I woke up this morning to a great news feed on my Facebook. The Canadian women took the gold in Olympic hockey last night coming from behind in the final minutes and winning in overtime.
I, of course, missed this amazing game because I was dead tired from staying up the night before watching the men play.
Olympic hockey taking over my trip…
I fell asleep around 10pm last night and didn’t wake up until 8am this morning.
Today was another travel day but thankfully it didn’t start too early. Instead I was well rested and ready to head out at 10am as the train out of town was leaving at 10:40.
All five of us – myself, Anna, Ryan, Kerry and Tiffany – got to the train station on time. The train – not so much. In fact, it was almost an hour later so we just stood there waiting and waiting.
Finally an announcement came on the loudspeaker that we didn’t understand and everybody started moving towards the doors leading to the tracks.
Anna and I were taking the train to Da Nang where we would be picked up for a 45 minute drive to our hostel in Hoi An. Kerry, Ryan and Tiffany were going on the sleeper car and travelling all the way to the end of the line in Ho Chi Minh City.
We said our goodbyes as the two of us were in coach 1 and they were in coach 8.
The train trip was highlighted by a marvelous view to the crashing waves along the mountainous coast, an adorable Vietnamese child we played peek a boo with and a good ol squat toilet.
Yup, good times…
We arrived in Da Nang around 2pm and in the parking lot was a man from our hostel holding up a sign with my name on it. Always such a great site to see!
After settling in we headed out to explore this quaint little town. Following the small map the hostel gave us, our first stop was the Three Dragons restaurant and bar.
I had found out a few days ago that they were the bar in town that would be showing the Olympic men’s hockey semi-final game between Canada and USA at midnight tonight.
We actually ended up walking along little back streets past houses before we finally were pointed in the right direction.
After checking with the girl in the front that, in fact, they would be showing the game tonight, we decided to explore a little more now that we kind of had the map figured out.
There is a huge central market in the middle of town with booth after booth setup. Of course there was also tourist after tourist there as well.
We were starving so our only thought at the time was – get food!
Unfortunately the area we were in was so tourist driven that all the restaurants there were westernized with crappy non authentic Vietnamese fare. We even saw a couple of Indian food places.
Who the hell comes to Vietnam and goes out for Indian food?!?
Not us, that’s for sure…
We started walked up away from the tourist area in hopes of finding a little hole in the wall type place that we knew would have what we were looking for.
After walking about 3 blocks away we came upon it. The place was empty and the setup was so non-descript you could easily walk on by. We sat down at a table and looked around. There was a family sitting around and inside you could see their living room.
Yup… we found our place!
We each had some Beef Pho and with full bellies we headed back to the hostel to rest for awhile.
In the evening I got a hold of Ariane and Christian (the German couple we had met on our way to Hue) as they had arrived earlier in Hoi An earlier in the day.
The four of us went to dinner at the highly touted Morning Glory restaurant. It’s so popular that we actually had to put our name on a list and wait a half hour.
The wait was definitely worth it though!
The meals were a little more expensive than what we were used to but, still, the entrees were in the $8 range so it was still damn cheap.
I chose the Daily Worker’s Meal which from the menu description sounded like a mix of a little bit of everything – steamed rice, egg treat, dish of the day, soup, pickles, salad and vegetables.
The price tag was a little lower at 145,000 ($7) so I thought the meal would be smaller. I actually ordered a couple of side dishes to share with Anna – the Morning Glory in Garlic and White Rose Dumplings as well.
Well, when the food came out – it came out!
Lots of food!
The Daily Worker’s Meal was served on a big metal tray kind of like a monster size TV dinner but with much, much better food on it.
The side dishes were big as well. Needless to say we left the restaurant very full and very satisfied.
By the time we returned to the hostel it was 10pm and while Anna turned in for the night I headed straight back out to the 3 Parrots for the big game.
The bar was packed with people and most of them were Canadian. Yeah, hockey night in Vietnam!!!
The game wasn’t actually on Vietnamese TV so the bar had the live feed going on their laptop which was connected to their big screen TV.
In wasn’t a perfect setup as we lagged a few times and didn’t have commentary for most of it. But at the end of the day I was watching hockey after midnight in a foreign former communist land.
Pretty damn spetacular!
Oh, and Canada won!