Beer Boating

Trip Start Jul 16, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, May 16, 2013

Little Hoi An, the clothes making capital and one of our favourite places in Vietnam.

Walking around the old town in Hoi An you do feel a little bit like you have gone back in time, the streets are lines with quaint little one story shops, mainly selling silk clothes and lanterns. At night the old quarter really comes into its own as all the lanterns are lit making for a photographers dream.  From the lanterns, the bridges, the hawkers with their 'Lucky Lanterns' and the old Cyclo rickshaws there is no shortage of photo opportunities although there are also as many photographers getting in the way with their super-duper extender lenses, making Tim and I feel somewhat inferior with our little mini SLR’s.  Regardless we went deep and joined the masses playing camera club for hours around the city (as you might notice from the photos!)

We felt obliged to do at least one tour in Hoi An, so My Son ruins seemed like a good option.  My Son is one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in South East Asia and like Ankor is a World Heritage Site so we had high expectations.  Built by the Champa between the 4<sup>th</sup> and 14<sup>th</sup> centuries and destroyed extensively as a result of the Vietnamese war.  The day we chose to visit My Son it was approximately 45 degrees in the shade and we had sweat and suncream dripping in our eyes and had a guide that we could not understand.  Needless to say this was not the most fun day trip we have been on.  The only novelty about the My Son temple is the way that they worship the god Shiva.  Through the Linga.  The Linga is a large phallic shaped rock.  Odd.

After an hour of sheltering under a tree where a guard took pity and gave up his piece of cardboard so we could fan ourselves it was time to get back on the bus for the next part of the tour.  A nice boat trip with lunch and a stop at a local village.  I was not entirely surprised when we were dumped on a rickety old boat and given a plate of cold rice and sloppy vegetables.  In order to avoid lunch we slipped them onto the bench in front and developed and overwhelming desire to take photos of everything and anything on the river or the banks.  Next up was the village stop which consisted of being taken to one shop where a man and his young son were carving wood for the shop.  All in all not the best trip ever but at least we did something….

After a hard days touring we returned to our hotel and took to the sun beds around the pool with our books, this is more like it!!

It has been a while since I read a book, but boy did I get a good one.  Into Thin Air by John Krakauer is a biography about the 1997 Everest ascent which resulted in 8 deaths.  There is nothing quite like reading a book about snow and cold and climbing whilst in the red hot sun on a sun bed, bliss.

Hoi An, had some good restaurants and bars so we were well fed and watered during our stay, but we did have one favourite night spot.  The Beer Boat.  Moored up alongside the light up bridge was a boat with the most rickety gangplank to walk to get aboard.  But once aboard we were served bowls of home brew beer for just 30p.  Just to top off the experience the chairs and tables were all so close you had no choice but to chat to everyone on the boat and enjoy the Vietnamese rendition of Hey Jude from the live band.  Unsurprisingly  we went every night!

I picked up a new skill in Hoi An, which I called the Cockroach walk.  Basically when we walked home from the beer boat the streets were literally alive with cockroaches so in order to avoid them running over my feet I developed a skip on tip toe walk which made me look a bit like a spastic ballerina hoping through the streets of Hoi An squawking as I went.  Classy lady!

So after a nice few days of relaxing and reading, drinking cheap beer and working on our tans it was time to head on again.  Next stop Danang.
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