Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Happy Days in Hoi An

Before I get to the Hoi An arrival, I have a mildly hilarious, potentially could have been very-not-hilarious story from my last day at Nha Trang. So Brian and I thought it would have been a good idea to rent a motorbike on the bustling less-busy-than-Saigon streets of Nha Trang. We rented one for 3 dollars, gassed it up, and were prepared to have an epic adventure up at the Lo Son Pagoda in Northern Nha Trang. Ten minutes in our motorcyle gets very wobbly, and we geniousely thought it would be a good idea to pull over. Next thing you know our back tire is flat. Great! we are in the middle of the countryside on some random bridge far away from the city. Next thing you know, the Monsoon hits and it starts raining and we are pushing a sub-standard popped tire motorcyle down the street. Luckily to our delight a local flags us down and starts laughing hysterically. I guess the situation is kind of funny! well not really if we have to push the thing for another 15 kilometers, yuck! That idea was met with a terrible moan. Good thing the local had a spare tube on him and tools, we pulled our bike into his shop and promptly put on a new tube in 15 minutes. Turns out our old tube had been patched several times, by several I mean everywhere possible on the tube. Since the monsoon hit, we decided to just head home and take our bike elsewhere some other time. I watched "hitch" (don't laugh) on HBO and promptly went off to bed.

The next morning we caught a plane to Hoi An, which took maybe 45 minutes. This seemed like a better altnerative than taking a 12-14 hour train that would have cost 20 dollars less. Hoi An is a beautiful beautiful city! it is one of the only cities never to be bombed by U.S. forces during the war. Quite possibly one of the most pleasant places I've been to date. If Saigon is known for its sprawling symbols of capitalism, and Nha Trang for its beautiful beaches, Hoi An must be known for its tailors. It boasts over 400 tailors in the city. I didn't waste any time, and popped into the first tailor recommended by my friend Laura. All said and done, I managed to get two 3-piece cashmere suits, 2 dress shirts, 3 ties made, and 1 winter coat made. Total costing just under 400. Quality day for sure, the suits were very decent, and they finished them in 1 day. The good thing was, the suits were fitted down to a T, which makes for a very nice fit. I can see why Hoi An was known for its quality tailoring and good service, it was also nice to know where to go and where not to go by fellow travellers. Since I will probably be looking for some-type of job when I go home, the suits would prepare me well.

After the suit-making soiree, I decided to rent a bicylce, figuring if the tire pops I wouldn't have to lug it too far. I rode all the way down to the beach, which was quite decent. The water is very warm here, I could stay in forever, nice waves also. I waded in the waves for a bit, it felt like Tofino, except minus the cold. Then the monsoon hit again, and I rode my bike all the way home drenched in the pissing rain. The rain here is actually not as a abominable as the rain in Vancouver or Victoria. It's generally large droplets of warm water with literally no wind. I spent a local pub conversing with other travellers, some from Britain and Austrailia. The beers here are .60 cents, which is music to my ears.

I woke up at 6ish and headed of to Mỹ Sơn, 2 hours outside of Hoi An. My Son is a cluster of ancient ruins left behind by the Cham dynasty. I won't go too much into it, but they were made and dedicated for the Hindu God Shiva. Feel free to visit the wiki link for more info on it. The ruins were magnificient wonders. I probably would have enjoyed it more if it was not 35 degrees outside, which along with the humidity made for a very sweaty and stinky day. I managed to take a few pictures, which are on my facebook. The ruins took up most of the day. Afterwards we went to a woodworking factory, a ship yard, and back to the harbor for lunch. Hoi An is on the Central coast of Vietnam, so it enjoys a wide ranging varieties of seafood. But.......I have to run now! poor internet, sticky keyboards, and the English calling are driving me to the bar! Best wishes to those reading from home!


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