02.01.2014 - 09.01.2014
Haven't written anything for a while as the internet connection in Vietnam is intermittent/ non existent.
After Ho Chi Minh City we headed a bit further up north to Hoi An it's a UNESCO world heritage site and a beautifully preserved fishing port.
It has a really pretty riverside with glittering silk lanterns twinkling at night.
It's a pure tourist trap but if you go a few streets back you still see the real Vietnam. It's a welcome break and a slower pace than frantic Saigon.
We ate at some of the best restaurants in town for pennies and hired bikes to ride out into the countryside and over to the beaches.
The weather has been a little unkind to us the last few weeks with grey skies following us everywhere we stay we've been following the forecasts avidly in search of sunshine but it seems as though SE Asia is having unusual weather, perhaps it's the fallout from the recent hurricane in the Philippines.
We rode to the beach, some of the fishing boats are round.
Rice paddies, miles and miles of rice paddies.
There are over 400+ tailors in hoi an so we both had something custom made for the cost of a T shirt in England!
Here is me getting measured for a suit which turned out really well. If you are coming to Hoi An and need a tailor I would recommend "YALY " it's very highly rated, I found the service and tailoring first class and excellent value.
Even though Hoi An has a "resort" feel and it's all visiting westerners walking around you are still very much in a very poor third world country.
There are lots of beggars here it does your head in after a few days.
Will be sat trying to enjoy a quiet drink by the riverside when the familiar walk approaches it could be any of the following:
Ancient weathered grandma selling peanuts "buy peanuts"
One legged old man with the newspaper "you buy"
Middle age lady "you buy fan, help me"
Next it's a six year old " buy candle lucky for luck, you buy it help me"
It's like they've been to a salesmanship school and learned only the key phrases.
Q. Where you from?
If you say England = reply: "lovely jubbly"
If you say Australia = reply: "good day mate"
It gets a bit much so we had a giggle trying out new answers replying different answers to "where you from"?
Jason reminds me of when we lived in Tenerife and the Parque de la Paz area with its constant stream of Senagalise selling watches "asda price"
So it's not just Vietnam and I know it's heartbreaking as they are really poor and in need but you can't give to every single one.
There are a few "Do good" cafes helping charities we had a coffee at a "silent" cafe which helps disabled people and the staff are all deaf.
We got an attack of the inappropriate sniggers in there as it was so pretentious and stuffy even though it's for a good cause.
Then the bill came J said "7 fucking dollars for a cookie" - I thought, it's a good job they can't hear!!
We decided to forgo our trip to Hanoi as it's further up north as everyone we meet who's just come from there says it's freezing. We are hungry for some sunshine so we decide to head back to HCMC and then over to the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc as the weather looks promising there.