Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hoi An

Hoi An is a small town that wasn't originally on my itinerary. I added it when I heard rave reviews from other travelers in Ha Noi. I'm glad I didn't miss it.
On the bike ride to the beach.  The green was so bright as to be electric.
It's a small town, there are really just two main streets that are filled with restaurants and tailor shops.  It's a common stop over between Nha Trang and Hue. We stayed at Green Fields which was a good place to be.  There were plenty of other travelers, it was new and sort of median between the town and the beach. After checking in we went back to the hostel and who did I see through the restaurant by the pool?  Neil!!  The sexy beast was back!  We had a catch up and some fun that night.
The beaches there are really lovely though the sand heats up to a point that I swear should make glass.  The sand is soft and pale.  The ocean is warm as bath water and a beautiful spectrum of blues and teals.  You can walk out for half a mile before it drops off and you're shoulder deep.  The soft rustling of palm trees put me to sleep both days. There wasn't too much trash and the vendors weren't too pesky. We rented bikes to ride out there.  A 25 minute bike ride would have been a long enough walk to make me cranky. 
Beach time
I could hardly drag myself from the water.
The reason most people go to Hoi An is for the tailoring.  In all I had two going out dresses, two causal cotton dresses, a school appropriate skirt and a pair of pants made.  The single most expensive item was a $32 dress.  I couldn't even get one off the rack for that in the States. After the initial measurements were taken, we went back for one or two fittings.  Most of mine fit at the first fitting but one dress had to be taken in and wasn't a problem. Danielle had a wool jacket made that I was very envious of but I couldn't rationalize it since I live in an equatorial country. Same goes for her nearly knee high boots.
Danielle getting measured for a dress.

They also make shoes there. three pairs of leather sandals and one pair of leather heels made.  The heels proved slightly problematic.  I'm hoping the leather will stretch a bit.  The sandals have definitely been integrated into rotation and can be resoled here if necessary since I seem to much harder on shoes here.

Definitely worth the stop and I could have happily lazed around for days on the beach but time was a-wastin'. at the end of our third day there we caught a night bus to Da Lat via Nah Trang.  Bus one to Nha Trang was eleven hours and I slept ten of them.  I was in a lower "bunk" towards the back and crashed out. These buses are set up in three columns of about eight to ten seats each in an upper and lower bunk. The seats are sort of like the pool side loungers that allow you to increase or decrease the angle of incline on the chair back.
Down the bus aisle.  Lower bunk towards the back, but not the very back, was a great place to sleep. Half a benedryl didn't hurt either.

My last look at Hoi An before waking up in Nha Trang.
An hour in Nha Trang allowed for breakfast.  It's a pity we didn't get to stay there.  It's known for it's beaches but another time.
Breakfast in Nha Trang.  They were made in a clay frame, with a thin dough of rice flour, coconut milk and then egg in the middle. I don't know what they were called but they were very yummy.

Onward for another six or seven hours to Da Lat, where we arrived in the rain.

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