Tuesday, January 3, 2017

old town

Old Town Hoi An is the best.   It's a small area of streets and markets and museums and restaurants that are filled with the friendliest people.

The buildings are brightly painted and there's so much to see.

once we stepped off the main tourist path- we could wander in real neighborhoods and meet great people!  there was a family with a little boy mack's age on the house to the left and they were so friendly!!  even though we were basically peering into their open door :)

We actually spent our very first morning in Vietnam here at Old Town.  The last couple of days in Cambodia I had started feeling not so hot and it was getting worse in Vietnam.  Initially I had thought I was sore and hot from our half marathon- but pretty soon realized I had a slight fever and body aches. I felt most miserable at the airport in cambodia and didn't even get to enjoy a blizzard from the DAIRY QUEEN in the airport!!  I am still upset about that.  luckily- there was a pharmacy at the airport where we picked up some meds that seemed to start helping.  Good thing Kent knew what he was looking for!!

Just seeing these picture reminds me how yucky I felt walking around.  Several times I had to just sit and wait out the stomach cramps.
it was right here- taking this picture- that I nearly had an accident. I had to run to the nearest bathroom- only to find out they were pay toilets!!  I begged to be let in without money because there was NO way I was going to make it to kent AND back without a major incident.  they let me in and I barely made it onto the awfully dirty toilet.  After a bit of time and an immense sense of relief- I realized there was NO toilet paper.  of course.  I found scraps of paper in my pockets and had to make do.  Afterwards I made my way back to Kent and got some wet wipes to return to the bathroom (this time with  money) to finish the job.  Luckily-after all of this I felt SO MUCH BETTER and could enjoy the rest of the trip!!

The temples here were full of more bright colors and dragons and lanterns.

It it weird that I love alleyways and skinny streets. they always make for great pictures :)

there was a light drizzle for part of the morning but it let up very quickly and the morning felt so refreshing compared to the week in scorching hot cambodia!
I love this picture of these women working in their store.  the vietnamese people here were some of the kindest I have encountered in all of Asia.  They loved our children and were so friendly.

the week we were there was the first week of christmas and lots of the shops were selling christmas decor!  I got a straw hat wearing rice field worker santa for our tree :)
Our very last night in Hoi An we returned  to Old Town for 'lantern town'.  We got to ride a long boat out on the river and place family lanterns on the water!!  it was so much fun.
Our family got our own little boat and our driver paddled us around for the evening!  it really was the BEST end of the BEST vacation.  

I love nighttime on vacations in cities around the world.  It's a lot like early mornings in that you can really experience something so unique!!

Facades lit up at night in exciting locales always seems so magical to me!!  it was a perfect evening.

after our boat ride we wandered the shops and I got a fabulous North Face rain jacket for super cheap :)  Here we also found a large wooden buddha with lots of little children climbing all over him that I LOVE.  I'd been on the hunt for the perfect Buddha and I found him here!!!

Our vacation to Vietnam and Cambodia really was the best ever!!!  I would recommend EVERYone visit!!  it was exciting and relaxing and adventurous and stunning all at the same time.

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