The Celebrations are back on track

Trip Start Feb 13, 2011
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, February 19, 2011

We were happy to kiss The Golden Lotus Halong Bay and all of our fellow cruise mates farewell as we took off with driver,Tien. He took us direct to the Noi Ba Airport at Hanoi, apart from a cleverly disguised food break at a Craft Centre for the Handicapped where we are required to walk through all the very good art and craft work whilst he eats. The trip back is another 3 hours of hectic traffic, where we spend most of the time on the wrong side of the road with the horn blowing. I have since read a comment regarding the drownings, and the comment was that the chance of getting killed on the drive to Halong Bay is far greater that losing you life on a boat.

Arrived at airport with 3 hours to spare, try to get an earlier flight to Danang which is approx 700kms south of Hanoi, but seeing we only paid $25 each they would not change. Easy flight of 1 hour, secure a cab who attempted a personal best time for the 30km drive from Danang to Hoi An but just missed out. Checked into our hotel, Life Heritage Resort, and we soon realised that after stuffing around for two days we were back on track in a great place, plus it was warm enough to get out the shorts. Soon found the restaurant and were easily tempted by, Seafood Symphony with a Green Curry Sauce on Liguini and Lamb Rogan Josh. Plus they had ice cold Tiger Beer on tap and a great table on the balcony looking out over the river. It was sheer bliss.  After dinner we had a quick walk around the nearby streets, met a Laundry Lady, purchased a couple of DVD's for $1 each and soon home to bed.

Buffet breakfast in the morning, same table, same waitress who just by chance has a husband who works in shoe store and will give us a good price. We head off with our bag of laundry and are met by four women at the gate all wanting to do our washing, this must be heaven. The lady we met the previous night. No 1 Laundry Lady, soon took control and we did a deal $10 wash, dry & iron, which actually turned out to be folded.

Anyway, Lady No1, has a sister, Lady No2, who has a sister in-law who runs a tailor shop in the market and we have to go to see her, whilst we are there ordering some pants and tops, we meet Lady No 3, who has a shoe store just around the corner where we also meet Lady No 4 who sells giftware and Lady No 5, who wants to give me a massage or pluck the hairs out of my ears with a piece of cotton. Very good job up upselling.

We eventually give them all the slip and head off through the market area and through to the Ancient Covered Japanese Bridge leading to the Ancient Old Town. We try to cross but are told that we must buy ticket. On the way to the ticket seller we find a cheats way along the river bank which we use and spent what we saved on a lantern, and a coconut donut which was great.

On the way back to our hotel we do stop and arrange for a top and pants to be made for Julie and after our morning walk of 7kms we get back to our sanctury for a cold Tiger Draft beer and a Seafood Club Sandwich on Ciabatta with Horseradish Sauce and French Fries, bloody magnificent.

Refreshed, we again hit the road and make bookings for dinner tonight at Brothers Cafe down the road on the river.  We decide to charter a tour boat for 100,000VND ($5AUD) for an hour tour of the river which was very restfull, we see a couple in a boat casting a net to catch fish we take a few photos and soon realise that he is catching tourists as he wants payment. Our intrepid capiatin gets us back and tries it on saying that it was 100,000 VND per person not per cruise, piss off, and to think at one time I was thinking of tipping you.

We cruise the streets some more , find a nice painting, pick up some of Julie's clothes, pick up Laundry from No1 Lady & head home. Dinner was at Brother's Cafe which is situated in an ancient house, landscaped by an exquisite garden that is festooned by lights overlooking the river. Food was pretty good, Chargrilled Calamari wth Satay Sauce and Pork with Fresh Basil and Onion washed down with a D'Aranberg Sav Blanc.

Hoi An feels caught in a time warp like a butterfly preserved in amber.  It was one of the major trading centres of Southeast Asia in the 16th century, and was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
It is full of tailor shops all displaying the same styles, shoe shops, art dealers, knock off t-shirts retailers who all give the cry "come buy something from me" and a wide variety of restaurants from street food to lovely garden establishments. The narrow streets are full of motorbikes beeping their horns constantly warning you that they are passing you but no-one is ever hit and it just works.

www.brothercafehoian.com
www.life-resorts.com






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Comments

Mr Dudley on

There is certainly no shortage of food in Vietnam or will there be? Hairy cab rides drownings, bartering, arguing with locals thats why we pulled our amazing race application. Sounds like you both are keeping everyone and everything under good control. Blogs are great and super informative keep up the good work and keep safe

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