Hoi An

Hoi An

Back in Hoi An and it is hot again! One week in Sapa and you forget that the earth revolves around the sun. It's quite nice being back in the heat. Things dry quickly. Drinking cold water becomes a spiritual experience. You don't have to wear much and I may even get a tan.

The drawback of being in the heat again: during the cold I wore my entire wardrobe and this afforded me more space in my bag for things and trinkets, which I filled with no trouble. Now I have nowhere to put my long pants, my jacket, my gloves, my jumper. To make matters worse, I am in the tailor capital of the world and fully intend to purchase another full wardrobe even though I have nowhere to put it. Oh the humanity.

Things have changed in Hoi An. They have paved the road. This is amazing news and as soon as Paul and I noticed we started dragging our feet and walking in zig zags and saying things like "so luxurious!"

One drawback of Hoi An is the local's enthusiasm for making a sale. People come into a restaraunt and talk to you all freindly like and then say I have a shop not far from here maybe you take a look. Well and good but when you politely decline, they persevere, and when you politely decline again, they persevere, and it takes a firm and possibly a little rude (in my book) No for them to go away.

Our hotel (that's right, hotel not guesthouse!) has an information book in the room that mentions these touts and recommends we approach a shop without them as the price is likely to be higher if we are escorted. Well and good if they follow you for three blocks down the street, the street is just fair-game and it's our own fault for being out and having money on our person really. But these touts are most annoying when you're at the back of a restaurant trying to eat noodle soup (this is splishy and requires concentration and is embarrasing if you get any on your chin) and this person is standing at your table, insisting that you come to their shop.

The lady who sells drinks ourside our hotel tried to get me to go into a shop across the road that is apparently her friend's. She also gives me a business card for another shop after drawing the letter A in the bottom right hand corner. "Show them this and you will get a discount," she says. But I'm pretty sure I heard "Show them this is you will get over-charged and I will get a cut."

Tomorrow I will dive in (i'll just have to chose a shop at random I guess) and get some shirts copied, maybe a new jacket and maybe some pants and maybe a dress and possibly some skirts. Maybe also a different kind of jacket, and maybe some more shirts and some shoes. We'll see.

Today we are mosying around town on bicycles with no brakes. This is semi-ok if you go really slowly and are willing to sacrifice your foot in order to avoid the motorbike, but for the beach run I think we should get better bikes.

Bye for now,
Bec
Hoi An

More things...

OK back!

so where was i up to?

Hoi An...well that town is just beautiful, so picturesque! We had spend so much time getting clothes made though, some were amazing some not so amazing but so damn cheap! we found the greatest pho street stall, so damn cheap and tasty!

we also visited an orphanage which was lovely.

There is something about the food in general in hoi an, it is just so tasty, i don't know what they put in it but the tomato, garlic peanuts combine to make a taste sensation!

the beach there is nice too, though much colder than cambo or thailand.

next stop was hanoi, my last days with my kazza, we had a bit of a freakout when we realised we had left out passports 19 hours away in hoi an but that was all resolved when they sent them up on a bus for us. They arrrived 2 hours before kaz was to leave for Bangkok..PHEW!

Kazzy Come back!

Well after Kaz left i went to Sapa that evening on the night train, i was lucky to spend the rest of the day with some lovely british girls we shared a balcony with at out guesthouse. I managed to get a hard sleeper on the train which is soooo much better than a bus seat, i don't mind sleaping on the hard wood, i think it is good for my back! i have troulble waking up everywhere i go though whether it is bus or train, this morning i got woken up by a hit to the head at 5:45 when the train had arrived in hanoi, i guess i am lucky i can sleep at all, though one day i am sure i will sleep through my stop and end up in china or something!

Well Sapa was just amazing! Bec and paul; the girls were asking all about you and wanting to know when you are coming back...send them an email, they miss you.

now i am really tired and i will write more about sapa soon, i have some great photos! I have to catch a bus at 6pm to laos the bus will take 24hrs or something...eeekkk though i found i nice lad to acompany me on the trip!

videos soon too

Claire

Finally an Update!

Hello!!

Well i am sorry to all who is on my back about being slack with my blog, my apologies!

Well where do i start?

