Thursday, December 5, 2013 4

    Today's itinerary was as follows:    
Day 5: Road of the Ocean Clouds
Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other, to Hoi An. A stop is made en route at China Beach.

Compact Hoi An with its cobbled streets, tiny shop houses and laid back restaurants and bars is a perfect place to relax a while. On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
       As always on the move non-stop. As this is the first tour I have ever taken, I am finding the highs and lows come in waves. The day started with breakfast, and then.....back on the bus. It was raining; well a light mist, and we all hoped for the best as we drove towards China Beach. You may remember the TV show of the same name. China Beach was were American service members took R&R during the Vietnam War.

                    No luck...I walked on the beach thinking of how beautiful it should be....but it was grey and lightly raining. There was a fair amount of trash and debris washed up and locals told us it was from the typhoon that struck the Philippines. So half way down the beach it started to pour; and although I brought a rain jacket it was on the bus. I was fine with it, after a year of no rain; the warm rain and sound of crashing waves was welcomed. I turned back and strolled back down the beach. I arrived back at the hotel/ restaurant were we started and enjoyed a nice cup of Saigon style coffee, served with sweetened condensed milk over ice.
                  We boarded the bus and drove up the winding mountain road. The views were nice; but unfortunately not what they should have been. We got to the top and got off the bus. Our guide said there were lookout towers farther up the mountain we could walk to. Once again, due to weather, a bit disappointing.

                 We gave up hope for a nice view and headed on. We passed the base at Da Nang, which was a major air hub during the war. It is abandoned but completely intact. I wanted to stop and look, but of course being the only American, no one else had any interest....the downside of a group tour.

           We arrived in Hoi An and checked into a really nice resort. Finally we are staying still for a few days. I will combine the end of today with the rest of my stay in Hoi An...tomorrow. Just exhausted.....Going to sleep in tomorrow...that is the only thing on my agenda tomorrow.....and probably a massage at some point. Then after tomorrow...back on the go! But there are so many things coming up that I am really excited to see. Until tomorrow........
Goodnight. I hope you are all well; and I hope you are enjoying travelling with me as you are in my heart and mind always......

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