Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The middle of Vietnam

Vietnam 2

After the tipsy train ride we got to get up at 5 am for our departure and entered Nha Trang, a place known for its beaches. With only 2 days here we were determined to get every experience in before leaving. The group decided on a boat trip, similar to the one in Cambodia. It was a  great day on the water, with lots of swimming, jumping off the boat, and snorkeling. The highlight was definitely when I went parasailing. It was awesome! I wasn't going to do it, but then I thought how all my other adventurous activities happen overseas and I can't be breaking tradition now, can I? The boat driver made it his mission to whip me around, dunk me, and fly me as high as possible! It felt like flying. To get going you have to do a running start and according the group I had the best take off with a nice flying leap into the air and over the water. Had I thought about it I would have done it superman style for extra pizazz. Maybe next time?
The next day we did the other highlight in Nha Trang, the mud baths. Together, with all the locals we soaked and scrubbed ourselves in the mud and mineral water till our skin was all wrinkly. Very relaxing. Who doesn't like sitting in a pool full mud?
After a couple of busy beach days the group soberly boarded another overnight train headed to Hoi An. I love Hoi An! Not only can you get great clothes and shoes made, but the old town is a UNESCO site and is adorable. First (and most importantly) the clothes! Hoi An is know for it's sewing and tailoring. The streets are endlessly lined with shops filled with catalogs and fabrics. You need only walk in with a picture, or flip through one of many catalogs, choose an item and choose your desired fabric, and Wammo! You've got your own personally made and tailored item of clothing! It is a little overwhelming, the amount of choices, but thankfully the girls all went together and helped each other choose fabrics and give feed back on fits and styles. Originally I was only going to get one, maybe two summer dresses and ended up getting a winter coat, one maxi dress, two short dresses, and a long sleeved shirt. It's completely addicting! If I had stayed longer I would have had more made. I ended up having to ship everything home, via seamail, which takes a mere 3-4 months.
Hoi An is also a beautiful town, bathed in a beautiful warm yellow glow from the building's with an abundance of lush green and flowered plants hanging over balconies and doorways. The streets are lined with clothing shops, souvenirs galore, and inviting cafe's and restaurants. The town just begs to be cycled around, with many of the downtown streets sectioned off for foot traffic and cyclers alike. The first morning our tour leader took us on a great cycle through the farming area directly outside the town and to the beach. Then I spent the rest of the day pedaling around town and getting fitted for clothes.
 After this my cold really sank it's claws in and I haven't been doing much. Which I completely hate. There is nothing worse than sitting in a lonely hotel room with really horrible TV, wanting nothing but your own bed. This cold has mostly been brought on by my fast paced traveling of the last month. Certainly looking forward to getting back to Indonesia and sitting on a beach for a week.   

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