02.05.2017 34 °C
Day 4. Saigon to Hoi An
Our flight to Da Nang on Vietnam airlines was on time and only took an hour and a half. We arranged a pick up from our hotel for only $15 USD and ina half hour we were at our home for the next five nights, Nova Villa Hotel on the River. Our room is pleasant clean and the staff are wonderful.
After a rest in the room we wandered off down the road to visit the night market which had hundreds of stalls with a variety of goods for sale. It is all so tempting.
We saw this young couple getting some wedding pictures taken.
There are many lights and lanterns everywhere, it is so beautiful. We love Hoi An. It is a unesco heritage site with many old buildings and bridges. The ancient city, which is where we are staying, is very small and easily walkable. The skies opened so we ducked into a resteraunt for some dinner and by the time we were finished it stopped raining. The temperature is quite comfortable but it is very muggy
One shop was selling NorthFace items so jane bought a gortex jacket and i bought a day pack. The prices are insanley cheap.
Banana pancakes were enjoyed from this street seller
Day 5. Our hotel provided a wonderful breakfast with many choices. We chose fruit with yogurt and a pineapple pancake. The coffee was not that grest but then he brought us some condensed milk to put in it. It was like the macciatos I had in Ethiopia. Yummy
The day was spent walking around the old town popping into temples and stores. I wanted to get a jacket made so we went to BEBEs which is highly recommeded on trip advisor. I chose an electric blue silk blend and also a silk and cotten blend for a dress. I go back for my fitting tomorrow.
I also found a place to make me some custom made shoes which i will retun tomorrow for as well
The shopping is amazing. There are lots of young people here, university students on summer break. We met three young men from Toronto who are just starting thier careers and getting a few suits shirts and shoes made here The prices are so much better for the good quality fit and fabrics.
It was so crowded tonight, there were hundreds of tour busses and thousands of people here. It is not only the weekend but also a holiday, labor day, so the next couple of days will be insane apparently.
April 30, Saturday
Today was sunny and the best day in the forcast. We woke early and after breakfast rented a couple of bikes to go to the beach. The woman at the reception desk sugested we go to a different beach and gave us the instructions
Traffic here is much lighter than Saigon, but still kinda crazy. Its a dance. You just move with the traffic, dont stop just weave on and out.
Motorbikes, bicycles, trucks, busses, cars and people with wheelbarrows all going every which direction. We ended up on the highway in the heat and it was a litle scary.
The beach was much further away than we thought it was but we made it in one piece which was a miracle
After we parked the bikes we rented two loung chairs and a palapa for 100,000 dong, or $5.30. It is around 9AM and really hot out. The. vendors on the beach are covered head to toe and even have sweatshirts on. We enjoyed some fresh mango from this vendor
Jane and i walked up and down the beach to get some sun and exercise at the same time.
We didnt go swimming as there was quite a rip tide. I meant to get a picture of the lifeguard sitting in his chair right beside the "no swimming" sign.
There are a lot of these round fishing boats on the beach, the men are done for the day bit we did see one still out puling in his nets.
At noon we decided we had better start to head back. The road is much busier now and it is stinking hot out. We are not looking forward to this ride !
I see a van taxi pull up and suggest to Jane that we see if he can take us and the bikes back. He can ( of course). We are so relieved
He did not speak english and we tried to tell him where our hotel was but we didnt have a card with us and he did not know where it was. We drove around a while. He was not happy.
Finally we suggest we google it on his phone, he called the hotel and got directions. Then jane remembered she had a map and showed it to him
He did not hide the fact that he was more thn annoyed with us
We had to have him drop us at the hotel because we didnt have any money with us.
We stashed the bikes and headed straight for the pool which was pure heaven . The people at reception thought it was quite funny that we left on the bikes and came back in a cab
Jane is a bit red but i am burnt quite badly. I look like a canadian flag, all red and white.
We only walked down the beach for less than an hour first thing when we got there and then sat under the palapas.
We rode into the old town but ended up locking our bikes up after a bit as it was just too busy. So many busses full of day trippers, big vietnamese groups here for the holiday. I had an appointment for a fitting of my clothes so we walked to BeBes to be there by 3
My jacket is great but needs a few adjustments. Not wild about the dress but they will adjust a few things and hopefuly tomorrow i will be happier.
We stopped for a great late lunch or early dinner and the off to see about my shoes. Unfortunately they are not able to do them as my feet are too wide and the forms are already set or something. Very disapointing and she felt really bad for me.
The walk back had us popping into stores and buying a few articles of clothing. Tops for $13 made of a silk cotten blend in bright colors.
Now we are running really low on cash so the shop keeper told us to go to the ATM inside a tailor shop. Dangerous
I noticed that they also made shoes so i ordered a pair of custom made shoes again and hopefully i have better luck here. I come back tomorrow for my fitting.
