Where oh where to begin? I think I am way behind and so much great stuff has been happening!!!!! I somehow feel though I am going to get backto Toronto with no fun and adventurous stories since I am writing them all on my blog, so maybe I will just graze over some of the goings on in this part of the world to pique your some interest and then in the flesh, when I am home, i can bore everyone with the details!!!! I think I left off last entry with the possibility of snake blood in the air???
Well........snake blood we had and snake bile and snake hearts, snake ribs, snake skin, snake organs, snake in a roll, bbq'ed, fried...you name it-we had!!!!! It was someones 31st bday and we managed to muster up a HUGE crowd to head to Snake Village and we feasted the night away on Cobra delicacies!!!!!
Then.....MOM arrived! YAY, same and sound and with a frickin' backpack stuck on her back! So impressed! I hold a run a tight ship, so the next morning, after Mom arrived we were off to Halong Bay. Halong Bay was one of the places I would sit at mydesk in Toronto at work daydreaming about. And last week we hopped on a big beautiful junk (it had sails but unfortunately they were never rigged up) and spent 2 amazing days in the Bay floating through limestone karsts. It was incredible!!! There were minor issues like being over run with tourists in the harbour boarding 1 of hundreds of junks, and a major water pollution problem everyone seemed to over look- but SOMEHOW, it managed to be so peaceful and highly enjoyable. Lotsa seafood, seakayaking, swimming and of course just overall contentment thatI was on a boat on the water! (also made me realize HOW BADLY i want my dream of living on a boat for a year to come true!)
From Halong Bay we spent a bit more time in Hanoi then headed south on a flight to Hue, whicj in my opinion was a thorough disppointemnt. It could ve been the rididculous heat all day but I htink it came dowm to what we did. I went against my personal traveling code and.....(gulp) did a "tour", What a bloody waste of money. We were herded like cows into and out of a ghetto bus with fake air conditoning from one spot to the next. From tomb such and such to temple whatchyamacallit to pagoda blahblahblah!!!! Hell! Honestly I felt like a ticking time bomb i was so annoyed! We were even fed lunch at cafeteria-style tables (similar to grazing up to a trough). Abd although you paid for a tour- NO entries into the "attractions" were included. It was such a rip-off. Mom was quick to point out, that the actual monetary value of our tour was peanuts when the dongs were converted to dollars but to me it was sheer principle. It SUCKED!
Next stop....Hoi AN. Thats where we are now and it is heavenly! First of all, the towns predominant business is in tailoring. On every street corner is a tailor and they tailor everyhting from wool coats, to shoes to bags to clothing...i am in heaven, it is a shoppers paradise!!!! It is looking like maybe I am going to have to mail a small package home from Saigon cause I dont think my new shoes/wool coat/pants/dress will fit in my backpack!!!!! No problem! Aside from shopping this town is a beauty. I am finally by the ocean, something I have been waiting for, for weeks! We went for a bike ride today and ended up at China Beach. The ocean water was like a hot bath but at least there was a slight breeze to make it enjoyable! We managed to put up with all the alarming stares when we stripped down to our suits (the local women swim totally clothed!!!) and enjoy every once of sun sand and water!!!
Hoi An is a quaint little seaside place with little markets, hotels everywhere and really nice restaurants with sea food everywhere!!!! We are staying in a hotel that still smells of paint it is so new, with 2 double beds, laundry servcie (DESPARARATELY needed!), bathroom (this isnt always a given), a balcony, 2 fans and proper air con...and we are paying a WHOPPING $10 US/night. How mad is that? It is blissful!!! And actually since MOM has been here I have been in paradise because I have been living the high life...I am being kicked outta the internetcafe- closing time. (no time to proof read, sorry for all the spelling mistakes!)
Off to Saigon on Tuesday with more stories to write about.......