More Hoi An

Since I booked many days in Hoi An (yea me!) I am able to relax and enjoy the city. I really enjoy just wandering around town.

I try the local specialty Cao Lau at a cute cafe. I wish I wrote the name of the place down because I can no longer remember where I stopped.

I finally make it to the night market. I make a good amount of purchases because I plan a shipment home after my clothes are made. I end up buying way too many lantern coverings.

The whole city is vibrant with colored lights at night.

After all that shopping I decide it is time for a night cap. I stop at a lively but quieter bar on the road along the water. It is a nice end to a nice day.

Hoi An beach day

I want today to be a beach day. There are bikes I can borrow to ride to the private beach of the hotel but the ride looks long and the map is confusing. I am afraid of getting lost so I take the hotel shuttle van instead.

The shuttle drops me off at its private beach that is connected to a restaurant.

I am in the mood for a snack so I sit at the cafe with a drink and snacks and watch the ocean.

Very unhealthy lunch of cheese sticks and yam like fries.

I grab a beer can to go and wander down to the beach via a stairway that has a metal fish like structure at top.

I have my own towel so I just claim a lounge chair. There seems to be enough available. The beach is not crowded since the weather is iffy and it does seem to be off season. I tend to like the overcast days though. I get too much sun out sightseeing as it is.

It is mostly relaxing until a tour group of English speaking teenagers camp out close to me. They are loud and running around screaming. I decide to move a little further from them to get some peace.

I entertainment myself by watching dogs play on the beach.

In the distance is one of those ocean swings that Instagram influencers seem to love. It falls over with high tide and the resort staff have a heck of a time pulling it in.

It is almost time for my return van to show up. I pack up my things and wander down the road a bit while I am waiting. It looks like some places have storm damage from a past storm.

The vibe is very calm and peaceful. I wonder if it is different during season? Perhaps on another visit to Hoi An I stay near the beach instead for a change of pace?

I am back to my hotel to finish my evening on the other part of Hoi An.

My Son is me sun

Today I am taking a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site My Son Sanctuary from my hotel in Hoi An (Vietnam).

The name ‘My Son’ looks like you are saying “my son” but it is actually pounced “me sun”.

These Hindu temples were built between the 4th and 14th century by the Champa Kingdom. My tour guide referred to it as little Angkor Wat. These temples are smaller and less impressive than the temples in Cambodia but are dated earlier and look similar, thus the nickname. My Son is impressive but I agree with the criticism that maybe it is not as impressive if you have seen Angkor Wat first. Luckily my first visit to Angkor Wat is later in my travels.

This UNESCO site had lots of destruction in the war (B52 bombing in 1969 and 1972) as the south Vietnamese were using the temples to hide out.

Researchers are still discovering how they were originally constructed in order to try to repair them. During my visit I saw temples in various states of repair.

Bomb site

There is a heritage dance show. It is standing room only in the very back for me. I only catch a short glimpse of it.

When our tour of My Son is complete we visit a lady who makes rice paper. We get a demonstration on how they are made.

We are taken to a local house where we are served a delicious meal family style. We are instructed on how to wet the dry rice sheets and make wraps filled with delicious toppings.

Our day is finished with a short boat ride.

What a difference a year makes

Amsterdam around this time last year.

On this day last year I started a long adventure around the world. It seemed sort of irresponsible at the time. I had just taken a buyout at work, my life was falling apart, and I had so many things to take care of. Instead I decide to go on this world-wide trip which ended up being about 7 months (My recent blog posts are documenting those travels).

Me with my whole life for seven months on my body

I returned back to the USA at the end of February of this year. I had wanted to travel some more but I had business to take care of. As luck would have it within weeks of me returning to the USA the world shut down.

One of my last days out traveling is watching futbol in Medellin

Since I’ve been back I’ve taken care of most of my tasks and I really am itching to get back out traveling before I try going back to work, but I see no end in sight to the travel ban, at least for travelers from the USA.

What if I was responsible and decided to delay my trip until I had my life in order?

The trip of my lifetime might have never happened!

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai

I am so grateful for my timing and courage to do this thing even though common sense and society says contrary. Sometimes you gotta just trust your heart and everything will work out.

Meanwhile I am getting my health and life in order as much as I can so as soon as things open back up again I’ll be on the road or up in the sky…..see you out there soon!

Aaaah, I am in Hoi An

I am in Hoi An, Vietnam. I have heard many praises about this place but wasn’t sure what to expect. I anticipate liking it as well and book about a week in Hoi An. I end up loving it.

I book a really nice resort recommended by a couple I met during my travels. Luckily I had a good number of credit card points to offset the cost. I say it is expensive for Vietnam it is but the cost is $50 a night; quite a deal compared to what you would get in other countries. The hotel is on separate island from the main town of Hoi An but it is only a mile or so walk to the main tourist areas. There is a periodic shuttle to town but I end up walking there myself on most days.

Hoi An Odyssey Hotel

my view
Hotel pool at night

When I arrive it is raining again. I settle in my room and get dinner at the hotel restaurant. There are not any others dining.

The next morning I am off to get some clothes made. It is imperative I do my orders soon because it can take 3 days for the clothes to be sewed. There are so many choices and it is overwhelming. I end up choosing a place my hotel recommends. Not the cheapest tailor but they have a good reputation for quality.

I begin the couple mile walk. I could get a taxi but I feel I need the exercise.

Some of many tailors in town.

I choose designs and patterns. Many have fancy suits made but I end up ordering one wrap dress, one more formal dress, and one pant jumpsuit. Afterwards I go to have some shoes designed close by. I’ll come back a couple times for fittings at both places. After my first dress fitting I decide to order an additional wrap dress since they seem to be easy to make and are flattering.

After ordering my clothes I walk around town. There is a ticket you buy to each of the sites but I just view them from the outside instead. I like just hanging out in town and people watching.

I stop in a cafe for lunch. I order some chicken stir fried with noodles and vegetables.

After my lunch I walk back toward my hotel.

It is hot out so I enjoy the rest of the afternoon at the pool with a cocktail and apparently a new kitty to take home.

Loving my time in Hoi An thus far.