14.03.2010 - 19.03.2010 30 °C
Hello all, Luke here this time. We have been to Hoi An and Nha Trang since we last wrote. I am blogging Hoi An and Ann will blog Nha Trang.
We arrived in Hoi An, again we were hassled by someone to go and book into their hotel. We already had one in mind though so we took off in the general direction. We instantly clicked with Hoi An, it seemed a fun and friendly city. We checked into our hotel and headed straight for the tailors – they are everywhere, I can’t believe some of them survive; they would only sell two suits a month from what I could see.
We conducted a bit of market research into the tailors and sought advice from friends. We restrained ourselves from ordering everything under the sun on day one, slept on the whole thing and ordered up the next morning. We loved one tailor; she was a real character. She called both of us “Ann” every time we were in the store or even when we were walking past to go into town. She told us that after our suits were made we “would be so happy ecstatic that we would be ordering on the email”, she was a good saleswoman.
The tailors (or sweatshop workers) are amazing; they had our suits made and ready for a fitting within 24 hours. The shoemakers also, we ordered our shoes in the morning and they knocked them out by the afternoon. We ended up quite happy with quality and fit of all our shoes and clothes and have posted it all to London for our arrival there. Jess and Clyney, consider yourselves warned.
We had a win with a restaurant we tried out for lunch on day one – it was awesome, a little expensive by Vietnam standards but the food was possibly the best we have had. Fair to say that wasn’t the last time they saw our faces. The name of the place was Moon Restaurant for those who are interested.
Day two we toured the city. The old town of Hoi An, is quite impressive. Its narrow streets and old buildings are pretty and interesting. We bought a city tour ticket and spent an afternoon wandering around seeing the sights. The Japanese bridge was good, as was the Assembly Hall we saw. After two days we decided that we really loved Hoi An and booked an extra night. This took us to 4 nights. As I said, we really loved Hoi An.
We visited My Son on day three, this is the ruins of the Cham holy city temples. We booked the sunrise tour, departing at 5 am. While we were waiting for the mini bus to pick us up, several young-uns arrived home to our hostel from the pub – we felt very old!! We were hoping to get a spectacular morning at My Son but unfortunately the sun didn’t want to come out that morning. It was still nice, as we were the first people there it was quiet and there were plenty of good photo opportunities. In comparison to the temples we saw at Angkor in Cambodia, the Temples at My Son are very ruined and far less impressive – we expected that though. We had a good guide for the morning and it was an informative trip.
Day 4 we spent at the beach. A lovely coconut palm shaded beach was there for our relaxation purposes, the annoying old ladies trying to sell us anything and everything was not relaxing. They eventually gave up on us though. We had a nice seafood dinner (lobster!) on the beach and then headed down to an area that has mats out for people eating and drinking on the beach, we had some nice cold beers on the mats under the light of a kerosene lantern. One young Vietnamese boy who had had a few too many beers took a real liking to me and wouldn’t leave us alone. He even invited me to join him in a beach pi$$, think he may have liked me too much.
Day 5 was our travel day, leaving at 6:30pm on the overnight sleeper bus (a new experience for us) to Nha Trang. We organised ourselves for the trip, cruised the market and old town again and retired to the pool at the hotel for the afternoon.
We really hated the sleeper bus. There was no sleeping, so the name is redundant. Ann wants to rename it “super uncomfortable recliner bus”, but it is not as catchy.
We can’t really pinpoint what it was about Hoi An that made us love it so much. I think it may have been a combination of the more relaxed atmosphere of the city and the jovial nature of the locals. People tend to notice us and stare at us through Vietnam and that was no different in Hoi An, but somehow it was all carried our in a more friendly way.