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He only went out for some milk A blurb of monstrous proportions - it was only supposed to be a couple of lines and the odd photo.

Danang, Hoi An and My Son Ruins

VIETNAM | Friday, 23 March 2007 | Views [2021]

:)

:)

It's an hours flight - passed by reading the biography of Pol Pot. Who says i don't know how to enjoy myself.  The taxi drivers at the airport try to rip us off - i lose a pen and a bottle of water in the fight, well, from leaving them in the taxi.  Our difficulty is that we want to go to the supermarket on the way and they seem to want an extra $5 for the extra 2km - 50% extra!  The girls take control of this as they are practically locals and we are soon on the back of motos for about $3 each - on our way to Hoi An.  The supermarket is great - proper cereal, vintage English cheddar and chocolate mousse, yummy.

After swapping photos we part company at the girls hotel :( 
I cant believe it's been 5 days. i will miss the 2 of them - it's been a little adventure.

Back to reality - Hoi An is a really nice little town, practically untouched by the 'war' - lots of quaint buildings, it's right on the river and it oozes charm.  Yes it's very touristy but it also has a million art galleries, and so i spend virtually every waking moment for the rest of the day and the next, looking at paintings - heaven, albeit an expensive and wet one.  It rains continuously.  I am one of the few who braves the weather and take great delight splashing through puddles in my sandals and walking where moto drivers can soak me (i think i need to get out more).

Hoi An has a local speciality of Cao Lao - like an al dente thick noodle, with slices of pork, sort of croutons, fresh veg like lettuce, beansprouts or mint and of course dark soy sauce - delicious, my favourite Vietnamese food yet.  I've had several bowls of this in between gobbling my cheddar cheese (no fridge).  Half-a-kilo of cheese later, and i think I've had my fill of it for another 6 months.

I meet up with Darren in the evening and we make plans to hire a motorbike, visit nearby My Son Champa ruins, and make a tour of some of the buildings and museums in town.  I admit i wouldn't have done this, but as Darren is 'fresher' than me - 'only' 7 weeks into his current trip, he gives me the enthusiasm to see them.  We also book a flight to Hoi An - the girl on the desk says i look 25. I don't know whether to be pleased at being 7 years younger or disappointed at aging 5 years in a few days.  :-)

It decides to rain on our journey to the ruins.  I only make the bike slide once (when it wasn't raining as well), so I'm getting better.  The Chams were a 'race' who lived around the area from about 4th century to 13th century a.d. - their favourite past time being to fight the Angkor's.  Not much is left really of the site - the Americans did a nice job of levelling it by sending in Sapper teams.  It was really an atmospheric trip though, the jungle wants to reclaim it, there aren't many people around, it's not been restored to the extent of the Angkor buildings and it's surrounded my lovely hills, mountains and forests teeming with wildlife.  It's a cool place.

I constrain myself to one painting, i loved another one more but it was $150 - 10 days budget at my current rate.  I really like it in Hoi An and might have to come back just for the painting.  It's important to get your priorities right in life.   I even looked at classes and courses in Vietnam - i really want to stay longer here.  We will see.  It has to be time for a change soon though...

Tags: motorbiking, ruins

 

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one ruined t-shirt and one ruined pair of trousers.  cool.

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