Katja and Arne's travel stories

09.01.15 Goodbye Hoi An – Hello Da Nang

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We started the day with a brisk walk. This time we went into the city center and on to the other side.
There was a local morning market going on when we reached the outskirts of the city center. Fresh veggies, fish and meat of all kinds were for sale there. If it was breathing or it had roots it was there. We took some pictures and kept on walking.
The other side of town had been rather un-explored by us. We’ve kept to the center and the streets on the other side of the river. Walking down that road today made us regret a little bit to not have expanded our exploration. Not that we’ve been lacking anything, but there were some nice colonial style houses and what looked like nice local restaurants there.
On the way back, just as we came back to the market, the sky opended up. Woohoo, it rained cats and dogs for a little while. We had brought our rain jackets and kept on walking, but the locals where running in circles to get their stuff out if the rain, and what few tourists that were around ran for cover ever which way. It ended as abruptly as it started.

After breakfast we all agreed we could just wait until check out time to leave and I went to the room while the girls did a lady tour of Hoi An. We had ordered a car from the hotel to take us to Da Nang as it was as cheap as taking a taxi.
We got a new car and a cautious driver. There were really no traffic to talk about and we were at the hotel in about an hour. Then Katja asks,:”Who picked up the train tickets,’cause I didn’t? ” Ai caramba, we had all forgotten to do that. The driver spoke very little English, so we called the hotel ourselves. After Katja repeatedly had made it very clear our tickets were there and we here, the phone was handed to the new receptionist. A few Vietnamese word was spoken and then:”Tickets will be here tonight.” Phew! Disaster avoided.
Quick into the room and  back out on the streets. We took a back road and ended in a part of town with no tourists. We started to get hungry, but there seemed only to be street wagons with baguettes available. We plotted a course for a restaurant we found in Lonely Planet, but got hijacked by some locals eating at a little place. We accepted their claim that it was good food and sat down to order.
No English menu no English speaking waiter. Google translate and then we ordered chicken and rice. The food was good, but chicken feet are over rated.

We kept waking towards the center of Da Nang to see if we could get some decent coffee. That’s hard to come by in Vietnam. We found a little place and sat down to relax. We looked at the map and it’s two things we want to see. One is the local cathedral, the other a multi religion sanctuary. Last thing first.
We found the temple and walked inside. This is a sanctuary for all religions where all people can come to worship and pray. With recent days events ln France it’s special to see the painting and the writing here. In the main room there is a drawing of the major prophets or gods from five religions with the words “All religions have the same reason.” I guess that would be peace…. It’s a picture of Mohammed, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tze. Why can’t wet just get along?

After the visit there we walked towards the cathedral.  Turns out there is a wedding today and we go inside and sit down. I’ve been to some services in the Norwegian protestant church, but this was Catholic with a local twist (I think). They were chanting for a long time and the men were on one side of the aisle and the women on the other. I saw no holy water and people entered the church from all sides. We spent enough time in there to see the bride and groom waking up the aisle. Different from Hong Kong where the dad gives the bride away. After a rather long photoshoot the bride and groome walked up in the front of a possession that seemed to include every living relative. As the service was in Vietnamese we got out at that point.

We walked around watching the city and started to look for a dinner place. We had one in mind and after debating and checking trip advisor we went with it.
It’s a restaurant where you get a little bbq on the table, or next to it, and the order what you would like to cook. It was nice and tasted good, but the ventilation did not keep up with a Friday night line up. We got out smelling like fried pork and blinking away the tears from our eyes. We needed to walk this off.

On the way back towards the hotel we find a plaza of sorts with a lot of people. There are so many scooters parked here I should call Guinness book of records. We decide to go in and see what it is, or at least to someone turns us around.
Going in there are people openly pointing and laughing. Ok, it’s not our normal scenery, I get it. Further in is a stage and there are some sort of folk dance being shown. It’s a lot off people watching, but no-one applauded afterwards. Don’t they do that around here?
We see that there are only young people in here and by Google translate (again) find it’s a “Back to school party”. Ok, maybe not my scene.


Back to school party, jiiiihhhaaa 

We get out and hail a cab. Enough walking for today. The hard bed at the hotel is waiting. Tomorrow awaits another day with another adventure- train ride! And not to mention that the hotel has a policy that says: “No exciting activites after 22:00!” Gotta play by the rules.

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.

~Edgar W. Howe

Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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