Jan 19-22: Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An

Blogging from Vietnam is an exercise in persistence, patience, and sometimes, futility. It seems that each computer only performs one or two out of four necessary functions, and never all at the same time. When I can type, I cannot upload photos. When I can get the photos, my site is blocked. Facebook is permanently blocked by the Vietnamese government (gotta love Communism) and occasionally my email server is blocked as well. This leaves me to post when I can, save as drafts, and then go walking around town in search of a decent computer terminal to upload photos. As you can see, I am seriously lacking in the photo department because I lack the time necessary to perform such a search! I am learning more about patience on this trip than ever before!! Right now we’re in Hue, former imperial capital, and political capital until the 1940’s.

Now let’s see, where did I leave off? I think we were just boarding the night train from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang…

The girls! All of us crammed into one cabin, which has four beds, for this photo.

Tuesday night was spent on my first overnight train! The trip took about 7 hours, and of course we squandered three of these hours crammed ten of us in a cabin drinking and playing games. After about four hours of sleep on a freezing cold top bunk, I was ready for bed (again) when we arrived at our hotel around 6.30AM Wednesday. We were granted a nap, before meeting for lunch and a visit to the hot springs and mineral mud baths!

On Thursday, we signed up for a boat trip around the islands near the town. Nha Trang is the premier holiday destination for Vietnamese people (unlike Cambodians, Vietnamese people actually take holidays), so the town is very touristy and has a few resorts, a beach, and many decent restaurants. They also know how to show tourists a good time, and our boat trip didn’t disappoint.

First we visited a fishing village, where we were followed around by a couple super cute children. Then we went to a

Fishing Village

reef to swim and snorkel. Visibility wasn’t very good, as this time of year is not the best for snorkelling or diving. We were served a bbq lunch on the boat, which was amazing, but was not the best part. The best part was… wait for it… you’re going to hate me… we had our very own private masseuse, and three girls who gave the girls on the trip manicures, pedicures, and eyebrow threading! It was super cool having our own personal aestethicians!

After a quick hot shower and a bbq dinner, we headed back to the train station for the overnight ride to Danang, where we would be met by a bus and taken to Hoi An. Being weary of the coldness of the first train, I packed my warmest clothing for the night, but it was unnecessary since the cabins were boiling hot on this train! The bathrooms were different also, and I had my first experience using a squat “toilet” (really, just a hole) while in a moving train… when you have to choose between holding your pants up and holding onto the walls, you know you’ve made it in life! LOL.

We rose early Friday morning to get off the train at 4.30AM (yuck) and caught the bus to Hoi An. I had been waiting for this part of the tour since early on in the booking process, as I heard that Hoi An is the place in Vietnam to get custom-made clothing. This in itself is an experience, and not an easy one at that, so I think I’ll stop there for now, and continue next time with the rest of the Hoi An story.

It’s starting to get cold as we move up the coast, so I’ve got to go dig my warmer clothing out of my pack. So long, farewell, goodnight… well, you get the picture.



2 Responses to “Jan 19-22: Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An”

  1. 1 Ingrid
    January 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Sounds like you’re still having a great time! Wish I was still there!
    Looking forward to the next post :o)

  2. 2 Enid
    January 25, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Glad to hear that you are o.k and enjoying your tour, and learning how the other half lives. Just enjoy yourself and be careful on the balance of your trip.You maKE it sound very exciting even though everything is so differrent than here. Take care, E.Harlow

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