Well Kaz and i had an amazing time together, we cycled the streets of nha trang where we tasted the most amazing coffee ( and kaz dearest the coffee in hanoi really isn't the same) we left there without going to the beach once which was strange but it didn't come close to the beach in sihanoukville.

our next stop was the lovely town of hoi an. Kaz and i really had a great time here besides the fact that is a womans paradise with all the shoe and clothing tailors, it is a really beautiful town. we hored bikes here every day, it was a little easier to ride here as the town is much quieter

just a sec...gotta change computers...

It Burns!!

Hello!

Well the last few days have been very hot here in Hoi An, We can hardly bare it, bec and i have had a few item of clothing made, i have had some shoes made and two jackets, soo cheap!!we have made some friends here, Paul and Ed from Ireland, i went to watch the football with them the other night then went to a few bars, we went to this great one out in the middle of nowhere where they played the beatles and henrix and had thousands of names written on the wall from past visitors, good fun.
Yesterday i visited marble mountain, a group of temples and pagodas built on top of a mountain overlooking the beach. We had to climb up hundreds of barble steps and scale cliffs and treck through caves to get to the top but it was all worth it for the view.
We have another ailment to add, i burned my leg on the motorbike 'Thailand tattoo' they call it...OUCH!
today we are off to hue, I hope it is as quiet and friendly as hoi an, i hear it is hotter which isn't too good but i'm sure we'll get used to it.

c ya

-Claire
Hoi An

Trouble in iPod

Whew, for a gut-wrenching hour I thought my iPod had upped and died on me. You're not meant to let it overheat, right? 35 degrees c is the little tacker's limit, then it just conks out. Well in Hoi An it's about 30 something. So if i even turn my iPod on, just to look at it, it probably hits 35 without any effort. I've had to start taking it out of its black Yakumoto suit everytime i use it, cause overheating is really easy here. Even for me. We're about to check out of our hotel and we've left about 13 empty water bottles, 1.5 litres each, in the bathroom. If they even fit into the bin provided, we still feel they should be recycled . . . somehow.

So we're catching the 2pm bus to Hue, which only takes around 2 hours. We're skipping Denang because who can be bothered.

Claire came back after a 24 hour absence with a bad hangover, a scrape to the knee and a great big burn on her lower leg. We're all excited about this as we can finally crack open paul's (paul's mum's) giant first aid kit. It has lots of fun things in it that we can play with. Paul has fashioned himself an eyepatch, and I a sling . . . so Claire doesn't feel left out with her great goopy bandage.

Enough of the medical update,
Bec,
Hoi An

vague?

We're leaving in 3 hours, so I don't really have anything to say. It's hot, but that's nothing new. I'm sweating. I guess Australia are out of the world cup now, but who cares? I'm only really sitting in the internet cafe because Bec needs to charge her iPod. (Note to self: next time, bring power adaptor).
We have to check out of our hotel in about 40 minutes. Claire burned her leg on a scooter's exhaust. (Who's scooter, you ask?)
The good news is, we are leaving Hoi An behind, and probably leaving the weirdness here too.

Hmmm. Vague? Yes.

- Paul

Bolted Down by the Back Wheel

We did end up hiring bikes yesterday and we made it to the beach in one piece! Everyone except this poor girl I crashed into. I apologised profusely but she just stared at me, horrified by this crazy white person who can't ride a bike.

... So the beach was really great and i took a killer photo of this toddler with no pants on. I Don't think he minded though, because he stood there posing for about five mintues. We purchased some peanut brittle from a girl named sun-sun. It is the best and i need some more. Paul drew her picture and she was very pleased.

Today we went out to My Son where some really cool Cham Ruins are. I took heaps of photos- almost 2 Gig's worth.

Paul might have mentioned Claire's absence today. We aren't supposed to talk about it, but we're putting together a short film, from snippets of interviews with witnesses, which will be released on DVD in early August.

Ha, i think about three girls have spoken to me in the last day or two and after a few minutes of polite getting-to-know-you, they've just come out with "You have very white skin." I appreciated their frankness. I said "I am very sunburnt." And then we said goodbye.

I'll apologise for my random rambly style of post - i had terrible sleeps last night and am moula tired. Tomorrow we go to Hue, where i'm told it will be even hotter. Goddamnit. How is that even possible???

I'll keep you posted,
Bec,
Hoi An.

Trouble in paradise... or, in the third world. Whatev!

