Asian Adventure: Hội An, Vietnam – VLX (Lindy Exchange)

Xin chao! [sinjao] – Hello!

Ban hay khong? [bahn nay khom?] – Would you like to dance?

Hoi An, Vietnam!

Of all the places on my travel agenda for this trip – this destination was for the shortest stay.  We flew out just for the weekend from KL, Malaysia to Danang, Vietnam ….a 30min drive from Hoi An, specifically for VLX – Vietnam’s Lindyhop Exchange weekend!

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What is a lindy hop exchange you ask?

A lindy exchange is a gathering of lindy hop dancers in one city for several days to do the same dance at other venues, showcase ones own talent to the local community, and to dance with visitors and locals alike.

This was my first time swing dancing outside of Canada!

If you remember from my previous post, there was a pie chart highlighting the various nationalities that would be at this dance exchange – I’m proud to say that me and Dee (my travel mate) added to the 7% Canadian slice who were in attendance 🙂

Where We Stayed

We signed ourselves up for the full weekend – which meant we did’t have to do a thing when it came to booking hotels and transportation to/from airport – VLX took care of us as soon as we landed!

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The glorious Hotel Royal Hoi An, MGallery Collection – we had breakfast around this lovely pool every morning!
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THIS was our fantabulous suite —- These Beds! These Pillows! These amazing fluffy robes!!! This place was divine!!!

The Dances

We were on a tight dance-filled agenda which began with a Welcome dance our first night at the Hoi An Historic Hotel ….

The theme that night was “East Meets West” … here’s what I wore:

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Dee and I found these lovely batik printed skirts from The Central Market in KL, and went twinsy for the evening complete with flower in hair and vintage bangs.

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Batik skirts with fanny prints + tanks + vintage hair flowers + bumper bangs = East Meets West
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Caught in the lindyhop act.  (Thanks Jason & Sheila)

AND we were caught on camera and made the News in Nam!!!  See if you can spot ME in the news clip friends 😉

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While other VLXers woke up super early for a bike ride to explore Hoi An (after dancing ’til 3:30am the night before) …

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me and a few other deep-sleepers chose to enjoy the day in the pool instead – until the next afternoon dance of course 🙂

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Isn’t this a great picture? I borrowed this hat from a VLX Cowboy …and he snapped this photo complete with cartoon Asian sworded companion. 🙂
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Beach Afternoon – An Bang Beach, Hoi An
On Sunday afternoon we were shuttled to An Bang Beach’s Soul Kitchen and took over a lovely little section of sun and shade …in between DANCING, of course!!!
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Day drinking + relax-o in between barefoot lindy hopping = Paradise!
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Me among the beauties representing Malaysia at the VLX 🙂

And then the barefoot Lindy Hopping began!

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The VLXers of 2015…. such a great group of people!!!

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MORE Dancing Nights …

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve likely already seen a few of these pic and can watch a few vid clips too.

Every evening there was a dinner and a dance planned for us.  Here are a few shots of all the fun:

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Dancing at the Bamboo Buddha

This evening’s dress code was “Extreme Opposites”.  I had no idea what that meant … and so I went as Batman!

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I’M BATMAN! 😉

Our last night in Hoi An, we had a farewell dinner at Green Mango ….with a dress code of “Modern Vintage”

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Dinner our last night there…le sigh.

After dinner our last night of dancing in Hoi An….we took the Lindy Hopping to the streets…

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My dress is from the Canadian designer Cherry Velvet Plus, click here for outfit deets.

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Dancing in the Streets! Loved it!!!

Of all the places I visited this trip, THIS is the city I wish I had spent more time in….sigh.  Guess this just means I’ve gotta make another visit sometime soon ❤

Although much of the trip was spent dancing …. I was able to check out a few sites, ate some amazing meals and even got to visit a tailor to get some custom threads made!!!  7 new pieces came home with me!

