Thursday, January 31, 2008

No 4 Hoi An

After Christmas in Cambodia, we had to fly back into Saigon for a one night stop over. It was the worst night of the trip, and I was just about ready to come home. We flew to Denang the next morning (me in a very bad mood) and caught a taxi to a small town, Hoi An. The hotel was just far enough away from the main streets to be quiet but close enough to walk everywhere. Our lovely hotel room overlooked rice paddies, so peaceful that I relaxed and we all kicked back for a couple of days of just mooching around. Lots (and I mean lots) of tailor shops, which the town is renowned for, and very laid back sellers. No one followed us around demanding that we buy from them, just what I needed.
At night the town closes off its shopping streets to motorised traffic, so an evening stroll after tea was a great way to finish the day (although I was hit by an elderly drunken bike rider). They sell lots of beautiful fabric lanterns, and on nights of the full moon, turn off all electric lights and just have traditional lanterns lighting the streets.
On the last day we met a man who took us by boat to his fishing and pottery village. No tourists in sight and we got to see the way normal Vietnamese live. He took us fishing, had a go at some pottery and rode on motorbikes to have lunch at his house.
If I had to live in Vietnam, this is where I would go.

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