On the 4th, we decided to head south to Saigon, stopping on the way at Hoi An and Nga Tranh. We caught a bus and got bad seats, tried to sleep but had lots of trouble, and arrived in Hoi An in somewhat grumpy moods. The bus ride had been a long ordeal, as it was one bus for 12 hours then another bus for 6 hours.
I got an okay seat for the second ride, beside a Brit who shared his iPod music with me (he had a splitter so two people could listen with their own headphones). We listened to a full Sigur Ros (Icelandic music) album, then I napped for a bit, then I struck up a conversation in French with the four Quebequois retirees across the aisle from me. They were really cool and kept giving me sweets and stuff from their trip to China!
It was absolutely POURING rain when we arrived (it’s the end of the rainy season in Vietnam), which did little to cheer us up.
However, we managed to find a tour office to arrange for a minibus to take us to the Cham ruins nearby. To save money on the fare, we decided to find two more people to join us in the minibus, so we crossed the street and convinced two of the Quebequois people from the bus to join us!
After about an hour drive, we arrived at the entrance to the Cham ruins.
We paid the entrance fee and began walking. I noticed this little guy in the bushes near my feet. He was only about 5 inches long.
We walked around several groupings of Cham ruins. The Chams were an ancient Indian Hindu civilisation that at one time stretched through much of modern Southeast Asia, including Vietnam and Cambodia.
We had no clue what any of these things really were, as there were no guidebooks or pamphlets or signs to tell us anything at all, but it was nice looking at them nonetheless.
I also noticed this little dude in a puddle as I approached. He was only about an inch long, and probably scared stiff that I was going to eat him or step on him.
As we arrived back to the entrance, it began to pour again, and we caught our ride just in time. We arrived back in Hoi An with just enough time to eat supper and brush our teeth at the restaurant before climbing aboard yet another bus. We had spent a total of just under 6 hours in Hoi An, and were now headed further south on an overnight bus to Nga Tranh beach.
To be continued…