....Hoi An continued.
First off, I have to say that I am loving Hoi An. It's beautiful, I'm not getting hassled like in Saigon, and the food is WONDERFUL!
So....I'm off the Vietnamese diet for the time being. I guess if I lost any weight, I've certainly gained it back by now. I found a wonderful bakery today...the French influence here in Hoi An is certainly evident in the sweet treats! I had my first 'real' chocolate today and I was in heaven.... In addition to the bakery, there are several wonderful restaurants here in Hoi An. I should probably take note of the names of some and pass them along but I haven't had a bad meal since I've been here. I have spent two days of simply wandering around....stop for coffee....wander some more....stop for lunch....wander a little more and have a sweet....wander a bit and stop for coffee.... Sounds like a lot of hard work, huh? Oh, and of course I've had a couple of items of clothing tailored for me. Nothing spectacular, just a skirt and a top. I also purchased a couple of silk scarves today for about $5/each.
I am truly enjoying myself here, my only regret is that I don't have anyone to share it with. Although i have met some wonderful travelers, there doesn't seem to be many people traveling alone. Most are either very young (and wanting to drink all day) and in groups, or much older and traveling with a tour. Today's interactions included a German couple that were delightful and gave me all sorts of advice on Hanoi, a New Zealand tour guide for Intrepid Tours (she has been doing tours here for 2 years and is going to be starting tours in Western Europe next year...I decided upon talking to her that I WANT HER JOB!), and a Canadian here with a tour group. There was also a brief interaction with a very young group of French. What wonderful diversity!
So far, Hoi An is my favorite place here in Vietnam. I am sad that I am going to have to leave soon. I have certainly stayed longer than I had planned and if I am going to get through Vietnam I am going to have to get moving soon....although it feels so comfortable here that I think I could stay forever!
Plan is to leave here on Sunday morning to Hue via bus. I should arrive in Hue around noon-ish. Sun-Mon in Hue then Tuesday night bus to Hanoi and Halong Bay through the weekend. (Unless there is more flooding in Hanoi). I would still love to get to Cambodia on this trip but it doesn't look promising at this point. Instead, I am thinking of heading back to Saigon and taking a Mekong Delta tour prior to meeting my friend Kim again....I really should have done this at the beginning of my trip but you know what they say 'hindsight.....'.
Today I visited My Son Holy Land (which is mostly a pile of stone rubble). I have to say that I wasn't real impressed. I took some pictures and will share them as soon as I have an opportunity. It was hot, sweaty and way too packed with 60 y/o tourists! (not that I have anything against 60 y/o's)!! In fact, I think it's great to see them traveling....I wish that more people from home would/could travel, it's a wonderful experience!
I think tomorrow I am going to try to visit the hospital (If I can get the nerve) and see if someone there would be willing to let me tour around a bit. There is also the possibility of renting a bicycle and visiting China Beach and maybe taking an evening cooking class. There is a wonderful local dish here called the 'white rose', shrimp in rice paper and steamed! Yummy!! Then again, I might just wander around and eat all day too....time will tell!
Life is good.....