If I thought the last overnight train was a bit of a rough sleep, well this was on another level. Firstly I still had bugs coming at me during the night, and I killed at least two more that were crawling on me, and maybe more that slipped into my bed sheet and I was able to kill with my feet. On top of that the mattress, which can hardly even be called that, was so uncomfortable for my bad hip, that I tossed and turned all night long trying to find a position that didn’t hurt.
When I was able to find a position I could actually get some sleep in I’d constantly wake up due to the rough ride and noise, and for the first time in my life I was a nervous train passenger. A few of the times I woke up it felt like, and sounded like, we were going too fast, and I just couldn’t get out of my head all the train crashes I had heard about over the years about drivers falling sleep or trying to go fast which causes it to derail. I’ve never felt this way before, so not sure what to put it down to, but either way it didn’t help give a good nights rest.
When we did finally arrive it was 8am, which was about an hour behind schedule, and every one of us looked pretty tired and exhausted, as I think many others didn’t sleep or were freaked out about the bugs. After we got off the train at Da Nang it was straight onto a bus which would drive us to our next stop 40 minutes south, Hoi An. The drive was nice, and even though it was short I was able to get a little nap in, and after two bad train rides I was kind of missing our long bus trips.
Once in Hoi An we were told it was a resort town with a major focus on small businesses that make anything you want from scratch. Suites, dresses, shoes, hats, bags, artworks, trinkets, or almost anything, if you wanted it, you could have it personally made and fitted for you all within 24 hours. We checked into our hotel, had some breakfast, and during which we found out Robbin Williams had died, which hit be surprisingly hard. After that though we went on a walking tour to see the over 400 stores that all do this, though of course some specialise in one thing, while others try and tackle a bunch of them.
This was also the third straight day of amazing weather which had been awesome, but it was also a day that was going to hit 38 at the peak of the day, so as we all walked around the town as part of the tour, bit by bit you started to see it affecting people. Mollidy and myself were still coming off the affects of her being sick and dehydration, and add into the mix the horrible night sleep and the possible start of a cold, and I was wilting fast.
It ended up being who could find shade the fastest at each new stop, and after two hours of this, at around 1pm, Mollidy and myself were the first to call it quits, and we left the group so we could head back to the hotel for air conditioning and a rest. Normally when it’s hot you get small breaks in shops with air con that help you keep going, but for some reason Hoi An only had that at hotels as every other shop was open aired with not a bit of cold air in sight.
Once back at the hotel I went straight to the pool, and Mollidy a cold shower, and then we went straight to bed for a decent 2 to 3 hour nap, which was much needed. When we woke we just chilled out, as we knew we were in Hoi An for three days, so there was no need to get up and rush about at all. Once feeling decently recovered, though I was still feeling pretty run down, we went for a walk to get some water, as the group were going to be meeting again at 7pm to decide on what to do for dinner.
The walk was nice, and we checked out a few of the shops we had stopped at earlier, but even though it was 6pm it was still in the low 30s, so after about 30 minutes of that it was time to head back to the hotel for air con. At 7pm though we met in the lobby, and less that half the group were there, as everyone else had decided to do their own thing, which Mollidy and myself also decided to do.
Though we did join Bon and four of the others for the walk into town where we hit up the night market, which was filled with lanterns and had a very different feel then the other markets we had been to so far in Indo China. Once we had seen a few places we parted ways with the group and we went to a nice restaurant called Alfresco, and because Tuesdays back home are normally date night for Mollidy and myself, it felt like a nice place to go to try and keep that celebration going even when on holiday.
It was easily the most expensive meal of the trip so far, but funnily enough it was still cheaper than back home, and the equivalent meal and drinks would possibly have been 20-40% more, so it’s funny how your sense of money changes when traveling in a cheaper country. After we had our fill though it was back into the market for a bit before catching a taxi to the hotel.
Once back it was into the pool for the third time today for a late night swim, and after that it was showers and air con, and kind of an early night, and with no early start in the morning, it meant we got to have the nice feeling of not setting an alarm, and just drifting off to sleep and seeing what our bodies needed with regards to slumber time.
Today’s tip I want to talk about is for the ladies, as especially through Cambodia, you’ll come across a lot of squat toilets, or maybe just ones that aren’t very clean, and the last thing you may want to do as a girl is sit done or use them. So one thing Mollidy bought for this trip, which she said is one of the best purchases ever, was the Shewee, a New Zealand made product, that, without going into the specifics, allows a women to pee standing up. So ladies, if you’re traveling to a country where cleanliness and conditions may vary, then don’t look past a Shewee to help you through!