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Published: June 11th 2017
We've had a nice relaxing day so far in Hoi An. It's about 5 pm and we have some time before meeting the group at 7 pm for dinner (and to celebrate Michelle's 32nd birthday).
I didn't mention the drive from Danang to Hoi An yesterday. We were picked up at the Danang railway station in a mini bus and It took about 45 min or so to get to our hotel. There are really beautiful beaches in the Danang area and there are lots of expensive looking resorts along the beach.
After I did the blog yesterday afternoon, we showered (it sure was nice to shower after the long train ride, and we were pleased to have both decent water pressure and hot water). We met the group for a late lunch and walk around Hoi An. Our hotel, the Van Loi, is in a good location, a 15 min or so walk across the bridge to where all the shops are.
We had a nice walk to the restaurant and around the town. We had an excellent lunch at the Mermaid Cafe. I had Green Papaya salad and Susan had fresh spring rolls and a dish
called White Rose, which is available only in Hoi An (sort of a wonton wrapped in rice paper). Plus the local beer, which is called Larue.
We visited a couple of the historical sites in Hoi An, the Phuoc Kien Pagoda, built around 1690 by Chinese immigrants, and dedicated to Thien Hau - the goddess of the sea; and the Old House of Tan Ky, built in the late 1700s. Both were impressive to see. Hoi An is a really lovely town and we'd like to spend more time here.
Susan and I did a bit of shopping last evening after the group dispersed, and then had an early night.
I bought a pair of elephant shorts and two tank tops (I never wear shorts and tank tops at home but it's so hot here I need them!) We also bought two silk "sleeping sheets" for use in any future sleeper trains. We sure could have used them on the train and will likely be on a sleeper train in a future trip (hopefully Egypt!). They only cost $5 here, are made of 100% silk, and come in their own carrying pouch. After shopping we weren't hungry
for dinner so just had a few snacks we had left over.
Today is a free day and some of the group went snorkelling, but we decided we would like a leisurely day to ourselves.
We slept in till 8:30 this morning, which is a big change from most days when we've been up early. We had a leisurely breakfast, then a bit of time at the pool while we waited for our spa appointment. I had a foot massage, a manicure and a pedicure. Susan had a foot massage and a pedicure, and got her hair trimmed. It was a nice relaxing morning after so many days on the go.
We then walked into town and had lunch at the Cargo Club. I had a delicious mango salad, and Susan had a pork Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich on baguette), washed down with Larue beer. We both had Vietnamese coffee and shared a passionfruit chocolate mousse. It was a wonderful lunch.
It was a partially cloudy day this morning, but as soon as we got to the restaurant the heavens opened and there was a torrential downpour (just like at the Mekong Delta). It was perfect
timing since we were under cover. It was quite a thunderstorm. The quantity of water in such a short time is unbelievable. It is quite fun to watch if you're safely under cover! By the time we finished lunch it had lessened to a light rain, and the sky had brightened considerably.
We did some more shopping (a mug for Susan and a tea cup and saucer for me). Susan got two cotton/silk blouses and I got 2 cotton/silk dresses (one is more of a tunic to be worn with leggings). Susan is also getting two pairs of elephant pants made (one elephant design and one flowered) since she couldn't find them to fit off the rack. They will be ready at 6 pm tonight. I also got a really nice silver necklace (the pendant is shaped like the Vietnamese conical hat), which is a delayed birthday present for me. No bargaining at the jewellery store, they have a sign saying the price is fixed. I actually prefer that to the constant bargaining.
Tomorrow we meet the group at 6:30 am for an optional bike ride around the countryside (Bon says it is a flat easy ride), then
back to the hotel for shower and breakfast. We leave at 9:30 for the drive to Hue (I think around 3 1/2 hours or so). The drive is supposed to be very scenic. Should be a fun day!
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