Alla inlägg den 11 juni 2017

Av Magnus Ekstrand - 11 juni 2017 17:19

We woke up 07:00 am and I went directly to the postoffice. Hoping to rid myself of my purschase from yesterday. Opening hours very clearly stated 07:00 - 19:00 even for holidays. But the closed door with a padlock told another story. So. Me and Martin had a real hotel breakfast with scrambled eggs, noodles, different types of meat, fruit and vegtables. After this we wen't on a tour of the adjacent islands. This was a somewhat surreal experiance as we were the only foreigners aboard. This ment some discreet, some not so discreet pointing and open amazement looks. We understood kinda quickly that we were now part of todays sightseeing. The guide however handled this smoothly, all messages was followed by a english(mostly somewhat shorter) translation. After the tour we went back to the hotel for a shower. They hd kindly agreed to stowe away our luggage until our train departed for Nha Trang. Also we had to towels and a quick was of which was more than needed since we'd been bathing in salt water. After this we went to the post office and I paid almost as much for shipping as I had for the paintings themselves. The way she hadled the package even tho I said repeateadly "fragile", "please handle with care" made me very sceptical if I'd recive paintings or puzzle pieces... But we'll see. It will take three months until we have the answer...

After killing time for almost 3 hours(coffe shops, just walking around) we boarded our train. Interestingly enough about 50 Vietnamnese soldiers also boarded the same train. About 15 of them in our coach. 20 minutes into the ride it became apparent that people really didn't care if they'd taken the seat they'd been assigned. This would surely be no problem on an average day. However this ment that many of the soliders(who apparently had seats spread through the entire train) went about making people move so they could sit. It is a special feeling having military soldiers and officers stalking about, some argueing between them and the civilians without actually understanding what's truly being said. We were also a bit worried that they'd come for our seats, but in the end they didn't. The train took about 10 hours to arrive in Da Nanh. We spent this time somewhere in between sleep and being fully awake and when the train arrived we must've been a horribble sight to behold.

While I was away to the bathroom Martin was approached by someone who told us they'd take us to Hoi An(where we had our hotel for the evening) for 350 000 VND. The price was cheap, this we knew for sure but I could not let go of the suspision that still lingered from Ho Chi Minh city. To say I spent the ride being very skittish would be an understatement. It did however turn out we picked a good guy and he did deliver us quickly and safely to the hotel for said cheap price. ALso it's not everyday you get a mercedes as your ride.

After this we checked in to our(four star) hotel and had lunch before leavning. We went straight to one of the in-between price tier tailors in Hoi An and made an order for a three-piece suit and some other stuff. I tried to haggle but faltered under the heavy buisnesslike stare of the small seamstress. In the end I think we ended up with a fair price anywy. The rest of the day was spent exploring the very historical and beautiful Hoi An. Many buildings are perserved from 300-400 years back and the river that passes the city makes for some beautiful scenery. We found som places alongside the river and had beer for 2 SEK a glas. When going back to the hotel we actually agreed to split up for awhile. Martin wanted to have another Beer and to speak some more with the english guy we had met at the bar. This ment I made my way back to the hotel on my own. I hadn't realized how nice it could be to walk at my own pace, staying at temples and shops for just the right amount of time. I ended up buying three silken ties after haggling the price to half the original amount.

After meeting up at the hotel we went back to the city by the hotel bus to eat dinner and see the night market. It was really lovely with lights, busy people trying to sell their wares and many performances.

We had some luck with the weather, but then again even if it rained it'd pass by really quickly.  


Our guide and our rallying flag.

Leaving harbour, picture of the boat later. 


Traffic was busy as usual, even at sea.  

Closing in at the first island.   Captains corner, mostly he stood openly smoking inside, calmly watching the water and driving.

First stop! You could either borrow snorkling gear for free or pay 500 000 VND for an hour of scuba diving. We snorkled.


While it was not "optimal" conditions we still saw alot of the local fish.  

Another boat, ours look just alike.    

This is how you travel abord the boat, decent but hard seats.  

Me and hotch.  

Before dinner we bought a bowl of sea urchin, didn't really taste much.  

Inbetween there was some karaeoke and me and Martin found ourselves singing jingle bells to an audiance of 30-40 strangers. Akward experiance, but then many of the other guest also sang and didn't seem to mind our broken voices too much.


Next stop! One of the floating markets.  

While lunch was included you could browse fish, crabs, lobster and other sea dwelling creatures that they had cought. I soon found out that pointing out some of the more interesting ones for Martin was a bad idea as this erned me the repeated quest from a local if they should fry the poor creature so I could eat it.


Seats transformed to a table.  

Included lunch.  

Before the next stop we randomly put anchor just outside the floating market. They then set up a "floating bar" where you could jump in for some free alcohol free(?) wine. They also put on party music which made for a very strange experiance, but being in the water floating about wasn't too bad.


Third stop. A local privately owned beach. 30 000 VND to enter. Water was nice but you couldn't swin more than 10 meters from the beach or some liveguardian came wistling at you.


So instead we found shade and enjoyed some of the local beer.  

Also enjoyed sugar crane water which was really tasty  

Fourth stop, an aquarioum with, yet again, too little space for the dwellers.  

The building was however quite impressive.  

Local paddling about in his/her circular boat, maybe fishing?  

Back in town we had some coffe at a coffe house as well as steak at a steakhouse. We both ordered medium rare thinking that it would be nice to try it out. We both kinda wish we hadn't but it was tasty anyway.  

The best picture I got from our wait at the trainstation, might tell you some about how tired I was...  

After the 10 hour trainride we aquired a taxi which drove us from Da Nang towards Hoi An. We went close to the water the entire way with some pretty scenery.  

Also saw ricefields close up for the first time.  

Our room for the next two days, think the hotel itself has 3/4 stars. For 125 SEk a night.  

Streets of Hoi An.  

Riverside with some of the boats.  

Really nice looking bride and scenery.  

Beer for 2 SEK! In vietnam they have a concept of "fresh" beer which is to be made and sold the same day. Otherwise it is thrown away. This makes it really cheap but if you're unlucky the place could also run out of it very quickly. In Ho Chi Minh city most places ran out before 3 pm.  

One of the streats in Hoi An.  

Temple which charged 130 000 VND to enter, I didn't go in.  

Martin catching up on the latest racing.  

Streets of Hoi An in the evening.      

Some local performers, tried to ask what dance/story it was or if it was a special occation but got no good answer.

  Short video of the dance, they kept it up for a better part of an hour.

Beside the riverbed was also som really nice latnerns!   

As well as a large scene. They seemed to be rehearsing, trying out the same steps and movements repeatedly.   

The bridge from further up during nighttime  

Got the feeling that more lanterns showed up the longer you stayed out...

To be continued...

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