Sunday, October 5, 2008

'Nam parts 4 through 6

Continuing on the previous post:

Part 4: Hue

The trip from Hanoi to Hue was interesting.
Our overnight sleeper bus looked rather dissimilar to the photos we were shown when we booked our ticket. No problem though, that's to be expected.
We located some decent sized bedchair thingies and settled in for some sleep.
Sleep, however, was not on the agenda. Not for a while anyways. Being at the rear of the bus we spent a lot of time in mid air. Almost like we were on a space station. Except on space stations, you probably don't get to hear crazy Vietnamese folk-disco. Or some bad rap courtesy of 50 Dong or someone. Or old school Vietrance covers of Haddaway's "What is Love (Baby don't hurt me), which sounded more like this: "Wha is ruv? Beby don herr me, don herr me.. nomo."

Anyways, little sleep was had and we were awoken at 4am as the bus driver decided this was a reasonable time to start replaying the night before's music at several thousand decibels.

Ah, the joys of transport. Funny times.

Hue is a nice old town. Kind of quiet, but enough to do to keep you busy for a day or so. We drank more cheap beer, checked out the Imperial city which whilst interesting, was in a state of disrepair. It was pretty heavily bombed during the American war and there's bullet marks in some of the walls. Oh and a giant phoenix and dragon made by some collaboration between Vietnamese and Australian artists. They were shit. The 'phoenix' looked like a chicken.

We found some more cheap beers, ate some food and retreated to our hotel before heading off for Hoi An the next day.

Part 5: Hoi An and My Son

Heading further south, we docked bus at Hoi An. Finding ourselves a decent hotel, we headed down to the riverfront for dinner, shuffling past tailors and peddlers of all manner of junk beckoning us into their shops.
Dinner was tasty and our plates were cleared by Mr Trung (See part 6) before we headed a couple of doors down for super cheap ice cold beers. (This beer thing is turning into a habit, it would seem. I blame India for robbing of us alcohol for an entire month.)

The next day we hired ourselves a motorbike and, following a hand scrawled map from the motorbike rental guy, we motored off to the My Son ruins, about 50kms out of Hoi An.
The drive was nice, the weather was good and we successfully avoided dying, which was a real possibility considering that most people drive wherever there's space, rather than on a specific side of the road. Makes for interesting times.
The ruins were pretty cool. Not as breathtaking as I'd anticipated, but it was worth the trip.
That night, again, cheap beers, more food and a looming storm painting the sky a murky pink.

Part 6: Mr Trung

Mr Trung introduced himself to us in the restaurant we visited on Friday night. He took tours of his village which is a fishing and pottery town a few k's out of Hoi An. We decided to take a trip with him and it was well worth it. He showed us round the town, introduced us to some locals (including a house full of two year olds) and gave us a pretty good insight into the lifestyle of normal Vietnamese people. We also had a go at making our own pots at a pottery factory. Our 'pots' were saved from complete destruction by the guiding hands, a la 'Ghost' of the master
potter lady.
I'm pretty sure they just mushed up our creations after we left so the clay could be put to GOOD use.

We also went fishing. Bamboo pole and a couple of metres of line is enough to catch, well, a shitload of fish apparently. Granted they weren't so much fish as fish-shaped amoeba.
They were pretty tiny, but it was good fun.
Mr Trung then took us to his house where his wife made us a super tasty meal. We then biked back into town, checked out of our hotel and are now waiting for the overnight bus to Nha Trang.

Hoping for some good weather so we can get some beach time in.
Should probably burn some incense or something to appease the weather gods. Might just have some cheap beers and dinner instead.

No comments: