May 7th – May 10th, Hoi An
Hoi An is a small town, in central Vietnam on the coast. It’s original town is a World Heritage Area where only bikes are allowed to roam making it a very quiet relaxing spot. Most of the building are built in French Colonial style making it a pretty good looking town as well! – apart from the cat sized rats that we saw a few times at night!
We arrived in Hoi An in the evening by bus from Hue, a pretty easy trip and some sweet views on the way down. Found some accomodation (with air con) and started our 5 night stay with dinner at a local restaurant that would go on to satisfy us night after night. “Cafe 43” is a local retaurant run by a family in the courtyard of their home, serving up amazing food at ridiculous prices – the crowd favourite was the $0.20 beer that we were asked to keep a tally of ourselves seeing as we were nothcing up quite a few! Favourite dish was the Cau Lau (noodles, pork, croutons and vege’s), fresh spring rolls (prawn – almost as good as those Cel and I make!) and stuffed fried squid. The owner got to know us and would often ask us if we wanted take-away beer, a 1.5l water bottle filled with his fresh beer – it wasn’t often that we turned him down!
Hoi An is the tailoring capital of Vietnam, I went back to the tailor where I’d had my clothes made last time and they were very stoked to see me back. I was measured up for another suit and a pair of pants – which are now on their way to the UK. I had a good chat to the owner who gave me an earful about how next time I’ll be coming back to get my wedding suits made – I mentioned to her that last time I’d come with Cel and she thought it was great fun to have me on…(Ahn is the one laughing in the picture below)
About 5km away from Hoi An is Cua Dai beach, a blue water, white sand beach – it became a bit of a haven for us both during the day (lying in the sun, swimming and relaxing) and at nightime (a good bar to go to at night and the beach was the site for “Wizard Sticks”. Our ‘good friend’ Cutts (Sam) introduced us to a drinking game that he’d played back in the UK – we rallied up a few more lads from the UK and one afternoon wnt out to Cua Dai to play this wizard sticks. It basically involves drinking you’re height in beer cans (cans stacked on top of each other), for Cutts, Jono and I that meant 17 beers. Once you have achieved this you become a wizard (my wizard name was “Brendolf”) and as a wizard you can tell any non-wizard to do anything you choose as often as you like. It was a great laugh and a good way to enjoy time with the lads – it was suprisingly controlled and good clean fun! We also sampled some seafood our at Cua Dai from “Mans” restaurant – some of the biggest prawns I’ve ever seen!
The town of Hoi An, is pretty magic. It has this quiet relaxed feel to it created by the lack of traffic, the slow speed at which things happen and the general feel of the streets and buidlings. Jono and I decided to explore Hoi An by cycle – pedalling our way around a number of sights and through the streets. Stopping of course for the odd meal (fresh prawns pulled out of a tank) and a beer or two. A few pics of the town below:
Hoi An treated us very well we left having:
- Explored the old town and taken in some culture
- Experienced what it was like to go to Hogwarts and become a wizard
- Enjoyed the beach and the sweet ocean swims
- Ate our way through all the specialty foods of Hoi An
- Increased the wardrobe with some tailored clothes
- Met a great bunch of people and had a great time with them..
- Tough to leave but the lure of Quy Nhon and a Kiwi connection was enough to get us on the road…