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The Real Silk Road

days 12-...indefinitely: hoi an

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Man...these pants couldn't fit any worse" or "This shirt is way too tight"?

Here in Hoi An, this is almost impossible. For $200 US, I bought 5 pairs of pants, 4 shirts, a winter coat, a light jacket, and two dresses, one of which was made from Thai silk, some of the best in the world. They took all of my measurements and seriously, the sky is the limit on different textures, styles, and patterns. They can copy anything and actually have several JC Penny catalogues for you to point and choose and for them to copy it with no problems. They take your measurements. You come back later after they made them (one is only 5 hours later!!!) and try them on, then take them away.

So instead of my year in Korea where it is skinny, skinny, skinny, and nothing fits and even if it does, it does just barely, I will have a whole tailor made winter's wardrobe.

More about Hoi An: it is very historic, with beautiful old buildings and motos and bicycles roaming the streets. There are several streets near the small river where motos and cars are prohibited.

There is a beach about 4km away, and Juki, Sini and I all rode to be surrounded in paradise, as long as you don't mind the constant offers to buy pineapples, cigarettes, jewelry, or foot massages. The hawkers there will say anything to get you to buy from them, including: "Why you drink beer? When you drink beer, shit happens. When you buy my pineapple, no shit happens. And you can make many babies because it makes you horny. You eat that other pineapple and you go to hospital." Pardon the vulgarity, but they really talk this way. The beach is surrounded by clean sand, palm trees and off in the distance, mountains. The water is warm and very clear with little flying fish. Who knew Vietnam was a beach destination?

The hotels are beautiful and very cheap. For a two-star hotel with a large room, a balcony, A/C, a tub, a TV, and access to the pool, I am paying $14 a night. I've heard that the 4-star price range is about $25.

The food is SO GOOD! Last night for dinner I had grilled tuna, which was basically like sashimi, with mango salsa and a small side salad. I had the best mixed drinks EVER, a mojito and something else, but full of fresh fruit. Today for lunch I had fish grilled in banana leaves with lemon juice, lemongrass, garlic, and whatever else and it was to die for.

Tomorrow I will be taking a cooking class where I can learn to cook these things. We leave at 845 am (not a problem when this has been my schedule anyway) and go to the market where we buy the freshest ingredients. We then get on a boat and go up to a little island, where we take the class and then get to eat what we make. All for $12 and with the rest of the day to spare.

Everyday I think things can't get better, and then they always do. I don't even have a favorite part of Vietnam, it's all THAT good.

Posted by lrbergen 02:27 Archived in Vietnam Tagged luxury_travel

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