Day 21: We travelled to Hoi An. Spent most of the day on the bus and the rest of the day by the pool in our new hotel. Nice. 12$ per night for a clean and rather stately hotel and pool. The water in the pool tastes like dishwater, but when the temperature is 37 degrees every day you need an escape. Hoi An is beautiful, a little town on the coast with colourful lanterns in all the trees, the restaurants are romantically lit enclaves and finally we have found a place to linger.
Day 22: I am struggling to write this entry, not because we havent had a fantastic time, but because I think my mind has finally relaxed. Thus, my days are merging into one. Today we strolled around Hoi An. Tom and I are getting addicted to the noodle soups sold on the streets. They cost 15,000 dong (40p) and taste excellent. We ate a few of those, although I'm sure one of them had dog in it. They also sell steamed bread buns with fried vegtables and garlic in the middle, really tasty.
That evening Hoi An hit the headlines. They were hosting the Miss Universe competition. It was crazy, asian crowds in their hundreds lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the 'Universe Ladies', us included. I think it was the biggest event their for some time. One advantage of being a westerner in an asian crowd is you can see what's going on. They were obviously stunning, but all looked the same from where I was standing. Where we were stood a vietnamese 'sound technician' had hooked up his very technical system to an electricity pole. 10 minutes in to the fanciful parade, the telegraph pole explodes. Everyone runs and in the process tramples all over Dans legs. A bit like a mosh pit sensation. The Beauty queens were ushered down the street in darkness, bit of an anti-climax. Anyway they still got to make some very important speaches, which we chuckled at whilst watching it all on the big screen. Very entertaining. Late that night we met up with a guy we hd previously seen in Hue. Ended up in a bar called King Kong (more like a shed with a bar and pool table). It was fun though, if you like dancing on pool tables.
Day 23: Today we decided to cycle to the beach. It was about 3km from Hoi An centre. Not put off by our previous hiring experience we payed 25,000 dong for 2 bikes for the day (70p) and were off. A really nice way to see the scenery. But sure enough 2/3rds of the way and Dan gets a puncture. They wear the tyres on bikes so thin here that there was a hole the size of a 10p piece in the tyre. They fixed up the inner tube and shuved a few spare bits of inner tube over the whole. I dont think they change tyres here. Survived the journey and the beach was lovely. Spent the whole day sunning ourselves (when we could bare the heat). Even invested in a patch work quilt of a football to play with. Here comes the title reference. Hoi An is known in Vietnam for its tailoring service. You can buy tailored dressed for about a tenner each and the town is littered with little shops offering a service. Not really a shopper by nature, but I had to take up this opportunity. After a weary trip back from the beach (and no punctures) I went for it. Design my own dress (easy!!). I ordered 2. However, as some of you know I am relatively indecisive. A split decision left me ordering a yellow and black dress and chinese number. Later I mulled it over. Yellow and black?? hat night we went out again in Hoi An. Spendt a whopping 12 pounds between us all night and met two aussie girls that got me drinking tequila and dancing on the pool table, is was bound to happen at some point.
Day 24: We spent another day chilling out around town and by the pool. I recovered my 2 dresses from the shop. I was scared. The chinese dress fitted beautifully, not sure when I'll wear it but I'm sure I can find an occasion. The yellow one was taken in and whilst I look somewhat like a bee, it does look pretty good with a tan. SO I order a third. This time I get a bit cocky. Draw a picture of a dress and ask them to make it with my chosen material. Didnt turn out quite how I'd pictured it in my head but pretty good considering I was explaining a half arsed attempt at dress design to a vietnamese lady. Anyways, mum will be recieving a package to look after in the nearish future. We filled up on noodles again and had an early night.
Day 25: Today we got up at 7 for a trip to My Son which means beautiful mountain. Here are the ruins of an ancient Holy Land of an ethinice vietnamese tribe. An awe insiring place in the mountains, with religios artifacts such as big pens shaped statues that you stroke for luck! Most of the buildings were bombed in the war but a few remain. The tribes lives here for 10 centuries (I think thats what they said), until the 14th century. In the vietnamese war the americans thought it was a base and bombed it (enough said) and so the restoration continues to this day. It is 38 degrees here, my face is melting off, I am a constant pool of sweat. Hence having sat and typed for far too long in the heat I am off to send a couple of hours by the pool before our over night bus to nha trang. For all those concerned the 60 (counted) bites on my feet are going down and all else is well with the travelling gypsies.