Two day mini excursion
April 30th and May 1st were two national holidays in Vietnam. One day was celebrating the re-unification of Vietnam and the second day was workers’ day, or as we call it back home, labourers' day. We had planned a two day excursion to Ban Na Hll and a day overnight in Hoi An. Actually, I would have preferred to spend the entire time in Hoi An and hit the local beach rather than go to Ban Na Hill because the thought of leaving at 5:00 in the morning made me wonder would I be rested or more tired after the two day excursion. I have to say, that I was glad I went to Ban Na Hill, but don’t feel the need to go there again. But it was a great experience. Another attraction that was happening in Danang was the international fireworks competition which Mrs. Thao and her family wished to attend. We (meaning myself and the 3 other teachers) opted out of this as we preferred to spend our day and the following morning in Hoi An.
Ban Na Hill is in Danang and is a French Colonial station that was established in 1919. Ban Na Hill is a mountain resort that I think is still being developed. One of the main attractions is the cable car ride. This cable car is the longest and highest in the world. I also read that it is the steepest cable car ride and also has the longest unbroked cable in the world. The ride lasted about 14 minutes and from above you can see the lush tropical rainforest and waterfalls. Tourist information about Ban Na Hill states. that there are 543 species of flora and 256 spieces of fauna When you reach the top of the cable car ride you can get out and go to some of the restaurants, and other sites such as the French Wine cellar. The view is spectatular and seeing the mist with the faint outline of the mountains while you are in the air is amazing. We also saw the Linh Ung Pagoda which is a 27 metre tall statue of Buddah. Ban Na Hill also offers accommodatons and has several restaurants.
After leaving Ban Na Hill we made our way to Hoi An and arrived in Hoi An around 5:00 p.m. I had been to Hoi An, the previous year with my better half, so it brought with it some sweet memories. We also stayed in the same hotel that I had been at the previous year, An Huy Hotel (www.anhuyhotel.com ). Hoi An is described as the Ancient Town and it is just south of Da Nang. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town has quaint winding roads and along the roads are many shopkeepers sellng their wares. There are jewellers, and many, many tailors. But what I enjoy seeing is the silk lanterns that are hung up around the town and lit every lunar moon. No doubt, Hoi An has become commercialized, but I still love the hustle and bustle of the market and seeing the beautfiul flowers for sale in the Market. However, our main reason for coming to Hoi An was to shop, although we all agreed that we would like to have gone to the nearby beach. My goal was to buy some beaded jewllery, but surprise, I bought more than that….a purse and a couple of silk/cotton tops. We all met at 7:00 p.m. and had a great dinner and I had a yummy dessert - a chocolate mouse (which I had tried the previous year) and then we wandered around for a couple of more hours and headed back to our hotel. Before leaving my room earlier on, I had noticed this black slimy thing. It wasn’t an insect as it didn’t have any legs. I definitely did not want to pick it up so I took my garbage can and put it over top of the “thing”. Later on all of us took a look at it and we figured it was probably a baby bat…yuck. Anyways, when I checked out, the garbage can was still overtop the bat…or whatever it was.
When we woke up in the morning we had a great breakfast which was included in the priceof our room and then wewalked around and did some more sightseeing. Iris bought a few items for her family. We had a scrumptious lunch at a nearby stall and hurried back to our hotel so that we could catch the bus back to Quang Ngai City. We had a great time, but I was quite sore for a week due to the long amount of time sitting I had to do in the van and in the bus. Unfortunately I could not get a massage until the day after our arrival back to Quang Ngai. In the future, I will have to really think twice about doing such long trips in a short period of time. However, I am fortunate since can also access very inexpensive massages. Regardless, I look forward to the next time I go to Hoi An as I would like to hit the beach and find a place called Randy’s Book Exchange, which I believe I can access by crossing a bridge to a small island.