Sunday, April 25, 2010

On the road again . . .

Today we left Hue and drove down to Hoi An where we'll be staying for 3 nights. The hotel we are staying at is supposed to be wonderful.

Hue is only a 3 hour drive from Hoi An, so we took the bus down. Along the way we stopped along the road for our tour guide to show us what a rice plant really looks like. We had seen rice spread out on the side of the road drying in the sun.

We then began ascending this narrow and winding mountain pass. It was a bit unnerving since there was no guardrail, other trucks and buses were come down the pass, and mopeds ands cars were passing throughout. We then reached the summit of the Hai Van Pass and had a beautiful view of Lang Co Peninsula. We then stopped at a place called Loc Vinh, which was a random tourist stand w/ western toilets. There, we were accosted by folks trying to sell us stuff. They all had really good English. One boy asked my friend and I where we were from. When my friend said Colorado, the boy said to wait b/c he knew where it was geographically. He then proceeded to draw an air map, pointing out where different states were and then pointed to where he thought Colorado would be. We were very impressed. He then asked if we had quarters from Colorado. Another boy told someone on our trip that he wasn't trying to sell him anything, but that he needed money to buy a dictionary! Too funny!

Once we left Loc Hinh, we went thru the longest tunnel I've been in, before reaching Danang. In Danang (the 5th largest city) we stopped at a bakery to pick up lunch stuff for a picnic on the beach. We got so much food for just pennies. We then walked thru the market for some fruit.

We had our picnic lunch on China Beach, the former rest and recreation center for US troops during the war. We know it as China Beach b/c of the 90s show with that name. The real names are My Khe and My An beaches. The beach was empty except foer a few folks eating in the shade. Most Vietnamese don't head to the beach until after 4. We were told that the Vietnamese all want white skin, so the cover up and stay out of the sun.

One thing I will note is that there is a ton of new development going up along the beach that could essentially cut off the beaches from the regular folks. We aren't sure who is or would be staying at these places since it doesn't seem many folks are staying at the hotels we are.

Once we arrived in Hoi An, we did a walking tour of the center of town - swear, I have never seen so many tailor shops. I hadn't planned on having clothes made, but as they say, "when in Rome . . ." We are going into town early tomorrow to check things out.

Our hotel is very nice and right on the beach. There are an array of massage treatments available. I need to schedule one for before we leave. However, I will say that it is getting much hotter out. The heat index today was in the high 90s and will only be getting hotter as we go farther south. Lucky me.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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