|We did take ourselves away from the shopping and eating and drinking to take in some of the historical and cultural sights of Hoi An as well. I've attached beautiful photographs from our walking tour. But unfortunately, I'm really not qualified to tell you the significance of much what we saw. Just enjoy the photographs for their beauty.
What I will do is subject you to my random thoughts on Vietnam, of which I have many, but in no particular order.
Internet cafes are always packed even though they're painfully slow. If not full of little boys and sometimes young men playing video games, then they are full with young guys and gals on chat sites using web cams. They love to chat! *** We have seen many more men taking care of babies than we have women. They love babies here! Still, they are restricted to only two children per family. *** They also love Bear Harbor here. In Hoi An the girls in the silk shops would wrap Bear Harbor in silk and put him to bed. They love to shake his paw and have conversations with him. *** Vietnam makes the best fruit shakes ever. Just pure fruit and thats it! *** Every house and business has a little shrine in it with fruit and other offerings and joss sticks (incense) that burn all day long. At night when they close down their shops they light joss sticks and leave them burning on the sidewalks in front of their shops for thanksgiving. The smell of incense lingers everywhere and its a very calming scent. *** The cyclos are bicycle cabs that let you sit in front of the bicycle. They seem to have a default right of way because they fear nothing of heading straigt into a stream of traffic coming the opposite way. *** Even small infants and dogs know how to hold on to a moving motorbike. *** A lot of men have a mole on the side of their face with 3 inch long hairs growing out of it. I have never seen this with such frequency, must be genetic. *** The women prefer to cover up (all babies must wear bonnets!) so as to keep their skin white. When they drive their motorbikes they all wear hats, face masks and sometimes long silk gloves that go to their shoulders. The face masks are padded and cover a good part of the face and sometimes the neck too. *** Even at the beach a vendor will wear long pants, a coat, a mask, and a hat. *** At the Catholic church the men sit on one side of the church and the women sit on the other. There were only five women, all foreigners, sitting on the men's side. The Mass is mostly sung with the exception of the readings and the homily. The sign of peace is just a quick bow to your left and to your right. Much faster, and more impersonal, than ours in the States. *** The French left a great legacy of baguettes. French bread is served with every breakfast, unless you order beef pho (noode soup) which is traditionally what the Vietnamese, and now Brad, eat for breakfast. *** The girls wear a silk white uniform to school and the women wear beautiful silk pant outfits to work. *** The money (larger notes) are both waterproof and tear proof. Smart! The dong is worth 15,900 to the US dollar. *** The English is no where as good as I thought it would be. We have always been able to communicate but even the average tour guide has only very basic English. We met one older man with near perfect English and I'm almost sure that he was with the South Vietnamese Army working with Americans. *** The ice cream parlors are real parlors. They really can do up a simple cone with cookies and chocolate syrup and if you go for a real ice cream dessert you're in for a treat. Even the prepackaged cones you buy on the street are delicious. They fill the bottom point of the cone with chocolate so even the last bite is yummy. *** They love Laughing Cow cheese here. I remember when the South Beach Diet came out that I had a hard time finding it. No wonder, its all over Vietnam! *** Vietnam is so much more than I expected. I am absolutely loving it and would highly recommend it as a destination!