Friday, June 18, 2010

Extending Our Stay in Hoi An, and It Wasn't for Suits!

After our night at the festival in Hue (unfortunately, we ALL forgot our cameras that night--big bummer), we slept in as long as we possibly could the next morning before we had to be down in the lobby and board yet another bus for a four hour ride to Hoi An. By the time we got up and showered, Elliott was already half way through his tour in the Demilitarized Zone.

The night before, we hadn't planned out our next few days very well but were certain that Ruben and I were going to be in Hoi An for two nights in order to get custom-made clothes. What we did not figure out before parting ways with Elliott in Hue was where we were going to see him again--or when . . .

A day trip on the bus heading south through central Viet Nam was a nice change from the last ride. First of all, the scenery during the drive was incredible--ocean to the left and rice paddies at the base of mountains to the right!

Second, it was also a productive trip since I was able to get a few more Dandygrams logged with good sunlight and a shorter trip . . .

Once we finally arrived in Hoi An, we took a short nap and then Ruben and I made our way into the city for dinner. It was a great feeling to know that we were going to spend (at least) two nights in Hoi An because from what we could tell, the place was amazing and we hadn't even been to the beach yet. Also, I think it was a good place to be because as soon as we started our way into the city for dinner, we saw the most beautiful colors in the sky during the sunset from the ride in via motorbike taxis.

Ruben and I made our first night in Hoi An a very low key one; as well, we searched but could not find the right place to get suits made despite visiting a few of the numerous shops selling them. We did look, however, but our problem was that we couldn't figure out what was a good deal or if it was a bargain, so we decided to go home and research the prices from previous shoppers. To no avail, we went back to our hotel and just crashed.

. . .

Waking up the next morning in Hoi An from a great night's sleep, we found Chivi and Andres in the lobby anxious to go to the beach. Andres shared with us the stories from his night before, and from the sound of it, we were soon to be knees deep in the same fun he just had.

At this point in my trip, I hadn't been to any real beaches other than a few small ones in Halong Bay, which after arriving to Cua Dai Beach, I knew we were at one of the best beaches in Viet Nam.

Although we arrived to the beach a bit late, we thoroughly enjoyed our few hours in the sun, on the sand, and swimming in the ocean. While out in the ocean (getting cooled down from the blistering heat in the Gulf of the Tonkin), we met Katharina--a beautiful and soft-spoken girl from Austria who was traveling by herself. I invited her to join our table and play the card game Andres was teaching us. Quite gracefully, she stayed with our group for our next few (extended) days in Hoi An, and surprisingly, I would see her again in Bangkok before she left for Bali.

Our remaining nights in Hoi An are still fresh in my memory, but the pictures I captured DEFINITELY help me with remembering more . . .

(Hotel in Hoi An--a super nice room with an oddly shaped, tied up mosquito netting . . . )

(Our group in Hoi An. L-R: Katharina, Ruben, Andres, Chivi, and me!)

(Serious rain clouds rolling in on our second day at Cua Dai Beach in Hoi An.)

(Two wonderful American gals I met in Hoi An--finally!)

(A great painting at our favorite bar in Hoi An.)

(The club in Hoi An for dancing and a late night swim--right on Cua Dai Beach!)

. . . for the sake of time and catching up The Dandygram to present day (today being Friday, June 25th), I am going to breeze through the rest of Viet Nam in the next Dandygram since we didn't do much but bum around the beach in Hoi An while enjoying the nightlife there, rode another sleeper bus to Nha Trang--and only staying there one night (wishing we had more time)--and then rode yet another sleeper bus to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for our final night in Viet Nam before beginning our three day trip in Singapore where Ruben and I FINALLY caught back up with Elliott!

Next up on The Dandygram: Our Final Days in Vietnam--Staying In Nha Trang, Sleeper Buses Galore, and SAIGON for the USA vs. England World Cup Game!

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