Hoi An - Tailors Required For Frogs!
Trip Start Oct 30, 2005
122Trip End Ongoing
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The bus dropped us off at one of its affiliate hotels, and although not too bad, the cheaper rooms were not available for a few hours. So we left our bags and headed off around town to search if there was alternate accomodation so we could get some long overdue sleep.
Hoi An has quite a charm about it, with quiet streets containing pedrestrians, bicycles and scooters. Although there were still a plethora of vendors hawking their tailor businesses
Heading back to the hotel, we finally got a room and were able to get some long needed sleep... That night we headed out for dinner to enjoy some of the local specialties and on the way back stopped by for dessert at the restaurant we had our coffee in earlier and the girls in the shop were teaching us some Vietnamese. Glenn became fluent in asking for coffee... Oh oh, after a few months away from coffee, it looks like Glenn will be on the beans again!
After a short day, the following day was not an improvement. Christie came down with a really bad stomach bug - much worse than we had experienced in India, and she was bedridden for the whole day. Glenn put on his nurses outfit (not literally!) to look after her. The next day, however, she was no better. In the afternoon, Glenn decided to take some time out and let Christie rest, so he hired a bike (suspension as well!) and rode out towards the nearby beach through the small local communities. It was a beautiful ride, past small villages, people farming, looking curiously at the foriegner who they no doubt thought was lost. After snaking through the villages, and ending up in the town, a group of bike riders appeared, who it seemed were on a tour.
The beach was quite beautiful, a continuous stretch of white sand, with the only interruption to the peace being the hawkers trying to sell fruit, or give a massage. A good place to sit a think about life for a while. It didn't last long. A security guard from a nearby resort came up to chat. He was interested in practicing his English and was quite interesting to talk to, to find our about his local life and the impact of tourism on him. Time flew and as the sun started sinking, Glenn bid farewell to his new buddy and rode like the wind. (He had negotiated a 6pm deadline for the bike!) Making it just in time, Glenn returned to find Christie a little improved, but mostly happy that he found the way back!
Our quick fix antibiotics that worked so well throughout India failed to work here, and we found out that in South East Asia, the germs had developed some resistance to the drugs
Glenn decided to get some photos the next morning, and woke up really early to check out the locals in the fish markets. Quite an amazing sight. Boats along the river mooring, while the fresh catch were put into bowls to be sold that morning. With no refrigeration, except ice, the market was a buzz before the hot sun came out to spoil the catch. All sorts of interesting specimens were there... and next to the fish, was the market of foodstuffs for everything else. One slightly disturbing sight was a bowl full of skinned frogs. Glenn watched in shock as one frog jumped out of the bowl. It was skinned, but still alive! Moving back to the fish markets, where the fish were still as fresh, but not quite so disturbing, he spent about 2 hours watching the locals, taking pictures and acquiring a lovely morning fish smell, that he walked back to Christie.
With Christie having improved enough, we ventured out to explore the ancient town together and caught a few of the local sights such as the old French colonial architecture, ancient Chinese community halls, a Japanese bridge and the old ladies who were definately used to tourists. These ladies would be carrying a plank over their shoulders with buckets either end and would innocently ask if you wanted to hold it for a photo, or alternatively if you wanted a photo of them. Once you had, MONEY!!!! Of course the first one was sweet, but after that...sorry ladies.
Hoi An is famous for its tailors, but with Christie being so sick, and almost a week spent here, waiting longer to get clothes made was the last thing on our mind. Still there would be plenty of other tourists to help support them. So with Christie well enough to travel, we decided to continue our journey the next day... to Hue.