours have a time table because we were late leaving the Cham temple, not for any other reason other than Lynne was adding to the clicking noise with her camera, bus driver was not happy. But we made the boat and 10mins is no big deal. We stepped off the boat in the wood carving village and were directed to a display room filled with beautiful hand carved statues, of course all for sale at a price, not for our taste though. Across from the room was a boat building and repair yard this was of great interest. We watched as a worker wielded a Makita 5900B 235mm circular saw (oldie but a goodie) no guard, cord patched in 3 places, 1 person holding the plug in to get a good connection and the other making an end grain cut. If you don't understand this then let me put it simply. DANGER!!! DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!! They had some other funky tools one was used like an axe but the carpenter used it like a plane and with the same precision I might add.

Day4 Time to go to Na Trang,
We decided to ship out on the sleeper bus again to Nha Trang and also decided at the last possible moment to get pants and a shirt made. 11am and the order flies out the door to the tailors we go for a walk around town one last time and sit for lunch 2Pm time for the first fitting......The measuring was funny because the Vietnamese are direct and the conversation between Lynne and the Tailor was most humorous...Lynne wants X shape on the leg and X size on the shoulder etc., the tailor says yea yea no problem i understand....Hmmmm? First fitting....Not what i asked for, says Lynne. Ok ok says tailor we fix, the bus leaves at 6 it is now 3pm time is short...No problem says the tailor. Come back at 5pm. Return at 5 and all is ok...not great but acceptable, we can get them altered later and they were cheap so no problem. Bus arrives to collect us and now it is time to go. See you again in Nha Trang.

Additional photos below
Photos: 52, Displayed: 27


A big find.A big find.
A big find.

Here we find the small photograficus picture takerus in it's natural environment and hard at work!
Wooden carving .Wooden carving .
Wooden carving .

Carpentry great craftman's ship.
Running repairs on the hornRunning repairs on the horn
Running repairs on the horn

while still driving

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