Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Days something to something+2 or 3, or "Couple Nights in Danang/Hoian

We left saigon couple days ago. The boys took me out for great and very fun final dinner and beers - long, his brother tri (super great guy, very warm and open, very good english), his adopted brother Thanh (older, very gruff, no english, quite intimidating, but turns out heart of gold). They all ordered snails and stuff but were very considerate in ordering me some bbq ribs and yummy chicken stuff. I [very] accidentally ate some "sea worm" which somehow I thought was a pork wasn't, and it was yucky, but impressed everyone w my adventurous nature!
Many beers and a very nice send off.

Early morning cab to airport for mid-morning flight to Danang. VN 3rd largest city and very less crowded than saigon - altho I guess that's not saying much. Life here in the middle section of vn the most difficult - jobs are few, weather awful w typhoons etc wiping out modest homes etc. Weather fine for us - tho still hot hot hot. 30 min drive to Hoi-An, a touristy beach town. very very beautiful scenery still. We are staying in 5-star hotel - Palm Garden Beach Resort - very very nice. They hosted the 2008 miss universe pageant so there are pretty pictures up everywhere from that.

We spent the last 2 nights here. 7 am now and we will fly back to Hanoi this afternoon and spend a few nights there. The touristy section of town is brutal. The local vendors very very aggressive which I just can't stand. There were actually a couple of shops I wouldn't have minded browsing in, but the second you wander in and/or look at any of their wares (I was going to look at caps and t-shirts), they descend on you w their broken english buy this buy that how much this one for you etc. I can't deal at all w that, but Sue is right in her element and just loves it, so still fun to watch her interact w locals.

Long and I take off by ourselves for a few hours and get off the tourist beaten track a bit which is very much what I prefer. We find a very nice riverside cafe and get a couple of drinks. How is this for service...I order a pineapple smoothie from the old lady and her cart. no problem. she heads up the street to buy a pineapple, comes back, hacks it up, blends it, and there is my yummy smoothie. We sit and enjoy watching the people and the river activity. Strike up a conversation w 2 british lads just out of hs and have nice conversation.

back to town and hotel for shower and nap. Donald and Terri meet up w us in the evening and we have very nice dinner together across the street from the resort.

We retire for the evening around 10ish, but then long knocks on my door and wants to go to the bar, so we do that and the two of us drink and bond.

up early for magnificent buffet breakfast catering to virtually all tastes from all over the world. I get my first cup of hot coffee since in vn - which i actually havent missed - I really love the ice coffee w milk and sugar and am now addicted to it. nice meal of ham and cheese omelet, fruit etc. We spend most of the morning camped out by the pool in the shade of nice big umbrellas. very nice and relaxing, everyone getting along fine. boys love the pool, and I read a bit and doze a bit. into town later for walking around and taking some nice sunset photos and another nice meal. back to resort around 8 and I crash hard til next morning.

will blog again when I can. rice-soup for all!