Day 68-Vietnam

Hoi An

[Full moon in Hoi An]

What an eventful day! I swear the universe is messing with me! Or it could just be the full moon.

I started my day off by puncturing my non-healing wounds open with my bicycle. This happened as I was already on my way to White Rose Restaurant, where I would get to try these infamous white rose dumplings, banh vac. With blood literally dripping down my leg, I managed to pull over and find some bandages at a corner store. The dumplings were phenomenal. My wounds, not so much. My injuries are so damn deep that the tissue isn’t healing very fast and somehow became a massive blood blister. I basically re-opened it. Now I have to clean my wounds daily and stay out of the water once again. Back to square one.

With my recent injuries and ankle surgery, it seems as if I should listen to these signs and actually “SLOW DOWN.” So with that, I decided to change my travel plans and save Nepal and the Middle East for a later date, when I’m fit enough to be trekking and climbing. Instead, I’ll slowly make my way to South Africa on a different route. No biggie!

I continued on with my day, exploring the most beautiful Asian city I’ve ever visited. Hoi An, once a major trading port, is now a well preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. I can’t even find the words to describe this place. Stunning. Quaint. Majestic. It’s like Colombia meets Italy, but in Vietnam! The ancient colonial buildings, markets, lanterns, vines, river, everything about it is so unique. Every traveller I’ve met along the way has told me great things about Hoi An. They weren’t kidding!

Hoi An is also known for two other goodies: tailors and food! Anything and everything can be made here. Leather purses, shoes, dresses, suits..you name it! I ended stumbling upon this amazing shop with unreal deals, like $1 for a pair of shorts and $2 for a skirt. Ya, that kind of a deal. It’s all decent quality too! Let’s just say my backpack is looking rather plump.

Second task on my list, more food! Sometimes it’s hard to try these local dishes because I don’t eat meat, but not when there’s a vegetarian restaurant that serves it all under a set menu! Cao lau (local noodles), wontons, spring rolls, and of course banh vac (white rose dumplings). It didn’t take long for me to devour my meal.

With a happy belly, I made my way over the bridge to An Hoi, the old city. I actually tried to go during the day but they wanted to charge me, so I said forget it. However, since all the locals think I’m Vietnamese, I decided to use that to my advantage and ride my bike really fast, like I’m meant to be there. Not sure if they were still charging at that time of the day, but it worked! Wow, was it ever beautiful! Colorful, brightly lit lanterns filled the streets of the market. Old wooden boats floated down the river. It felt like I rode my bike for hours just following the full moon. I couldn’t get enough of the sights. The only thing missing was someone to share this amazing experience with. I rarely feel this way, but tonight was definitely a night worth sharing.

On top of my wonderful experience, I received a much anticipated email. I ended up getting tickets for AFRIKABURN! Burning Man in a South African desert! 7 days in the Tankwa Karoo with one of my best friends who I haven’t seen in over 2 years!

Life is full of surprises! Just go with the flow and take it as it comes.

“Stars can’t shine without darkness”

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