I went back to the tailor to try on my clothes that I had ordered yesterday. Everything needed a bit of adjusting: the jeans were way too big, the dress was too long, and the shirt was a bit too baggy.
Amy picked me up on her scooter to get lunch on the beach. She’s an English teacher who lives nearby, and had reached out to me on IG when she saw that I was in Vietnam. She told me she only works 12 hours a week, and that’s enough to live comfortably. 😳 Sounds like an unreal lifestyle!
We drove to Fisherman’s, a new vegan restaurant owned by Amy’s friend. Maria and Rebeca met us at the cafe. I ordered a chocolate/banana smoothie, and it was so freaking good. Like a chocolate milkshake… but healthy. I think.
We all ordered food, but it took FOREVER to arrive. Amy actually had to leave before her food came because she had to get back to Danang (where she lives) to teach a class.
Rebeca, Maria, and I finished our food and headed back to my hostel so that we could do the free bike tour it was offering. I didn’t have a bike to ride back on, so I rode on the back of Rebeca’s. It was pretty hilarious. At one point she had to stand up as we were going up a hill, and it made me feel like I was a guy in a club trying to grind with a girl while I grabbed onto her hips as they moved side to side. I almost fell off laughing.
We got back just in time for the bike tour. As we were all getting ready to go, I saw Jacky, a girl who I had met while trekking in Sapa. It was really cool to see her again. We got along so well on the trek, and I had been hoping I’d run into her again at some point. And as fate would have it, we also happened to have booked the same bus to Dalat for the next day.
The bike tour group was HUGE, which I was not expecting: I think there were about 20 of us. It was fun– we rode through town, then through an island with lots of rice fields/agriculture before stopping to visit the Huynh family temple.
The temple was really well-maintained. It’s apparently a monastery for one big (rich) family.
Our guide shared a lot of information about the temple & buddhism. The stairs always had five steps, each of which represents a different stage of life. The first one is birth, the second is adulthood, the third is disease, the fourth is death, and the last is rebirth.
We also learned the meaning behind the symbols/animals seen throughout the temple. The unicorn represents peace, the tortoise represents longevity, and the phoenix is for good luck.
Vietnamese people burn fake money and fake objects, like motorcycles/clothes/houses, on the half moon and full moon of every month (middle and end), to send the objects up to their ancestors.
Our guide told us, “everyone is rich in heaven,” which I found funny, since if everyone is rich in heaven then no one is rich in heaven.
Next we went to visit a family that makes rice paper/rice products. We learned how to make the rice paper– it’s basically made the same way as a crepe, but with rice.
We then had delicious rice paper snacks. The snacks had 3 layers: the 1st was crispy rice paper, the second was fresh rice paper, then the third was crispy again. We dipped them in the BEST soy sauce I’ve ever had. I don’t know how to describe it, but all I can say is that I didn’t know soy sauce could taste that good. I could have drank it.
We rode back to the hostel (in the most insane traffic omg) and I went back to the tailor for another fitting. My clothes still didn’t fit quite right, so I asked for more adjustments (mainly on the dress and jeans: the dress was a bit tight around the shoulders and back, and the jeans were still a bit loose in the legs).
I met up with Rebeca and Maria in the city since they were just walking around town. We shopped around for a bit; they bought souvenirs/artwork to bring home, I got some tofu pudding stuff, and then we parted ways. They were going to be flying from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City the next morning. I was so sad to say bye!! They were so much fun to hang out with. I hope I get to see them someday again.
I chilled in my room for a bit and then left to get dinner by myself. I went to Annen Vegetarian, which was close to my hostel. I got fried morning glory (always a winner) and spring rolls. I thought the spring rolls would be fresh, but they were fried. They were filled with taro, cassava, and mushroom, but they just tasted like mush. They weren’t BAD, but they weren’t especially great, either.
I thought about socializing back at the hostel, but I was tired so I just went to bed.