03.23.2009 90 °F
Hello from incredible Vietnam! We are leaving this country tomorrow and are sad to say goodbye...we've had amazing experiences and have loved the tasty food, iced beer (cheapest in the world!), and all the things that make this place so unique.
We started in Hoi An, a city we fell in love with. There are over 500 tailors there all wanting to make you the perfect suit, dress, or even shoes! Needless to say our packs have doubled in size...Matt even got a suit made for our wedding!
Getting sized up
We spent our days riding bikes to the local beach, wandering the markets, going to fittings at our tailors, and eating local specialties. One day we visited some 7th century Cham ruins at My Son. We also stumbled upon their once monthly full moon festival where all of the streets are lit by lanterns and there's a cultural show on every street corner including games and musical acts....we even took a gondola ride, good times!
Boating man at sunset
Japanese bridge at night
My Son ruins
Traditional Hoi An building
After Hoi An we headed to the beautiful but touristy beach town of Nha Trang. We went to a mud bath for some relaxation (which was much needed after a night bus!), and one day we went on an island hopping boat tour which offered live music and a floating bar. We should have done the mud bath AFTER the floating bar!
We travelled south to Mui Ne, a quiet resort town known for its kite surfing schools. It was beautiful (though windy!) and we enjoyed our time on the beach. We went on a sunrise jeep tour in the sand dunes and it was like we were in Aladdin...
Mui Ne beach
Sunrise on the sandunes
Saigon was next and we were quickly immersed in history (and motorbikes).
We went to the Cu Chi tunnels where we crawled through spaces that the Viet Cong lived for 30 years (they had to enlarge them for us tourists). It was slightly terrifying, especially since it was pitch black, there were dead ends, and bats flapping past our heads. We also went to the war remnants museum which was haunting. It's sad to think of what war can bring out in people.
War Remnants Museum
We celebrated Erin's 26th birthday with a day of massages and an italian dinner (though we wish it was an Irish one)!
We then headed to the Mekong Delta, where life is a little slower and the people are very warm. We spent most of our time in boats...we did an evening boat ride past houses where people live right on the river. On Matt's 29th birthday we awoke at 5:30 to go to the largest floating market in the area. It was full of vendors with boats loaded with fruits and veggies. To advertise they hang their produce on long bamboo poles high above the boat, very clever. We were able to get some iced coffee, fresh bread, and some purple sweet sticky rice with peanuts all from the comfort of our boat. After the market we went up a small stream where Matt tested his skills with the oars. We went upstream in circles and the locals loved it.
Cleanup on isle 9
Do you take VISA?
It took 2 days to get back!
That night we celebrated Matt's 29th with some fresh beer that came in dingy old soda bottles...only the best!! True homebrew!
Tomorrow we'll be in Cambodia and then before we know it we'll be home! Can't wait to see family and friends again.