Goooooooooood Morning Vietnam!

I love this country! I loved it the first time I visited back in January and I’m revisiting the feeling since I arrived 5 days ago! Kathryn and I took an exhausting night bus across the Cambodia/Vietnam boarder and spent 1 night in Ho Chi Minh City, where we revisited the War Museum, wandered the market streets and ate… a lot. Vietnamese food is absolutely delicious, I can’t get enough.

We flew to Da Nang city on the 3rd and the flight was crawling with babies! Not that I have anything against babies, but in a small area with nowhere to escape, they can be loud, goobery and bothersome. There was one right next to me and one in front of me, and they both kept staring at me the whole time, it was unsettling. THEN I wasn’t impressed when the breast-feeding-in-public-I-have-a-baby-so-the-world-revolves-around-me mother sitting next to me accidentally squirted me with fresh breast milk from her teet as she fed her newborn. Not impressed at all. And neither was Kathryn, as she had to listen to me rant about it for 2 hours up until the plane landed in Da Nang airport.

When I escaped that baby hell hole, we travelled by over-priced cab to the small town of Hoi An, a beautiful ancient beach town that is a very popular heritage site! The name Hoi An translates as “peaceful meeting place”, and I couldn’t agree more. The town has a popular area called “old town” comprised of dozens of pale yellow buildings surrounding the narrow, winding streets, decorated with coloured silk lanterns and flowers blossoming down the walls. There are many cute cafe’s, restaurants and bars in old town, and what seems like hundreds of stores selling custom-made tailored boots, dresses, suits and pants. I didn’t know this before, but Vietnam is famous for it’s tailoring, and Hoi An has the best business for it. Kathryn and I spent all of our 3 days in this area, sight seeing, biking, going to the beach, and swimming! It’s been unforgettably hot since we’ve arrived in Vietnam, and yesterday for some reason we decided that running the 4 km route from our hotel to the beach was a good idea, regardless of the intense heat. So away we ran and about 3 km in we had to stop and buy a 2 litre of water out of fear that we’d both get heat stroke! We finished the trek but quickly sought refuge in the ocean and stayed there until our body’s cooled down! We stayed on the beach for another few hours and unfortunately I burnt again! That night we were both exhausted (dehydration from sweating out what looked to be every ounce of water in my body) and went to bed quite early. Good thing too because we had a cooking class the next day!

Today we were up at 8 to attend our first ever cooking class! Our group toured to the local food market where we bought all the ingredients we needed to cook with (various herbs and vegetables, beef, shrimp, spices, etc). We ventured by boat to an island where we witnessed how some of the food was harvested and cleaned, and then we got down to cooking! By the end of the 4 hours Kathryn and I made Vietnamese noodle soup(Pho Bo Ha Noi), traditional fresh salad rolls (Goi Cuon), pork and shrimp crispy crepes (Banh Xeo), and (my favourite) beef vermicelli (Bun Bo Nam Bo), which is a beef/noodle salad. The best part about making the food: EATING IT! Of course, it was also very cool because we got to make all the sauces ourselves as well. Such fun, I really hope I remember some of what I learnt to try when I get to Canada!

Almost immediately after returning to the hostel we were on our way back to Da Nang (only a 30 minute drive) and flying to Ha Noi, where we are for the night! I was sad to leave Hoi An, it was such a lovely town, the beach was beautiful and it was so relaxing! Ha Noi is almost the opposite: Loud, hectic, smoggy, lots of people! We’re leaving early tomorrow morning to go to Halong Bay, which is supposed to be another beautiful and relaxing paradise. We want our last week of travelling to be exactly what Vietnam has offered us so far: relaxation and joy.

Also, sorry that I have so few pictures lately. I lost my camera remember!!

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