Suites you sir & Easy Rider

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
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13
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Trip End Jan 25, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Friday, January 15, 2010

We were looking forward to spending a number of days in Hue after all the constant moving around over the past week. Kym had booked us into the 'life resort' hotel which is pretty close to the centre of Hoi An.

Hoi An was an important trading port from the 16th to 18th century on the north bank of the Thu Bon River. As with many of the places we've chosen visit, Hoi An is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hoi An is a lot smaller than the other places we've visited & the old quarter is only about 2km by 1km in size.

We found the narrow streets very busy with tourists & the ubiquitous motorbikes everywhere. There's a multitude of tailors, art shops & local eating & drinking spots. The locals try to make the most of the tourist trade and relentlessly ask "you look in my shop" or "you buy something".

DAY 1

After a less than stellar breakfast at the hotel our first priority was to find a tailor for Mike. After cruising a number of shops & Kym casting her critical eye over their workmanship we settled on one called Yaly. Although we'd heard it was one of the more expensive tailors in town, the quality of workmanship couldn't be faulted. Fast doesn't come close to describing how quickly everything was made up. Mike was measured up at midday & by later than afternoon, 2 suit jackets, 3 trousers & 3 shirts were ready for fitting. The shirts & pants fitted perfectly first time & Mike's rippling physique required some minor adjustments to the jackets.

After the fitting we continued on with our cocktail tour of Vietnam with a mango daquari at Tam Tam & cruised a lot of art shops selling dirt cheap handpainted art work. We had dinner in a lovely garden restaurant on the river called Brothers.

DAY 2

The next morning we had brekky at the hotel with Danny De Vito. After nearly tripping over him at breakfast he was again stalking us as we bumped him in the streets around Hoi An.   Why won't these mega stars leave us alone?

We came across a number of fabulous looking locals  & yet more examples of super duper hygene at work...and this is just the stuff we saw..restaurant kitches are best NOT explored..but surprisingly we have managed to dodge the 'deli beli' bullet so far.

Day 2 was largely an R&R day. Sitting back, drinking, eating, updating
travel blogs, eating, drinking, walking around and generally not doing a lot..well apart
from Mike spending the evening doing his business stuff (invoices,
payroll, etc). Dinner was at a great restaurant called Mango perched on a
stool overlooking the river. Mike Jagger has also visted this place, so we thought if its good enough for Mick then the kitchen will probably be OK.

DAY 3

Our 3rd day in Hoi An was one of the highlights for probably the wrong reasons. The previous day we had decided to hire a motorbike & Mike had negotiated a relatively new bike for the princely sum of US$6 a day from the Dung Laundry. Crazy drivers, bad roads - most sensible people would stay put & most definitely not venture onto the larger roads filled with trucks, buses, cars, etc constantly blowing their turbo-horns...not us..We ambitiously decided on a trip to an ancient ruin "My Son" - a mere 40kms stone's throw away!  Even better was that the heavens opened up & we did the majority of the motorbike trip in a torrential rain storm.

Our trip out of Hoi An almost ended before it had started when we were hit by a car on the outskits of Hoi An. Thankfully it wasn't a large collision as they only knocked their wing mirror out of place on mike's arm (one of the ones he uses to steer the bike with) & Kym's leg. Like all drivers here, she merrily carried on driving. That was the first of many near death experiences that day.

We arrived in My Son 90 minutes later considerably wetter, colder & bum numb than we were when we had set off.

My Son was a religious centre between the 4th & 13th century. Originally it had about 70 temples but only about 20 remain in good
condition due to bombing damage (see later).

My Son is another UNESCO world heritage site & is set in a dense, vegetated valley beneath Hon Quap or Cat's Tooth Mountain. Although centuries of pillage and more recent bombings have taken their toll, the ruins provide a glimpse into a fascinating indianized culture.




Sadly, My Son was one of the non-person casualities from the Vietnam
war. It was a hang out of the Viet Cong so of course the Americans
bombed the crap out of the place. This meant that there are few of the
original temples left.

It was hard to get enthusiastic about the site except to be thankful we had arrived their in one piece but not being terribly excited about the return trip...in the rain with the truck & cars..if the cars & trucks stayed on their own side of the road it wouldn't be so bad. 

We arrived back in Hoi An in one piece & thankfully by mid afternoon the rain had disappeared so we went exploring the local area on the bike & navigated the local streets.  We refilled the bike for about US$2.20 which was pretty good for a 100+ KM's ride with two people on it & gave it back to the Dung Laundry.

We really enjoyed our stay in Hoi An and were surprised that our stay came to an end so quickly!



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