Hoi An

Chillin at the beach

July 3, 2005

We started our day today meeting Danny outside our tailor shop so I could help him pick out a couple of shirt ideas for his 18 year old sister. What a nice guy. After deciding we headed over to Treat's for some lunch where Paul and Danny met us and chatted for a bit before making our way back to our guesthouse for our beach gear. We rented a couple of bikes for 15,000 dong and made our way out to the beach. Right before the beach there is a bike and motorbike parking lot which is essentially for foreigners and since we got ripped off the first day we parked there we knew better this time. Paul mentioned there was an actual sign that stated the real parking price so as we rode up and parked we got our money ready for the attendant. It was to be 1,000 dong total so that's what we went to give him and he said 2,000. We said the sign clearly states 500 dong per bike and he waved us away. The guard at the "gate" noticed this and we rode up to him to explain the problem and he said the 500 dong was for Vietnamese and it was 1,000 for foreigners. The only problem with his statement was that the Vietnamese don't have to stop at this gate, only foreigners do who rent bikes or motorbikes so we drove a block away and parked our amongst the others, locked them up and hoped for the best. We had heard stories of travelers renting bikes only to have them stolen by the shop owners who then charge them for the cost of the bike when the people show up emty handed. Another trick is for people around tourist areas to steal parts off a motorbike only to charge you for them to be "replaced". Obviously those are worst case scenario stories but you have to be on guard to a certain degree. We met Selena and Cory and made our way over to some beach chairs and a thatched hut to wait for Danny and Paul. Once they arrived we all sat back, enjoyed our drinks and took in the beautiful views. The guys practiced their football skills while Selena, Danny and I watched. We spent the whole day relaxing and negotiating for some more pineapple and Mentos before heading back on our bikes while taking in the sunset across the rice paddy fields.

Dinner was at Jean's where Cory, Danny and Craig feasted on the Jumbo burger which consisted of a hamburger pattie, bacon, hard fried egg, pineapple, cucumber, tomato, lettuce and onion. It was massive and amazingly filled Danny up. :)

On to Treat's for a couple Larue's before bed. We have managed to close down the bar every night which sounds worse than it is. Almost every bar in the area closes at midnight so we get home at a reasonable hour.

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