Hoi An – singing in the rain…

I did it! I really got up at 5 am, quickly dressed, grabbed my casket and went outside. Only to find out it was raining cats and dogs. Grrrrr…So, I turned around and went straight back to bed. Of course, now I could not really sleep any more.

Breakfast at 7. Today a slightly more interesting selection as there was a Vietnamese travel group staying in the hotel ;) Soup, fried rice, noodles and stir-fried veggies to go with the coffee. The fruit, however was not fresh (as were the pastries). I am glad I never had dinner in the restaurant here.

Some coconuts as seen from my breakfast table:

A glance out of the window confirmed it was going to be a wet, wet day. Notice the informal cemetery behind the rice fields…

Now at 9am it’s still pouring. A day in? Maybe not so bad as I finally need to start planning the continuation of my trip. Otherwise I will be running out of time very quickly. I have booked my hotel till 31.10., so I will be in this area till then.

Some ideas are taking shape.  Like, flying to Dalat in the South Central highlands for three or 4 days. Not only a very picturesque place at 1500m altitude – but also the only area in Vietnam where they produce wine. To sample it should be an interesting task in itself :)

Then from Dalat to bustling Saigon for a some days to get a feel for modern Westernised Vietnam. From there on a 4 day excursion to the Mekong delta.

Back to Saigon and a flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia with a visit to Angkor Wat for two days. From Siem Reap to Bangkok and then on to spend the last 10 days of my trip either on Koh Samui island or Phuket. I need some time in Thailand before going back. Filled with passionate Thai sea food – if nothing else.

The rainy day will give me time to do all the necessary flight and hotel research and to check if prices are within my budget :)

….continued….

I had not realised that at my advanced age even planning makes you tired and I became a little fidgety. Two times in the afternoon it stopped raining and I wanted to go out. But by the time I had my gear together and was ready to leave the room it started raining again!

At 4.30pm came my chance. I went to some travel agency to get more information for my plans. And I have to say that most people are so extremely helpful here. The lady in the shop was very professional and made an effort to supply me with info even on things where they could not make any money out of me.

I used the opportunity to ask the locals there about the best place for Pho, the noodle soup, in town. And all the four employees answered in unison: at “Lién” on Le Loi street.

I had just started to stroll the old streets of Hoi An when the rain set in again.

So, I did not have a chance, as I had no desire to sit in one of the tourist cafés, I had to rush for an early light dinner:

Pho of the better kind

I still cannot get to grips with the hygiene attitude of the Vietnamese. You have no idea! I did not want to write about this before. Because I thought maybe the people in the North and in the South are different and I should wait till I have seen the whole picture. And I will wait till my trip is concluded.But just to give you a typical example: on my table was a tray with a plastic jug of green tea and some glasses. A must in such places as the patrons like to drink a glass of green tea after eating. So, what happened? One of the women on the next table came to my table to pour themselves a glass of tea. They took a glass, filled it with tea, drank it and put the glass back on the tray. The next person did the same. Either with the glass of the previous person (by accident) or any other glass! The glasses get rinsed in cold water maybe once day (if ever). So, if you want to drink green tea  you are bound to use a glass that uncountable people had used before. Never properly cleaned since it was bought. And everyone finds this completely normal. And no one, including myself, ever seems to have any health problems with it. Imagine this in our countries!!! There are loads of other things I could tell you that might be shocking for you. But no, I will wait till the time is ripe :)

Now I am going to have an early night because tomorrow morning I want to go to My Son, another UNESCO world heritage an hours drive away…

Bon nuit,

Frank

 

 

 

 

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