Sunday, June 30, 2013

yumminess in Hoi An

We ate some delicious food while in Hoi An!

I ended up only taking photos at our dinner at Streets restaurant. Love that place!

This was my Cao Lau... Hoi An's specialty noodle dish. I opted for tofu instead of the traditional pork.

Tracy tried Vietnamese Curry for her first time... other than the spice, she enjoyed it! (Vietnamese curry has a bit of a spice kick to it... but not really... not nearly as much as Indian curries... Vietnamese is more sweet... AND DELICIOUS!)

Lenny - we got the white rose dumplings the next day at Cafe 43! YUM.

Happy Buddha and more on Marble Mtn

I really liked the final temple we walked by... and its Happy Buddha out front!

Not sure how she knew... but the lady who's marble shop we parked at found us just as we reached the base of the mountain on the other side from where we had started... she put us both on the back of her bike and drove us back to her place!

Some of her marble goods.
She has HUNDREDS of things to choose from... of ALL sizes!

BIG cave on Marble Mountain

I don't remember what this cave is named... but it is the biggest on Marble Mountain...

Various offerings...
Ha! --> 500 dong bill... (equivalent to 2 cents)

Van Thong Cave, Marble Mountain

The first cave that we explored on Marble Mountain was Van Thong Cave... and we were able to climb up and out the back of it to explore the top of the mountain (couple photos in the previous post)!

Behind Tracy to the left is where were climbed/crawled up and out!

Marble Mountain lookouts

There were numerous spots while climbing Marble Mountain that gave a great view of DaNang city and the sea!

The next two photos were taken after Tracy and I climbed out a hole from the back of a cave!

a third great lookout...

Friday, June 28, 2013

we are celebrities... on Marble Mountain

Tracy and I became celebrities on Marble Mountain... as a group of Vietnamese got all excited and wanted photos with us!

Not sure if it was because we're Westerners... or because our skin was turning red from the sun.   : P

Hilariously... the photo-op just kept going!

Nice skills...

...Got it that time!

Hahaha... the photos kept going but apparently Tracy and I both got distracted.
I was checking to make sure she wasn't going into my purse  : P

This teenage boy was funny, since he wanted his photo taken with us but didn't have a camera of his own!...

temples on Marble Mountain

There was some lovely temples and pagodas set on/in Marble Mountain...

Marble Mountain, DaNang

Our first full day in Hoi An, Tracy and I rented motorbikes and drove the 20-30 minutes to Marble Mountain in DaNang. We went back to Mr. Dung... the same guy that Lenny and I rented bikes from in March. Can't beat $4.00 a day!

I had heard that hiking up Marble Mountain was worth it... but hadn't gotten to it yet while in Hoi An / DaNang... so it was nice to go. The mountain actually wasn't as big as I had envisioned. We were told it would take about an hour to hike up... and an hour to hike down... and temples / caves along the way.

I think we ended up taking maaaybe an hour and a half for the entire roundtrip... from our parked bikes and back.

As we were driving along, almost to the Marble Mountain, a Vietnamese women drove alongside me and said that we are very good drivers! Hahaha. Thanks! ...She lives at Marble Mountain... has a shop filled with marble buddhas and other goods... so we parked at her place and at the end, each bought a little something from her. She was very sweet (and also found a friend to unlock Tracy's bike when she locked the keys in! Ha... we all do that at least once...).

Stylin' guy in sweet pajamas across from the marble shop!

He took the entire front part of the bike off to get to the area where the key pops the boot open...

At the marble shop waiting to get Tracy's purse out of her bike... cute photo  : )

Starting the hike! 
(We were both tired and out of breath after about 5 steps... let's blame it on the heat)  : P

my 4th go at Hoi An

I love love love Hoi An, Vietnam! This ancient UNESCO World Heritage town is just lovely. One of my favorite spots in Vietnam. I'm glad that Tracy was able to see it with me during my final week-ish in the country.

The colors, the quaintly calm feeling, and of course the tailors, are all part of what I love! ...But I also love that Hoi An is small... easy enough to walk or ride a bicycle all over... and yet, each time I have visited Hoi An I have done something new/different (as well as my usual favorites).

Below is a view of the main river from my favorite cafe, Mango Rooms.
Our rented motorbikes are parked by the river... we thought we did well not parking IN the river!

Gorgeous weather... the following photos were taken looking at the main part of the town from across the river (it's a nice drive through a more local area... not at touristy)...

Tracy has millions of dong

Tracy was a champ in figuring out the money in Vietnam!

I had printed a sheet for her, showing the breakdown of the bills and their approximate worth in USD. She was pretty cute referring to it now and then... but really, she did very well figuring out the money (and numerous zeroes!) on her own.

: )

Lunch at the Refinery her first day in HCMC...

At the lovely Phuoc An Hotel in Hoi An...

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Wow. I've made it two years in Vietnam. 

Parts have been tough, especially this year... but I wouldn't trade my experience and adventure here for anything.

I've grown... I've met some incredible people and new lifelong friends... I've aged... and I've travelled.

I'm going to MISS Vietnam! ...But it's time for a new adventure... in Milano!

First... time at home in Denver and Rochester... very happy to have almost two full months in the States.

Enjoying my very last day in Vietnam. I have a midnight flight to Tokyo... 9-hour layover... then a direct flight to Denver! Amazing.

Had coffee with my dear friend Kat this morning... meeting up with my dear friend Jen in a bit... and appropriately so --> my last supper in Vietnam will be pho tonight, with Kat again!


Sad cruising through the city this morning on my Cuxi thinking that it's my last day here and last day with my lovely scooter.

Someday I'll visit Vietnam again... but for now... I'm happy to make this loooooong trek home only one more time.

And I'll start posting all about my time with Tracy in Hoi An and Phu Quoc soon!


Sunday, June 23, 2013


We made sure to do a photo-op in our pajama outfits too!

This is our 'tough' one...

...and then we got distracted...

LOVE and miss these ladies...


Welp, we did it!

Michelle, Donna, Elizabeth and I finally purchased some of the pajama outfits that all of the ladies wear throughout Vietnam. We wore them for our morning work day at school... our very LAST day!

And soon realized that the joke has really been on us. We thought it was quite humorous for so many people to wear what we consider pajamas out and about during the day... BUT... come to find out, they are super comfy AND you hardly sweat in them! WIN!