Sue and Minh had an unexpected meeting just before we left for the airport...
(She works hard on these overseas trips. Just in case you're thinking this is all fun n games for her...)
After which we zipped to the airport in a cab in the highway with the mural wall made of ceramic tiles:
Our next stop was Danang. (Again.)
This time for longer than 6 hours. First, though, snacks on the plane:
The check-in process here was time consuming and professional. We were treated to ice cold cloths to refresh ourselves with , and some sweet ginger tea.
Next we considered all the complimentary options available to us at the spa and booked our appointments.
That's the shower behind the red purse. And the toilet is behind frosted glass panels on the other side of the sink.
And THIS is the view from our room:
I had a feeling I was really going to like this city.
And then the rain started.
So we were unsure of how to proceed.
But the concierge at the hotel called a friend in Hanoi, who said, "Come on over. It isn't raining very hard here..."
So we took a cab to the ancient city of Hoi An and wandered around in utter amazement at the beauty.
(From Wikipedia: Hội An is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to 19th century.
The city possessed the largest harbour in south-east Asia in the 1st century)
This city has been around since the 1st century.
We crossed the bridge, where there were many Lantern Ladies, selling paper lanterns. She'd lower the lantern of your choice onto the river, where it, along with your wish, would float downstream. It was very pretty watching people's wishes float away.
And we wondered if they were biodegradable or if someone was cleaning up the mess a mile down stream.
We found a lovely place to eat, right in front of a mega-fan and everything was probably wonderful but all I could think about was the spa treatment we'd signed up for.
Was it going to be as uncomfortable as the Hot Stone Birthday Massage?
Neither of those two things sounded good.
How could I get out of this whole experience?
Where would the mud be applied?
Would I be wrapped in some sort of leaf? Like big banana leaves?
Oh look at that cute little boy.
Will I have to get naked?
Please God no.
Why did I agree to this?
What is wrong with me?
This is a pretty town.
It sure is hot here.
I am a sticky mess.
Please God, let this not be an awful experience tonight.
These Lantern Ladies are so precious.
Please let me survive the Mud Wrap with some dignity intact.
Please let tonight be over.
On the cab ride back Sue asked if I was nervous about the Mud Wrap.
"It's gonna be awesome. I'll make sure we all get private rooms. Don't worry. It'll be fine."