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Vietnam

Suited and Booted on Le Loi

Le Loi is a street in Hoi An which is known as the tailor capitol of Southeast Asia.  You can find the wealthy tourists and the broke backpackers rooming the streets getting suited and booted within the hundreds of shoe and tailor stores.  Sebastien and I spent a week in this wonderful Vietnamese city.

Since getting engaged I had high hopes of having my wedding dress made in Hoi An.  However, after several days of trying to find the perfect tailor and not knowing exactly what I wanted I lost my motivation.

However, Sebastien and I  had several suites, coats, dresses, and shirts made at many different stores.  I also had some boots and sandals custom fitted.  Sebastien’s suites came out beautifully.  Most of my stuff came out just ok.

In the evening, we enjoyed many of the different restaurants and meet some new friends.  One of our favorite places was the Mango Rooms. Great recommendation Diana.

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Vietnamese billboard

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Old French architecture is prevalent throughout Vietnam

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Took a bike cab home one night.

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A fishing boat basket on the beach near Hoi An.

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This lady is carrying fruit and wanted me to take her picture.  She told me that I could take it for free but then followed me around wanting me to buy a banana.  This was a common annoyance in Vietnam.

Halong Bay

It is one of Vietnam’s most treasured sites.  Halong Bay.  The bay includes more than 1500 islands and islets with sky scrapping limestone pillars.

We had planned on meeting Jeremy, Seb’s cousin, and his friend Romain in Vietnam and taking a cruise through Halong Bay.

To make a long story short it was a pain in the butt to schedule a boat in Halong Bay City.  Most of the tours are scheduled in Hanoi.  Our hotel, Sunlight Hotel, arranged for us to go to the dock and talk to an agent.  It was a confusing process but we were willing to pay a little more to make sure that we had a nice boat.  We should have used a website for Halong Bay.

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Riding with the locals

From Nihm Bihn we took the locals bus/van up to Halong Bay.  What an adventure!!!!

It was a 4 hour ride with spectacular views and jaw dropping bus behaviors.

Here are some of the things I noticed while on the adventure.

The van doesn’t stop.  There is someone who stands at the sliding door yelling out the van’s destination.  If someone on the street appears to want to go that way the van slows down.  The person is then pushed or pulled into the van all while we are still moving.  The best was when a mother approached the van with her young child and the bus yeller picked the child up like a sack of potatoes and put him into the van and then grabbed his mom.  Crazy.

Some people throw things on to the van, like bags of rice, and those bags are given to someone miles away.  I am not sure how they know who to give it to or if they have to pay for this transportation service.

On our flight from Hanoi to Hoi An we saw a man carrying a HUGE bag of garlic coves onto the airplane as his check in bag.  Very funny.

Its normal for people to fall asleep on strangers.

Nihm Bihn River Tour

After spending a day in Hanoi we decided to head to Nihm Bihn before meeting up with Jeremy in Halong Bay.

It was about a 3-4 hour van ride from Hanoi to Nihm Bihn.  We stayed at Thuy Anh Hotel which was recommended by lonely planet.  The town of Nihm Bihn itself had little to offer.

We searched for a restaurant and ended up in sports bar.  They didn’t speak any English but understood that we wanted food.  They brought us two plates with french fries, some salad, and meat.  Hummm… Vietnamese meat.  Earlier that day we had seen dog skinned and being sold for food.  Yes, they eat dog in Vietnam.

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2 Cities, 4 Doctors, 3 Different Diagnosis

Since being in Vietnam Sebastien has had some funky thing growing on his hands and feet.  They look like bumps filled with yellow puss.  Really gross!

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After a week in Hoi An we became increasingly concerned.  Each day there seemed to be more clusters of bumps and all the local people told us to go see their Dr.   So in between fittings we went to the local hospital, Pacific Care.

We asked to see a dermatologist and within 20 minutes saw a Dr.   The Dr. spoke little English and giggled at us but diagnosed it as dermatitis, which is basically a skin rash due to an allergic reaction to your environment.  He prescribed some lotion and some pills and said that we should see improvements within a day.   Visit- $30  Medication- $4.

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