Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Chuc mung nam moi !!!! (or TET monkey business in Hoi An)

Yes, this is still the same day.  After lunch I decide to have a nap in my fabulous room.  Jet-lag is still hitting me hard and I want to be able to stay awake until midnight !

After waking up I leave the hotel and join the still small crowds just before magic hour. That time of day when there is still enough day light to see everything clearly by but artificial lighting like lanterns are already clearly visible with their effect increasing every passing second.

Now I realize that the hotel I booked is PERFECTLY  located for tonight's fireworks. An area maybe 50 meters down the road is roped off and contains the explosives ;-)

Tour buses are a BAD SIGN

A very simple PNE copy

The light is dimming and the streets are filling rapidly

The famous Japanese Bridge in Hoi An

lights and colours everywhere

I'm crossing a bridge when I see a father and his son but floating lanterns from the vendors. Do shop around for prices; the lanterns are all the same but prices vary between 10,000 Dong and 100,000 Dong for one lantern. Two lanterns quickly float down the river and hopefully the wishes will come true ;-).

Between the illuminated sculptures, the lanterns on the buildings, and the floating candles on the river, I realize why people love Hoi An.

I head back to the same restaurant and eat and drink some ruou vang do.

On the way back to the hotel,an old lady approaches me and points at her unsold tray of floating lanterns.  Her price is 10,000 per lantern, so I float another three, even though her position along the river makes it unlikely for any lanterns launched from here to ever reach the ocean.

In the 'official festival pavilion' across they turned the lasers on even though midnight is still hours away.

lanterns caught between a boat and the shore

At 8:30 pm I lay down in bed for another snooze.

I  have a really hard time waking up to the chimes of my alarm at 11 pm. But the new year is coming, so I roll out of bed and imbibe an instant coffee.

The first thing I notice when stepping outside the hotel is that my scooter is no longer parked right in front. Oh Oh!  I'm not really too worried; the receptionist told me that I would not be able to park there over night, so most likely someone removed it.  What's the worst that could happen, eh?  I cross the road and I discover the machine among a bunch of others parked on the sidewalk. Wonder what I'll have to do to get it back (just ride away?).  Ah well, I'll worry about it next year !

You were wondering why the title mentions Monkey Business?  It's the Year of the Monkey, silly !

Things are heating up in the pavilion

There is people in boats on the river

And then it happens.  And it makes all the efforts to come here worth it.  I had to get this old to finally see a fantastic fireworks display.  It is happening almost right above me, filling the entire sky with lights and noise.  Burnt scrap paper from the rockets keeps raining down on me. The cannon-like bangs echo from the buildings across the river. And it never seems to stop.  At first I take pictures, then I shoot video, towards the end I just pocket the camera and enjoy the show. Halfway through the show, I start rubbing my sore neck.

Towards the end I don't even mind the tears of joy running down my cheeks.  At my age there are not many things that can cause these to appear so I should be happy when it happens.  Blogger doesn't have any good video-display options, so here is a LINK to a 1-minute video on YouTube (there are 4 other vids as well, some almost 3 minutes long)

At my age still to be awed by fireworks. At my age still to stare at the sky with my mouth open. At my age still to have those  sounds like ooooh, aaaaah, woooow, wheeew escape my mouth. That was already worth the entire trip ;-)  I'm actually drinking a beer at 1 am !

And no, the below picture does not depict the invasion of the multi-coloured body snatchers but rather a very shaky picture of the bar right next to my hotel (Now I am happy that my fabulous room goes out towards the back ;-)

I wake up at 6 am and come late for the 7 am breakfast (do I have to mention that I'm the first and only one ?) 

The breakfast room is nice. Lampions hanging from the ceiling, a table with a view of the river (and my scooter, which is still there).  The Buffet breakfast is still being prepared ( The early bird doesn't get all the worms), but what is already there is quite good. I see cheese for the first time since entering Vietnam almost a week ago ;-)  I'm shocked when the strawberry  jam actually tastes like strawberries.

There are dark clouds on the Northern horizon and I am glad I got up early so I can avoid getting wet on the way back to Da Nang. Rain is supposed to start at 11 am.

When I leave Hoi An in this new year, it looks much different than last night ;-)

All those unheard wishes ...

What do you mean? It's NOT the year of the water buffalo?

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