Saturday, March 16, 2013

Losing Track of Time in Hoi An

(March 10 - March 15) Well the bus ride wasn't nearly as bad as the 24 hour one! There was a bathroom on board and we only made one strange stop. We all slept a little bit and when we got to Hue (where we had a 4 hour layover until the bus departed for Hoi An) we were able to walk around a little and see some of the town. We wanted to check out the old fort, but it cost a lot more than we were expecting so we tossed that out the window and opted for a game of pool at a bar near where the bus would be picking us up. (E- We ran into our Aussie friend, Jake, that was on the death bus ride from hell with us and he joined in on the pool)
Sleeping on the sleeper bus
Go Wings!
When the bus got there we asked if it was our bus to Hoi An and the guy loading luggage said yes. So, we threw our luggage underneath and got in line to board. After a minute though a different guy came up saying that the 5 of us were on a different bus... Unfortunately, the guy who told us it was the right bus had just finished piling more bags on top of ours and closed the luggage compartment. We were very irritated and asked if they would help us move the other bags, but they wouldn't... So after a minute or two of confusion I went over and unloaded all the bags on top of ours and our own bags and we followed the other guy to the correct bus. Luckily, they waited for us and we were able to all sit next to each other. Crisis averted!! We learned our lesson with that fiasco and never again trusted the luggage handlers for information.
Sharing a seat and planning the next adventure
Anyway, the ride to Hoi An was short and uneventful. We got in sometime in the afternoon, found a place to stay and got some dinner. The next morning as we were getting ready a girl popped her head into our room to let us know that they had had some money stolen from their room the night before. So we had a team meeting and decided not to risk it. Emily and I packed up, while Alexis and Ethan went to find a different hotel. They found one just down the street that we had looked at the day before, but decided against because it was a little more than we wanted to pay. We all agreed the extra cost was worth knowing our things/money would be safe. With that crisis over we rented some bicycles and headed for the beach nearby. We spent the afternoon there and ate some traditional Vietnamese food on the beach for a late lunch. That night we went to a late dinner at one of the many restaurants by the river that cater to European/American tastes and spent some time at one of the bars across the river. 
Cue typical beach picture
"You're handsome like Fidel Castro." -Dude
The next morning we rented three motorbikes so we could drive out to a set of ancient ruins called My Son Sanctuary. It was Emily's first time driving a motorbike, but she did great even with the crazy Vietnamese drivers and streets. The drive took about 45 minutes and it took us through some really pretty countryside. The My Son ruins were definitely nothing like the ruins we've seen in Thailand (meaning they were not nearly as interesting to look at), so it didn't take long for us to meander through them. The ruins were mostly covered in grass so we really didn't know what we were looking at and there were several that really just looked like piles of old bricks. (E- or piles of new bricks as there was definitely some over the top reconstruction going on.) The area was really pretty though. That night was pretty much like the night before. 
My Son Sanctuary
Making sure they don't get lost...
The next day we rented the bikes again, but went to a place called Marble Mountain instead that was about 20 minutes away. The name of the place pretty much gives away what it's attraction is. It's a "mountain" from which marble is used to make teeny tiny figurines to humongous statues. The walk to the top wasn't super fun, but the view of the beach and ocean below when you get there is pretty great. There is also a temple on the way to the top that we stopped at and tried to get a picture in front of, but the lady "guarding" the entrance was not happy with our inappropriate attire. She got saucy with us and shooed us away. It was pretty comical even though she was a little scary and only had like two teeth. Anyway, after the mountain we tried to go into that town to get food, but the restaurants were mostly seafood restaurants, so after several failed attempts we decided to head back to Hoi An for dinner. 
Marble Mountain view
On our last day in Hoi An we walked around the market getting some souvenirs, saw the famed Japanese Covered Bridge (E- The bridge was less than impressive, see below, and you had to pay to walk across it.) and then hopped on the overnight bus to our next Vietnamese destination - Nha Trang. 

Japanese Covered Bridge
(E- It's too bad we waited three weeks to share/write this blog because it doesn't do Hoi An justice. It was one of the highlights of Vietnam. The city in general has a really nice vibe to it. It's tough to explain. We all just really enjoyed our time there.)
If only we were as cute as the Vietnamese couple on the wall...

No comments:

Post a Comment