Dan and Lu's Travels
Up early for the bus to My Son. These are Cham ruins about 30 km west of Hoi An. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ( as is a lot of Hoi An's old town) and are still being excavated etc. Beofre we got to the actual ruins, which are high up in the jungle, we stopped at a clearing and watched some Cham dancing and music. The first site we saw was beautiful,very overgrown and crumbling. The mountains in the distance were hung with mist, very photogenic. The other sites were virtually non-exsistant, due we were told, to American bombs. It was a 20 minute trek back to where we jumped on a jeep and got a lift back to our bus. This was fab! I was hanging out of the front as it was full. The bus took us to a boat which we had lunch on (rice with pork and veg - yum!). We sat on top deck while we sailed down the river to a little hamlet, where there were workshops with people making furniture and carving decorative pieces. They were amazing, not my taste at all but the craftsmanship was staggering. Many of the people carving were children, little boys of 8 or 10 who spent their days hunched over, often holding the peice with their feet, carving designs out. We got off the boat at Hoi An and went for a 3,000 vnd beer!! (about 12p!) Then to our tailors to be fitted. Everything is gorgeous. It seems queit today, not as many tourists or motorbikes. Here, as in saigon and Nha Trang, and I imagine everywhere else in Vietnam, many girls wear gloves and face masks while riding. This looks quite starnge, but we learnt that (apart from the fumes) this is because of the sun. They don't want their skin to go any darker than it already is. It must make them much hotter but I suppose its a vanity thing just as it is for us in the opposite way. We spend money and time deliberately exposing ourselves to the sun to be darker and they see pale skin as more beautiful. Went to Before and After bar for a beer then to the place opposite our hotel and I had a delicious omlette. We drank Saigon Special beer and decided that tomorrow would be Dan's day. He's been trying to get me to eat at the corner stalls where you sit on children's size plastic stools and eat. He also set us the challenge of spending only 100,000 vnd all day. Just over 3.50.