We stoped at another beautiful temple on the way home. A lot of young children say "hello" to us. One young 10 year old bravely came up and started a conversation. He was practising his english and he parents were proudly standing behind with big smiles. We find that a few parents bring thier young , shy, children up to try to get them to tslk to us. They are all dressed in thier Sunday best clothes too.
Another dip in the pool to cool off before turning in for an early night
Its seem to always be happy hour on Vietnam. Beer is cheaper than water.
Hot hot hot
At 8AM it was already sweltering. We walked into old town with our umbrellas up which helped.
Jane wanted to have a jumpsuit made so we went back to Yalys. She did not find any material that she liked but I did. I ordered two blouses, one in a beautiful blue silk and another white one. Yikes!
Selfies. Everyone is a wana be model. All these young girls posing and getting pictures taken in front of nothing interesting. And selfie sticks everywhere. They must have thousands of pictures of themselves
Lots of people selling things on the streets. Women come up to us with thread and want to pluck our facial hair right here in the street.
We see lots of women carrying goods on poles and this one let us try it out. It weighed a ton. We bought some fruit from her.
Down the road we popped into another tailor, ( there are tailor shops every few feet) and she found the fabric she liked and will have a fitting tomorrow.
I went off to Bebes and had my second fitting. Jacket. is good , dress still needs some work but getting there.
We walked back and went straight for the pool to cool down. I slept for a bit and then back into town for my shoe fitting.
I love them! Finally a pair of cute shoes that are comfy. Blue swede ones. I ordered another pair of black leather. I am so happy.
After a late lunch or early dinner we went to a cultural show that had singing music and dancing. It was only 45 minutes and a bit hokey.
After we decided to take a boat trip around the town and it was okay
People sell paper boats with candles to bring you good luck and you put them in the water to float around. They look beautiful when there are quite a number in the water
We are just melting. The sun has set bet the humidity is very high. Jane wanted to pick something up at the night market so we walked through there but the crowds of people where overwhelming. She got what she wanted and we went home to cool off in our room.
I am not sure how it can be hotter but it is. My sunburn is subsiding which is great. We walked into town around 9AM and poked around some shops and alleyways. When you arrive in hoi an you need to buy a ticket to visit ancient town but it is good for the entire time you are here and only costs $5.00
This gives you entrance to 5 places to visit and we had two left so we chose an old Japanese house.
This woman was selling fans and let me take her photo. I just love her.
I went for my fitting at BeBes and am happy. They will send to the hotel for me.
I went for my fitting at the other place, Yally, and my second pair of shoes are ready. They are both a bit too long so they will fix them. My two blouses need a bit of a adjustment and i will come back again for final fitting at 4PM
We went back to the room and had an ice cold beer and some amazing spanish peanuts that are sold on the street. Perfect lunch for a sweltering hot day. Had a wonderful rest in the air-conditioned room until 3.
Another fitting for me, all is good, A few adjustments on my shoes and blouses and they will deliver to my hotel for me to night. In the fitting room the woman looked at me and i had a waterfall of sweat coming off my forehead. She loooked horified, thinking it would ruin the blouse, but then i guess she remembered it was my blouse after all .
A old house was on the way to dinner and we went in and looked around. It showed the water levels of the flooding that happens here on a semi regular basis. In 1964 the water was over 10feet inside the house. December 2016 it was 5 feet. It is amazing these wooden buildings are still standing.
Janes's jumpsuit was not ready yet so we walked to dinner at a place recommeded called Morning Glory. Amazing! Street food in a resteraunt. It was super crowded and hot but the best food so far.
We had to get to a water puppet show that was recommened and it looked far on the map,but we were assured it was close by,
"10 minute walking"
We asked a pedi cab driver how much to take us and he said 200,000 each (11$). We walked away thinking it was too much. 15minutes into our walk we are dying and dont seem to be getting any closer. Everyone says it is a differnt direction. That 200,000 seems like a good deal right about now.
After 10 more minutes we hail a cab and arrive late for the performance which is already in progress.
We watched for around 1/2 hour until it was over. It was cute. Not worth all that effort to get there Though.
Trying to hail a cab back was a challange but finally one stopped. It was our guy who took us with our bikes from the beach. He looked at us and laughed and kind of went " oh no, not you two broads again!" At least we had a card with the address this time.
He took us close to where we had to be , the streets are pedestrian and bikes only, and Jane had her fitting. It needed a few more tweeks and will be sent to the hotel in an hour.
On our walk back to our hotel we see so many bride and grooms getting photos done, as we did all day. This is a very popular place for photos.
A swim int the pool was welcomed but we needed to put some ice in it, it wasnt cold enough. The air conditioned room was fantastic.
We did some packing for our flight to Hanoi in the early morning. It was hard to get my suitcase closed but i did it.