Stay tuned for the next blogpost highlighting these things specifically!!! Thanks for reading! xo

In case you’ve missed any… PPMeow’s Asian Adventure includes:

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Asia: 22 days – 3 countries

In an effort to keep my 2015 promise to myself to Shop Less, and Travel More … I’ve taken the bulk of March off work to explore South-East Asia.

In my last post, I reviewed the 5 essential things to know before you go ….the importance of planning BEFORE a big trip.  I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to book all my flights, determine a budget for the overall trip, topped up my travel insurance, and have made an appointment for all necessary vaccinations with a travel clinic for early next week (giving me plenty of time to begin any early doses of meds, if required).  I’m feeling pretty accomplished friends. 🙂

Now, the big question remains … WHERE the heck am I going?

The Huffington Post recently put out an article entitled: The Top 50 Cities To See In Your Lifetime.  I’m sad to report that I’ve only been to 8 out of these 50 cities so far. Buuuuuut…come March 2015, I’ll be able to check off #26 from this list!

DESTINATION #1:  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur

This is the capital and most populous city in Malaysia. The main religion there is Islam, with significant Buddhist, Hindu and Christian minorities.  With tropical super-summer-heat weather from March through to July.  I’ve gotta keep both of these elements in mind when coming up with outfit choices.

Sadly, there won’t be any major festivals being celebrated while I’m there.  This is the first destination of this trip as I’m meeting a gf of mine who currently lives there.  Once I’ve recovered from the 29-hour flight there (yup…29-hours of solo travel – two stopovers – ew!  That’s what you get when you book big travel on points friends.)  After taking a few days to adjust to the time difference, she and I will head off together to ………….

DESTINATION #2: Boracay, Philippines

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Boracay Island

This is a small and most famous island in the Philippines –  known for its beautiful beaches, and pricey resorts, with a major party scene.  Woot! Woot!   We’ve decided to book a more modest hotel for the bulk of our stay here, but do a two-day splurge-o at a fancy spot before we depart.

Thinking I might even don my very first bikini on this beach …let’s see if my online order arrives on time…and if my body confidence is at an all time high by then.  The main religion here is Roman Catholic, so I’ll fit right in – catholic guilt and all 😉

DESTINATION #3: Hội An, Vietnam

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Hội An

Our last trip will be to this historic Old City in Vietnam, with a unique mix of Japanese, Vietnamese, and European influences.  Turns out, there’s a community of swing dancers out here and they are hosting a dancing weekend while I’m there!!!

VLX – Vietnam Lindy Exchange, is a fun weekend of Swing dance exchange hosted by Saigon Swing Cats annually since 2009 in different towns in Vietnam. (Mui Ne, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Saigon).  

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2015 VLX – Swing Dancers Nationality

Apparently for the first time in the history of the VLX, this year, the Vietnamese represent less than 10% of the dancers.   We have signed ourselves up for the full weekend – which means we don’t have to do much research for hotels – yay!    I’m also determined to find a fab tailor to make me some custom threads too while we’re in Vietnam, I just hope there’s enough time.

There you have it folks – high level overview of where and what I’m planning on doing in South-East Asia.  Weeeeeee!  Writing this post has been super helpful – It’s really REAL now and I’m getting excited.

Full Disclosure: I’m freaking out!!!

This will be the first time I’m flying completely solo — I’m a nervous flyer in general, and these multiple connections I’ve gotta do alone is making me very anxious.  Plus, don’t the airplanes of Malaysia have a recent history of disappearing all together!?!?!? 😮

A tourist inadvertently destroying the place he is visiting

Packing right is going to be incredibly important.  With all my many flights and connections, I’ve decided NOT to check any luggage.  Which means, I’ve gotta come up with 22 days worth of outfits that are cultural respectful, yet summertime comfortable that fits into 1 piece of carry-on only … yikes!

That’s gonna be challenging.  Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll cover just that friends.  Dun dun dunnnnnnn…

What are the MUST pack vs. Nice-to-pack items that YOU’D recommend I take along with me for this upcoming adventure friends? Would love your packing tips and thoughts and tricks — leave them in the comments below.

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