A completely lazy, chilled week spent in Hoi An; a heady mix of touristy, heritage, street food, tailors, shoes, bicycles, lanterns, narrow backstreets and 17c beer…
It’s really a bit of a break from the chaos of India and Sri Lanka that I guess we were after, the pace of life is slower, walking everywhere is more than feasible, you start recognising people after a few days, there are lots of expats, a fair few ‘Stralians and the going is easy, oh and the food is superb…have a look at my foodie post if you haven’t yet:
I completly understand why so many expats have settled here, and we haven’t even spent much time at the lovely beach yet, it reminds me a little of the Trevignano factor; bikes, mopeds, water, fairly calm, everyone knows each other, great fresh food, quite traditional aside from the temple/gift shop hard sell, generations still living together, old town laneways, good coffee, bubbles for $5 a glass, beer for 20c, exceptional chocolate mousse cake, smiles everywhere, makes for a lovely lifestyle…
major difference is continent and cost of living, seriously amazingly cheap…oh and UNESCO listed…I’ve captured a heart-warming example of the mix of cultures below:
It took us a few days before we decided to start having a look into the assembly halls, all along the same street and all with a different sect/god/community to look after, my favourite is the one for sailors with the rather scary lady god who is something to do with shipwrecks, sorry am in chilled mode, so my learning/memory brain cells are a little slow this week. Also loved the dragon fountain, reminded me of Barcelona’s park guell and Gaudi’s approach to sculpture, look closely and you’ll see that it is all constructed from broken pottery and plates.
Finally we discover that the sun does exist in Vietnam and are treated to the most amazing blue sky, so it’s time to rent bikes for the day at $1 a pop and pedal off straight until we hit the sea…wow what a beautiful beach we found, still not ploughed and developed to within an inch of it’s life like the ones further north in Da Nang, and a few lovely beach bars and cafes to choose from…stunning…and never mind my dream desk; I officially found my dream board room!!!!
We had a fantabulous night on lantern festival, first catching up with a lovely Melbournian we’d met on the foodie tour, from the wrong side of the river, but we forgave her…walked through all the crowds saw all the lanterns:
and ended up with prime seating looking over it all near the bridge, randomly the very first photo in this blog taken a few days ago…check out the second floor balcony corner, that is where we were ceremoniously thrown out of at about 10.05pm by the bloke who owns the place…this is not a late night kind of place…it then turns out we were on the same flight to Saigon as well…freaky so spend another fun few hours in the airport, can you believe they even had fresh beer there, although like all airports at a massive mark up…hope to return to Hoi An for a holiday when back working again, has rather a few of those elements needed, bit of culture, bit of shopping, ace food, cheap booze, stunning beach, friendly locals, oh and of course…shoes…!