Day 122: Hoi An, Vietnam

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March 29th 2010
Published: April 4th 2010
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Hoi An to My Son

Day 122: Monday, March 29th, 2010.
Hoi An, Vietnam.

This morning most of us headed off to the My Son Temple ruins. Unfortunately they were damaged thru both time, but especially from the Vietnam War. Still, they were pretty cool to see. Reminded me of the Altun Ha temple Mom, Scott and myself visited in Mexico. While walking around (and then on the bus ride back), I had a chance to talk to Rita- that woman has had an interesting life. I could totally picture a movie and told her she should write a book.

Myself, Tini and Susan had the bus drop us off at the Blue Eye tailor shop which was just a couple of blocks away from the hotel. Tini had ordered a dress for part of her wedding (getting married same day as John!) and Susan was just along for the ride. We were too early for our fittings so we wandered around and tried to find the Museum of Culture. We wandered thru the Central Market and it was quite interesting. Tarps/tents all over (you had to bend over in some parts so that your head didn't hit anything) and "stalls" everywhere. That was what I pictured when I thought of Vietnam shopping. They were pushy, but not in a Cairo way so that was good. We find the Museum and it has a few relics but mainly is just a shop. So, after a few more stores/stalls, we go back to the hotel. I go up to take a nap because in a couple of hours some of us are doing a bike ride.

I met up with Rita, Susan, Tini and Bao at 3:30pm for the bike ride. We waved at the others as they took off for a cooking class and Bao led us on what has become one of my most treasured memories. It was great to just cruise along and see the real everyday Vietnamese lifestyle- not just the one us tourists see. Everyone is very friendly and says "hi", and not because they want you to buy something. We stopped for about 30 minutes to enjoy drinks on the beach and got back to the hotel around 6pm. Long bike ride!! Took a quick shower then we were off to dinner. It was just myself, Tini, Susan, Taylor, Stephanie and Bao since the others were going to eat what they cooked at the cooking class.

On our way to the Cargo Club, we saw a bunch of people selling candles in little floating paper boats (which looked liked colored coffee filters). It ends up they were celebrating the full moon which would be happening tomorrow night- a mini festival that, needless to say, happens every month. So, on the night before they light candles and make wish and send their wish down the Hoi An River. So, we bought some candles (3 for 10,000 Dong which is about 50 cents), made our wishes and set them afloat. We then got to the restaurant and Taylor said he smelled Mexican food. I declared him insane and we were led up the stairs to our table. Guess what was on the menu? Mexican! Bless Taylor and his talented nose. I ordered Chicken Quesadillas and it was awesome! Followed up with an awesome Chocolate Mousse Cake dessert. It was nice to not eat Vietnamese two nights in a row! The only down side to the dining experience was the group in the other room who kept singing a very monotone, slow church type song while waiting for their food. They weren't Vietnamese (as Taylor put it, "Hey, they're white!") so we don't know what language they were singing in nor what the hell they wouldn't shut up about. Oh, and Stephanie had a giant ant in her rice- that was a downside as well. Other than that, good dinner 😊

After dinner we walked along the streets and enjoyed the mini festival. Bao took off (poor guy has got to be tired of us tourists) but the rest of us hopped on a quick boat ride down the river of candles. It was just 65,000 Dong for the 5 of us- that is about $1.50. So friggin' cheap here! I feel bad that we bartered them down from 85,000 Dong, but you're supposed to barter. It was a nice, short cruise (about 15 minutes) and afterwards we wandered for a bit more but headed back to the hotel shortly. Another "time to pack" night and tomorrow we're off to Hue (pronounced Whey).

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2nd May 2010

You wrote, produced, directed, and shot a movie about Rita on your iPhone?
Quit ruining temples.

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