Well I went to the ATM here today and took out $2 million dollars. I then went shoppping. I know the exhange rate is a 'bit' different but it was a wonderful feeling. $100,000 Vietnamese dong (VND) is about $8 Australian. Goods are very cheap here but it is expensive to cart them home so we have only got some little souvenirs and some clothes. Had a wonderful time getting some jackets made at the tailors. Picked out the silk, then the lining, then the style and then came back four hours later for a fitting and picked them up early next morning. Perfect fit and lovely finish. Jackets about $30.00 Australian for a really good silk.
This evening we had shoes made similarly. Picked out the style, the leather and had a fitting. We then came back four hours later for a fitting and I took mine away - they were perfect. Dymp needed a slight adjustment to hers. They are delivering them to the hotel tonight.
We have enjoyed our sojourn her in Hoi An. Another first class hotel with old French style furniture and fittings and very spacious with large balcony and bathroom. Service is excellent. The rack rate is $100USD a night. Not sure what our rate was but it includes breakfast.
The jouney down from Hue to Hoi An was very spectacular. We went through two mountain passes and saw some wonderful ancient bridges and some relics of the war and some very modern bridge and tunnel structures.
As we cruised along in our airconditioned bus we saw water buffalo being worked, rice paddies in various stages of growth and small and large lakes where simple fishing methodologies were being used. We drove up the great Marble Mountain and some of the more adventurous climbed the 153 concrete steps to see the view from the top - over Hai Van Pass. The remainder spend an hour in the marble museum and art shop. That was very spectacular too!!
We enjoyed seeing the ocean for most of the trip - they call it the East Sea here - Vietnames don't like to call it the South China Sea but that is what it really is!!
Tonight we had a cruise along the river for an hour at twilight. We were promised a great sunset but due to the clouds it did not eventuate. We made up for it with some spontaneous fun and had a great time.
Dympna and I ended the night with a cocktail in the bar under the trees and some Hoi An specialty spring rolls and egg rice. We are having an early night so we can be ready to leave in the morning for our next stop.
Last night was a late night - we went to a cooking class and had a great night learning how to prepare and serve a full course. We had to eat what we cooked and we thought we had done a fairly good job. I am looking forward to giving you the benefit of my new skills.
Missing you all, hope you are appreciating weather a bit cooler and less humid than we have here. We have just reached the mid point of our trip so will be home soon. Ten more days.
Love to all