Having survived the many tailors of Hoi An, this week I continue to enjoy the laid back atmosphere.
Day 40 – 29th May 2000
For some absurd reason we decided to get up at seven today. We hired motorbikes and took a trip to the Marble Mountains. Karin and Anne had never ridden before so a quick lesson was called for first. They soon got the hang of it, but Easy Rider they weren’t. Anne was too upright and Karin looked like a speed racer. The ride to the Marbles was very straightforward only about twenty kilometers away. The range of five mountains named after the huge quantities of marble from them. We climbed up the many steps to view the many caves and impressive pagodas. One large cave was like a scene form Raiders of the Lost Ark, a hidden tomb , incense burning and a piercing ray of light shining through.
On top of the hill you could see the glorious coastline, rivers and fields. We spotted a nice beach which we headed for after the Marbles. The best beach yet in Vietnam, golden sands, deserted and small crested waves. A MIG fighter was flying up and down the coast, probably patrolling its corridors. We stayed for a few hours then headed back to Hoi An to pick up the many clothes that were being made for us. Anne had no self control for clothes and Karin was not far off either.
In the evening and our new clothes we ate Italian, Bruschetta and Pizza, very tasty. Then on to Zanzibar for a change for an evening of Viet Rum and giggles a plenty.
Day 41 – 30th May 2000
A well needed lay in after the previous night’s escapades and with no hangover. Today was one of those blurry, haven’t really done much, killing time days. Hoi An is the perfect place for those kind of days. We made many trips to numerous tailors for fittings and collecting masses of clothes. Every time I walked by 17 Le Loi Street there was a cry of ‘Kooey, Simon’ from our newly acquainted gay tailors. The easiest way to deal with today was to split up and do what we had to do. I picked my two suits and many shirts up and went to the post office to send them home. What a fiasco that was, many forms and signatures. I opted for surface mail, so hopefully it should arrive home by the turn of the next century.
We kept meeting up at Bobo’s café for a Banana Lassi and to check on each others progress. Anne bumped into Dave from Zimbabwe, a traveling companion from before. That seemed to bring a smile to her face. Karin and I went and bought some more art and met with the others for dinner at Bobo’s before we caught the bus to Nha Trang. Yet another long bust trip leaving at eight and arriving at seven the following morning. Karin and I pinched the back seat of the small minibus. She slept on my fleece upon my lap; I couldn’t sleep way too bumpy and too many bright lights coming the other way. I still managed to doze off for forty minutes.
Day 42 – 31st May 2000
After so little sleep, I was feeling surprisingly OK. We pulled into Nha Trang at half seven and it was pouring with rain, not what you need in Vietnam’s municipal beach resort. First impressions of Nha Trang did not excite me. A typical seaside resort, I could have been in any country in the world that has a beach, and I suppose the rain did dampen my spirits.
We found a half decent hotel for $5 a night not too far from the beach. We decided not to sleep but get some breakfast instead. We wandered to the beach and had chicken noodle soup looking across the water. We then carried on walking around the town in the rain attempting to find a cinema as Karin fancied watching a movie; we found the cinema but not a movie with English subtitles.
When the sun finally came out so we found a balcony and had quite a few beers. We felt quite alien in the bar all the locals stared at us, especially Karin. We had one more beer by the beach then went back to the hotel around five for a nap. That was the last thing I remember as I slept right through until morning.
Stay Tuned: The journey continues as I experience the Mama Hanh’s boat trip.