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Sarah and Emily’s Travel Diary

Friday, 03 Nov 2006

Location: Hoi An, Vietnam

So we left you in Hoi An a town on the river and just 5km from a beach. It's famous for making tailored clothes so when you walk down the street you get women shouting at you to come and look at their clothes, and for some reason every single one of them seems to be pregnant (we think some must have just shoved pillows up for the sympathy vote so you'll buy from them, or the men in Hoi An are just extremely fertile). So after day of mooching around the town (you can actually do that here as its quiet and calm and you're not about to be hit by 300 motorcycles coming at you!) we went out for dinner with Team Gold (Wayne, Carly and Charlie - yes we're that sad we give ourselves a group name) to Treat's cafe that we had found earlier in the day, our eyes had hit the words happy hour and vodka so we were sold! We attempted to play pool and i now think the boys realise quite how rubbish we are so we took to talking to a New Zealand bloke (for the life of us we can't remember his name now, we're so heartless) and 2 Americans, we do enjoy the distraction of talking to men!

The next day we bit the bullet and decided to get some clothes made, we both needed new linen trousers (Emily's had worn through in an embarrasing place while in China and Sarah was paranoid the same would happen to hers as they were from the same shop!) and thought we'd treat ourselves to some new tops - surprisingly enough we are fed up of wearing the same tops day in day out! So we had Carly in tow to help us as she knows what she's talking about when it comes to making clothes (and we clearly don't) so we got measured up by a few women, one woman kindly told us we had the same size breasts- is this due to travelling together, are we becoming one? But it's hard work trapsing round tailors and bartering them down on prices so we deserved another evening at Treat's Cafe where Wayne and Carly had invited another couple along who knew about a place open we head on down for Mohitoes (not sure how you spell it).

The unfortunate thing about ordering clothes is you have the ardious task of then going round everywhere to pick them up, try them on and say "this isn't right" so the next day was spent doing this! The trousers were fine but when it came to the tops they obviously aren't used to slightly large breasts as they didn't fit around that area. One poor woman had to alter Sarah's top about 6 times, all very draining for her and us (luckily her shop was just round the corner from the hotel!). That night we had tea at Jean's (service slow but food good and the food is what we care about...can you tell?), Charlie brought along a french guy he'd met (Greg) his English wasn't that good and he told us he understands German's better (we didn't talk to him much, Sarah tried her best but it was just too hard). We played a bit of pool with the two of them and luckily for us Greg looked like he'd never picked up a pool cue in his life!

Now we stayed in Hoi An for a couple more days due to the fact a typhoon was heading our way so we figured we'd just have to spend a couple of days in the hotel until it passed...but it changed direction and didn't come near us (it just got a bit windy - not as exciting, but safer!) so we allowed oursleves a lazy day - we didn't get up until 3pm and then just strolled around town in the wind. We decided to be touristy so started with the Covered Japanese Bridge and then visited the 'Old House' (yep they took a lot of time thinking that name up!) where a lady offered to show us round the house for free, it had been in her family for 8 generations and often got flooded in the wet season so they took everything upstairs through a trapdoor when this was going to happen. Now this family made tablecloths and lots of them and yes they were very beautiful but when you're travelling the world buying a tablecloth is not a top priority, this did not stop this woman putting on the hard sell for about half an hour - we practically had to run out in the end! We headed down the street to the friendlier shops (that actually weren't selling clothes) but as you were looking at stuff it did tend to then blow over in the wind. We crossed the bridge to the other side of the river but by then the wind had really picked up so we crossed back again (exciting stuff on lazy day hey!).

We needed a lazy day so that in the evening we could cope with the boys in their 'crazy suits'. Wayne and Charlie had matching suits made in a 'crazy' material (see picture) and strutted about all evening in them, loving the attention and waving to people as they went and yes somehow they managed to pull them off, unlike us when we tried the jackets on we just looked 'special'! We had an excellent meal at Hai Cafe, we ordered a mixture of dishes and all shared, our favourite one was the barbequed beef as it was cooked in front of us on the table (not quite a Korean barbeque but near enough!) it was a pity it was then wrapped up in what looked like a Dock leaf (and tasted like a Dock leaf - well what we think a Dock leaf would taste like!). Now 'crazy suits' need showing off so we headed to the bar so the boys could milk the attention a bit more and we could all impress each other by doing 'ugly faces', ah bonding!

Then to our last day in Hoi An, half a day at that as the bus was picking us up at 6pm. We had a big lunch at Treats (ah we were going to miss it!) before conquering another of Sarah's fears and getting rides on the back of motorbikes to the beach. Ah the wind tangling our hair, the dust in Sarah's eyes (Emily is at an advantage for wearing glasses in these kind of situations) but it was great and we did feel safe on them, safe enough to take pictures while riding them ah there's no stopping us now! The beach was really nice and quiet, though you couldn't enjoy the quiet as every 5seconds an old woman would pass with fruit, jewellry or offering pedicures and some just don't seem to understand the word no! One girl sat 3 deckchairs away from us until we gave in and said we'd have a look...this really does mean you then have to buy something. Sarah told her she liked long necklaces so the shell necklace she put on just wasn't her style - so this prompted the girl to completely unpick 2 necklaces and make one big one, this meant she sat at our feet for about 20 minutes making this necklace that Sarah really didn't want (if anyone wants a shell necklace just let her know) and Emily ended up with a Chinese New Year necklace with the Year of the dog (1982) on but it's O.K. she told us you could also hang it in your car or where you live - gee whizz! Then she tried to sell one to Emily for her brother but Emily actually laughed in her face! So we quickly moved away after our lovely purchases and got the motorbikes back again (ah it's a good way to travel) and prepared for our overnight bus (our first overnight bus) to Nha Trang, and without Team Gold - what will we do just the 2 of us!