Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An: Wed 15th July
I am writing this entry from our bungalow located right on the sand of Cua Dai beach with spectacular views out over the South China Sea. It is about 4pm and less humid and hot here than Hue. We had a late lunch and now I am back lying on the bed with my laptop and looking out the window towards the gentle surf where Mark and Tom are playing football. There are some beautiful limestone island on the horizon out past where the boys are swimming. This is one magic view. Also, it is quiet and peaceful; something rare for Vietnam compared to the usual assault on ones aural sensory system. The sprawling Victoria Hotel is a lovely place to stay whilst in the Hoi An area. Tom is in high spirits as he has already found the Pool tables and has been sharpening his game.
We arrived here at about 2pm following a 3 hr drive from Hue earlier today. Our day started though with an early (8am) visit to Dong Ba Market. That was not a good move for me. I wasn’t feeling that well and so another dose of ‘wet-markets’, complete with freshly butchered animals souring the heavy and humid air, was probably not a wise choice of activity for me. Hence we didn’t last there long. So, it was then back to the hotel to prepare to check out and move on to Hoi An.
Our hotel is about 5 km from Hoi An Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is a shuttle service between the hotel and the Old Town so we caught the 6pm service in to town to check it out. We had inflated expectations given its Heritage status though. What a disappointment this first trip was. Think to yourself ‘side show hawking at the Easter Show, Vietnamese style, and lots of Shire types wandering the streets’ and…you have Hoi An as we saw it that night. It was just shop after shop after shop….all boasting bargains in USD. Mark ended up ordering some pants but was annoyed by the whole experience. We left the tailor, had a drink at a bar and then caught the shuttle back to the hotel. I must admit that I preferred the natural simplicity of sitting on the beach at our hotel to exploring the Old Town but, we are going to give it another go tomorrow and try the Lonely Planet walking tour.
Our room at Victoria: 305. To come back: room 305 and 306