Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Acoustic Hotel California

We woke to a rainy morning in Hoi An.  We have only 5 more hours here before we go see Marble Mountain and the Cham Museum and then board our plane to Siem Reap, Cambodia. 

Our final visit to Hoi An was bittersweet.  We packaged up all our gifts and souvenirs and brought them to the tailor shop.  We visited with Lian (one of the tailor sisters) until the post office came to us on a scooter.  She inspected all our items, prepared a complete packing slip, and packaged it all up for us and zipped away with the box on the back of her scooter.  $175 and four weeks later our box should arrive in Chicago.  We said farewell to Lian and I can legitimately say that I'll miss her.  Our next stop was the Marble Wine Bar where we felt a bit like Norm walking into Cheers the way we were greeted.  We were sorry to tell them that they shouldn't expect us to show up again tomorrow, but we still enjoyed another round of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc and some salted Spanish peanuts.

A recent guest at the Victoria Hoi An had written about the Secret Garden restaurant in the hotel guest book.  We figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try!  We got a 7:30 reservation and found out why it's called the "Secret" Garden as we searched it out down some tiny dark alleyway.  Our waiter was quite the the commedian and we were treated to live guitar music - including Hotel California - TWICE!

Since everything on the menu was about $1, we ordered a lot - Hoi An's famous White Rose dumplings, garlic toasts, 5 colors salad, spicy shrimp, grilled beef rolls, and green bean (yup, green bean) ice cream that was very very surprisingly good. 

The exchange rate for Vietnamese Dong is 21,000 to $1.  So, we are used to paying millions of Dong for stuff.  Now we change to dividing by 4,040 as Jim's research shows that it's 4,040 Cambodian Riel to a U.S. dollar.  We may need to go get millions more Dong to get out of the country.  However, it is fun to see your ATM receipt with your bank balance - makes you feel so rich seeing all those zeros......  

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