We have been in Vietnam for about 10 days now and needless to say we are running out of jokes (almost) about the Vietnamese currency, Dong. I invite everyone to post in the comments section the best joke they can come up with pertaining to Dong. The winner will receive a prize (maybe). If you need an example: Is that Dong in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Anyways, we are currently in Hanoi, the capitol city of Vietnam, and left Hoi An a few days ago. Hoi An was a cool little town, but I swear there were more backpackers and tourists there than Vietnamese people, which was kind of strange. Nonetheless, Hoi An had tons of cultural sites to offer from Assembly halls to Temples to really old houses. Additionally, it just so happens that Hoi An is teeming with cloth/tailor shops all offering custom made suits, coats, dresses, et cetera at incredibly reasonable prices. It was a pretty funny scene in the tailor shop seeing all these dirty, sweaty backpackers (us included) trying on such fancy-shmancy clothing.
Hoi An is also about an hour away from the My Son Ruins (pronounced Mee Sun), which were originally Champa Hindu temples. The Champa were originally from India and the ruins were filled with plenty of cool carvings and statues of Hindu Gods such as Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesh and Rama. The ruins were located in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains and it just so happens My Son means Beautiful Mountain (not just a clever name). We also learned about Linga and Yoni which is synonymous with Yin and Yang and represent the male (Linga) and the female (Yoni). They had several statues representing the Linga-Yoni (which I won't go into too much detail about due to mixed readership), but for those that want some sort of example, the mountains represent Linga and the valley represents Yoni, according to the tour guide at least.
Hanoi is somewhat of a mystery to Gabe, as he has spent the majority of it living in a 5 star luxury hotel nursing his stomach flu. The city is based around a few big ugly green polluted lakes that at night seem to be the equivalent of our Lake Calhoun. Michael and I (Danny) sat on a curb where there was some pop music playing, and in a matter of seconds a flash mob of old ladies started doing an aerobics class beside the lake. Michael demands to eat meat off of skewers and has now officially had sugar cane juice in a bag. It was average. Michael and I became quite popular with the local young teenage girls, as every few minutes they would come by and ask to take a picture with us. Michael was a giant....comparatively.
While Gabe was at home sick, Danny and Michael were in real danger when crossing the streets. The streets are completely saturated with "motobikes," and the only way to cross is to walk very slowly through the street and hope that the bikes swerve around you. There was an open night market which was very busy and selling shlach for bad deals.
We are seeing a water puppet show tonight that came highly recommended from Ayla, which we are sure will be great. Tomorrow we have a trip to Ha Long bay for one day, where we will stay, and soak up the ray(s).
|Rollin down the river.|
|Gabe and Feesh try to cool off from the hot Hoi An sun.|
|Gabe and Michael eat Pho in the market.|
|Feesh sits cross-legged.|
|My Son ruins with the tallest "Linga" mountain in the background.|
|Feesh and Gabe on a bridge in My Son.|
|Local art gallery. No explanation needed.|
|How do I "measure up?"|
|Swimming in the South China Sea.|
|In front of one of the many assembly halls in Hoi An.|
|Gabe and Michael in front of the Japanese Covered Bridge and poopy water.|
|Linga and Yoni|
|Michael enjoying a Bahn Bao. Mmmm. Note: we needed to chase down the Bahn Bao bicycle cart (which we did 3 times) to get these.|
|The Wolfpack at the My Son ruins.|
|Any one else gone to the beach lately?|
|Ritual sacrifice at the My Son Ruins.|