So Claire has disappeared. She went off to watch the soccer yesterday and we haven't seen her since. She missed the tour bus so Bec and I went to My Son by ourselves. There are some spectacular Cham ruins there. Much better than the ones we saw in Nha Trang.
I've decided to put off buying anything until we get to Hanoi, and even then I don't think I'll really buy anything. It's okay for the girls, they can get good clothing made for them in a day for a pittance, but the offering they have for men is rather limited. Anything you get from a market is just utter trash, there's no reason to buy anything. You end up seeing the same t-shirt in every single stall and eventually you start to wonder whether someone else might have bought the same shirt. It would get embarrassing bumping into someone with the same Tin Tin shirt, right? I did however buy a pair of sunglasses and a hat, but this is only because I lost my sunglasses and my hat somewhere. Other than that I haven't bought anything really. I did get a little musical donger thing for a buck, which hopefully will make it past customs. Oh, I bought thongs because my shoes were too hot (30,000 dong / $3 or so).
There are some other things that I'm not allowed to talk about. I won't go into details, but I am hereby announcing my intent-to-dissent (maybe). We're coming down with a bit of Cabin Fever. Or, more like, Hotel Fever. In any case, it was bound to happen eventually. I'm sure we'll get over it soon enough.

- Paul

Ugh, more shopping.

Hoi An is basically just a bunch of stalls lining the streets. There are some heritage buildings dotted throughout but it's pretty rural, without a whole lot to do except shop. The girls are on some kind of spending spree. Like, I know $7 isn't really a lot to pay for a fitted skirt, but they're stopping at every single shop and stall that we pass. The people there, they give out business cards like it's the newest big thing and the girls just keep taking them. They stop and point at a dress casually and suddenly there's an attendant taking it down and offering to let them try it on. 'Come in, try, no worries'. They clearly know not to bother with me, although I still have to wave away about twenty motorbikes a day.

Today I have been promised a frozen yoghurt if I put up with all the shopping. They wouldn't let me get it on credit, so I have to wait until I am exhausted and sweating like The Hulk after a showdown with an Apache Helicopter or something. I mean it, it's fucking hot here. You have no idea. We go through about 4 or 5 litres of water a day, but we ain't doing any wee. It all comes out in our sweat. Luckily for us laundry is only 8,000 Dong a kilo (75 cents). I'm getting some eczema on my wrists, probably due to the humidity. I think it's hotter here than it was in Saigon, but I have no way of telling - actually I'm avoiding the weather channel. I think it would just depress me.

Last night was some kind of special thing. We have no idea what it could be, and we can't be bothered finding out, but everyone was burning little bonfires in the gutters. There was smoke all over the place.

Tomorrow we'll do a tour around some interesting stuff, and then head off the day after, toward Hue. Until then I guess I'll just follow the girls around, from shop to shop while they take advantage of the exchange rate and the disgustingly cheap clothing. I'm going to wait until Hanoi before I do any of my spending. So far I'm surviving on around 200,000 Dong a day. If I keep it up, I'll spend less than $800 for the whole month.

Go team me!

I think I'll live HERE

Hoi An is so photogenic it's making me look like a talented photographer. I think i'll live here and sell postcards of my photos. It's hot-hot-hotter during the day here but cooler at nights.

Everything closes at nine, though. In Nha Trang everything except the bars closed at ten. But we're almost half way up the country now so we can expect some later nights further north.

My sunburn isn't quite so hideous today. Yesterday Paul kept saying, geez bec your back is covered in beads of sweat. So I eventually told him to get a towel already, and he dabbed away but only took off skin! I am bubbled through with blisters yay super happy fun!

Every other shop here is a cloth shop with all these really funky designs on display. Every other-other shop is a shoe shop where they make shoes to fit. Claire already has some red sandles, two different sizes to fit her strange feet. We both got skirts made yesterday and mine is so cool but warm also so i can't wear it until i get home. My plan is to get a jacket to match and a short cotton skirt to wear here, then maybe a summery top aswell. The skirt I had made was $8 US. Which is a-okay with me. It is tourquoise and chocolate brown.

Later today we plan to hire a bicycle (10,000 dong for the day) and ride to the beach. Claire knows the way as she was scootered off there yesterday by an Irish footstool. He is OUR NEW FRIEND.

Tomorrow we get a tour bus to My Son, the greatest Cham ruins something something. I would have loved to do it without the tour, but Claire won't drive us anywhere at 5am. Which means my spectacular photographs will also be crawling with tourists. But nevermind, I am also a skilled photoshopper.

Smelling Like Sunscreen,
Bec,
Hoi An