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Hoi An

Hoi An is about a million times more chilled out than Hanoi, it’s a riverside town filled with market stalls and streets lined with tailor shops but everyone seems to be plodding along at a much more relaxed pace. The town itself is predominantly made up of tailor shops, honestly there’s nothing they won’t tailor for you! Rob already had his heart set on a cashmere suit so when we were approacehd by a little old lady asking us to visit her family shop we obliged. The shop was a family business and it seemed that every member of extended family was in on it. I didn’t even want anything when we went in but ended up leaving with two tailor made dresses. The family where hilarious though, poor Rob formed the majority of the jokes, every woman seemed obsessed with smacking his bum and the little old lady took to calling him ‘big bum, Lady boy’, poor Rod.

The next day our outfits were done, no idea how they knock up a cashmere suit over night but it looked pretty decent! I don’t know how town becomes so obsessed with tailoring everything but it was almost impossible to buy regular clothes, even the bikini I needed for the beach had to be tailored to my liking! We had an afternoon of eating and drinking on the beach, not very cultural but we’ve got tans that need working on.
After a day off on the beach we were back to exploring Vietnam, we hired a scooter and followed in top gear’s footsteps and drove up the Hai Van Pass. This was the only road that joined northern and southern Vietnam before they built a big road right through the middle of the mountain. Now it’s only used by tourists and for some reason trucks carrying pigs (4 drove past just whilst we were parked up!). The views are pretty special though, the Vietnamese coastline stretches right on up as far as you can see.

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On the way back to Hoi An we spotted a sign for the Vietnamese 70.3 iron man (very exciting for us), and it turned out it was the next day, belting! The poor souls had to swim 2k, bike 90k and then run 20k…in 35 degree heat! Feeling inspired we went for a jog the morning the event and that almost killed us, it was so hot, even my knee caps were sweating, I didn’t even know that was possible! We were massively underprepared with our one bottle of water and no money so after 5k we called it quits and shuffled home wondering how the hell we’re going to run a marathon in a months time. Then we hopped on our bike and went to cheer on the heroes managing to complete an iron man in this weather! The route for the course was so tedious but it did allow us to ride the scooter up and down cheering on the runners, we must have been the only supporters on the run course because everyone looked genuinely grateful when they heard us whooping and cheering. Full respect to everyone who competed that, I’m determined that one year I’ll have the iron man medal round my neck but it sure won’t be from Vietnam, I’ll take a rainy Bolton any day!

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