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LesandWhit’s Travel Diary

Friday, 20 Mar 2009

Location: Hue & Hoi An, Vietnam

Maphello! hope everyone had a fun st paddy's day! we have been busy busy since our last update... Vietnam is absolutely beautiful; everything is so green and lush and the people are lovely. We left the crazy city of Hanoi and boarded a horrible over night train. Legit we felt like we were in a jail cell, because they closed the doors to our sleeping quarters and well it was awful. No one slept a wink b/c the train kept stopping and jolting and when i woke up the next morning to get off the train i got so sick. details to be spared but thank god Whit had a plastic shopping bag on hand (yucky i know). So that was the worst of it thank god. We arrived in the town of Hue and all of us had our own motorbike drivers (who were pretty much half our size)! We jumped on the back of the bikes and zipped around to many little spots. We drove through rice paddy fields which are amazing, went into a few local people's homes and saw how rice is processed and how those point straw hats are made. We went to a Buddist monastery and they prepared us a feast of vegetarian food. I dont know how Whit and I ever thought that we would NOT be eating on this trip! We are eating allllllll the time and both trying local foods which are fab and super cheap at the markets. Anyways, our motorbike tour went from 10am-5pm so that was a full day, and after our horrible sleeping experience the night before, we were both passed out before 9!

The next day we headed to the beautiful town of Hoi An; AKA OUR HAPPY PLACE!!! This was one of our favorite places hands down because it was a small, quiet beach town where we can walk in the streets without the fear of getting hit by cars. The highlight of this place however, is this is where you get CLOTHES MADE! jackets, suits, pants, boots, dresses, you name it. We had a blast flipping through catalogs in shops and having them tailor fit anything we want for super cheap. A lot of shops have dresses and coats displayed on maniquens (sp??) so if you like something you see, they can make it for you exact. We had a field day to say the least and i think our bags weigh 15 kilos more now ;) You walk down the street and little women say to you "I make great dress for you. Super cheap, come in my shop please." Hoi An also had amazingggggg food and bakeries and overall just a lovely place that i would go back to in a heartbeat! We have noticed a LOT of families too in all these places, i guess i never considered taking young kids on family vacations to Vietnam, but after going here, i absolutely would bring my children here someday!

Oh lets talk about our St. Paddys day. GREAT SUCCESS. we were not expecting a whole lot, but we did a little bar crawl with our leader and all of the Westerners were all decked out in their green clothing with irish flags on their faces; so much fun to see! Whit and I got every DJ to download and play Dropkick Murphys "Shipping up to Boston" so that made our night. We did the irish jig, found a bar called King Kongs (think of Hong Kongs in Boston because you can't be sober when you go) which served FREE rum and cokes from 10-11 and then every 30 min or so the bar tender would call the entire bar over for a shot of something green. Overall a great night and well needed since we have only gone out a few times this whole trip.

We flew to the capital this morning; Saigon but also referred to as Ho Chi Minh City. We are taking a cyclo tour in 15 min (imagine a man riding a bike and you sit in front of him in a covered seat). And we are going to see a lot of memorials and museums from the Vietnam War (or the American War as they call it here).

have a great weekend everyone, talk to you all soon!