Dumplings, clothes and humidity
Trip Start May 14, 2010
9Trip End Jun 19, 2010
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It has just struck me that this is my first travel blog in almost 2 years. It wasn't long after we got back from our last trip that the bug was at me again to go travelling. Unfortunately, work and life have a habit of taking over and it has taken until now for our next adventure to begin. We don't have anywhere near the amount of time as last time, but we have cleaned out our leave reserves to ensure that we have 5 weeks to explore Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Also unlike last time, we have very few plans and commitments dictating how those 5 weeks are going to plan out. Our rough idea is that we want to make our way up Vietnam, cross the border into Laos and make our way down through Cambodia back to our starting point in Ho Chi Minh.
After 5 airports, 5 flights and 26 hours we have finally made it to our
first port of call Hoi An. Gaynor had also decided that it was a good idea to go out until 6:00am the night before we left, ensuring that quality conversation was somewhat lacking during transit. We finally flew into Hoi An at around 4:30pm yesterday. My first impressions are really good, the ancient town itself is amazingly quaint and beautiful, Gaynor described it best as a bit like Pompeii but still very much alive. The food has been generally good, again we made the mistake of going to a 'safe' looking place for dinner last night, and the food was inedible, but I immediately found a street side stall and had a local specialty Cau Lao, which was spectacularly good. It is based around rice noodles that only come from Hoi An, which due to the water end up with a similar texture to pasta. On top of the noodles are piled fresh herbs, roast meat and sauce.
We ended up getting a bit lost trying to find our way back to the hotel after dinner, but eventually, very exhausted, quite sweaty but very satisfied we finally dragged our exhausted bodies into bed.
Today's first order of business was to find a tailor to make us some clothes and so after looking through numerous stores and evading the touts we spent a few hours picking out suit and coat styles, settling on cloth and being measured up (we also put Hannah's dress in to be copied). We ended up going to a place that we had heard good things about called Aobaba, which for hoi an is considered fairly expensive but we were impressed by their approach and samples and they also appear to be one of the few tailors in town who have their own sewing staff in house. We finished at the tailors around midday and went to find the home of 'White Rose', a type of prawn dumping that considered another local specialty. The dumplings were really good but we had to trek a fair way for them and today has turned into a scorcher and so after lunch we immediately made our way back to our hotel and jumped in the pool. I have never felt humidity like it, but thankfully this afternoon the wind has picked up and it has become quite pleasant.
So that's where I am now, as I mentioned there is not much news yet and hopefully the blogs will improve, but I just wanted to let people know that we have arrived and are safe and well.