The Hop Yen Hotel is YHA affiliated, and consequently has bed bugs. I woke up with a large cluster of bites around my radial artery, a nice string across one bicep, and several on a vein on my ankle.
I tried to set off early to avoid the heat to walk to the pottery village. Ha! Anything after 6am is hot.
- Vietnam chocolate box shot
A hundred-year-old woman wearing a conical hat riding a bicycle pulled alongside me.
She then pulled off the road to answer her cell phone. There was then a huge noise of car horns – not unusual. But they were for a bridal party- a plain white sedan with an ENORMOUS fluorescent pink floral heart on the bonnet, with ribbions. Don’t hold back!
Seen on the way
The Thanh Ha pottery village is just a collection of a few houses. Go past the main town and turn left after the fish market, and follow the path alongside the river. You will see the kilns and moulds drying in the sun.
The potters were working clay on their wheels.
Pedal powered, I suppose.Wood-fired kiln
They do know about tourists, an immediately set me to work making a cup on the wheel, an offered to let me write my name on it and have it fired. Eugh! Instead I looked for a suitable teapot. After looking at 3 different houses and avoiding chickens I decided on one set, and had a miniature set thrown in for D400 000.
The walk back was enervating and I only survived by eating icecream. I chose one in a yellow wrapper.
Man:”Don’t have that, it’s durian!”
Threw it back and chose a purple one
“No don’t have that, it’s awful”
Chose a green one. I have no idea what flavour it was. Pandanus??
By the time I returned it was time to go to the tailor!! If you do go to Pin Pin then give her explicit instructions because she censored my request for 70s lapels, since that would look ‘like a cold jacket’. If I want big lapels I get big lapels, dammit!
I consoled myself by having a local dish
- Meatballs in rice pastry, like a soft wonton
and went to the beach
At 2pm it’s actually too hot to go in the water, so the only people in there were white tourists getting sunburn. I sat against a palm tree reading a book. Behind me was a group of local teenagers. every so often they would break out in laughter and shouting, and someone would be carried across the beach and thrown in to the sea.
At 3.45 pm the temperature is approaching reasonable, so women with mats come out and take over the beach. I was made to move on or purchase my spot back again for D10000. It was the nearest thing to a locker since I could bury my bag under the mat and have a swim, so I paid.
For dinner I went to a flash restaurant because they served cao lau for the same price as everywhere else – about $1.20.
Schmancy. Note glass bottle of Fanta.