As it would have been to easy to award ‘getting engaged’ as the highlight of the week, we skipped a week, as due to rubbish weather it turned out that was our only highlight really worth mentioning. Therefore the award this week goes to…….
Setting off lanterns in Hoi An under the full moon.
This sounds very tame and it is, but the scenery of a small town being lit ip by candles and paper lanterns was just magical and the river was full with the little lanterns, which are set a sail to bring good luck and to make a wish.
—Stay Classy World—ACastling—
We gave in and did it, when in Hoi An we got bored and on a nice clear day we decided to rent a motorbike as A) they are ridiculously cheap – 80,000dong= 2.50GBP and B) the roads are pretty quiet around the area.
So we rented one (the one thing my Dad asked us not to do….again, sorry, I love you!), put on our helmets (that is a very strict law in Vietnam and carries a hefty fine) and using a shoddy map, made our way to the coast. It was a beautiful drive, the beach was only a couple of KM’s away and we got to explore the whole area, to places we would not have been able to go and saw things we would otherwise not have been able to see.
Our 125cc HOG!
Peaceful and serene rice paddy fields
The outskirts of Hoi An is the perfect place to practice riding a motorbike in Vietnam as the roads are relatively quiet compared to other crazy areas, and once you get more quiet you can take the bike into the old city and practice riding amongst the Vietnamese, the way they ride- without the use of peripheral vision…its an experience for sure!
From Dong Hoi we got a day train to Hoi An which is famous for its tailor made clothes and lantern festival. Unfortunately it rained the first 2 days we were there, so the lantern festival got seen, but our camera broke due to moisture. And we could not afford the tailor made clothes no matter how cheap! We found a cheap room, but due to the rain it was completely damp, the air was thick with it, so we moved after a night. After we moved, it brightened up, and it was a different place after that.
Child selling lanterns during the lantern festival
We walked around the old town, which is full of character although packed with too many tourists of the elderly disposition. We found the market where we ended up eating a lunch of Cao Lao every day with our special Cao Lao lady for 20,000 dong. We got to see the lanterns without the rain, where you buy and set off paper lanterns into the river and make a good luck wish. It is a beautiful sight to see, especially when all the street lights get turned off. And we even did something we said we would never do…
—Love to all, Cheryl—