Hoi An

Hoi An Travel Blog

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A Hoi An street

My second overnight bus of Southeast Asia took me north to Hoi An - and, no, that is how you spell it, I'm not dyslexic and trying to spell Hanoi. It was not a journey I would care to repeat. After arriving at quarter to six in the morning, having had maybe only minutes, not hours, asleep, I had the unenviable task of the hunt for a hotel room. It was fine in the end - I didn't, as I expected, have to lower my standards to the same level as something you might expect from the horror film, Hostel.


Keeping with the horror film theme, I was like something from Dawn Of The Dead, walking around like a zombie, quickly abandoning my idea of a day exploring the historic parts of Hoi An in the baking heat.

Hoi An market
Instead, I opted for BBC World and Vietnamese Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - at least I think that's what it was called, even though a million dong is about 30 quid - and making use of the couple of dollars I had invested in air-con.

 

While half-heartedly walking around, looking for brains to eat - sorry, I mean food - I bumped into Sam and Gemma, the English couple I had been inadvertently bumping into/ meeting / stalking. They were in a similar state from the overnight journey so we all agreed to write the day off and explore proper the next day.

 

The next day I did manage to awake feeling (semi) normal again, walking around the pedestrianised historic town of Hoi An and all the old buildings, temples and museums it has to offer.

Thu Bun riverside
Actually, visiting the old part of town, you buy a ticket for 75,000 dong, which gives you access to one assembly hall, one museum, one old house and a couple of other miscellaneous types. The museum I visited was one of the worst I've been to, just cos I don't care at all about Ceramics Trading. The assembly halls were grand and the family in the old Tan Ky house I visited were friendly and informative, but I got more pleasure from walking around the streets and market than I did with the buildings themselves. It's more the atmosphere of Hoi An itself, rather than inside the buildings, that does it for me.

 

While taking a photo on Cam Nam Bridge, overlooking Thu Bon River, I accidentally pressed the power button on my camera (the button isn't well designed), firing the lens cap off the side, into the fast-flowing water below, after my useless attempt at catching it.

Inside the Fijian Assembly Hall
I even tried to take a photo of it, but it was long-gone. So a replacement is on the list.

 

Some people might say that some of the history of Hoi An is being ruined by the abundance of tailors in the town. I can't stress how many there are - maybe about three quarters of shops are tailors. It's a surprise they can all get business. Like in Thailand, I planned to avoid them, but, like everyone who comes here seems to, I ended up splashing out once again. This time I bought an outdoor coat and another suit - and got roped into buying another pair of matching trousers, just in case I scuff the original pair playing football in the playground. It cost me a little over 50 quid. Dirt cheap; so much so that I met a guy who had bought a purple suit. I suppose they are very versatile.

 

Having seen enough of Hoi An's historical architecture, we hit the nearby beach, where we bumped into Liz, the Australian we had also been hanging around with from further south. I splashed out on some nice seafood before getting another near-death experience (aka moto) to my hotel to retire for the day in front of BBC World.

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A Hoi An street
A Hoi An street
Hoi An market
Hoi An market
Thu Bun riverside
Thu Bun riverside
Inside the Fijian Assembly Hall
Inside the Fijian Assembly Hall
Outside the Fijian Assembly Hall
Outside the Fijian Assembly Hall
Get me off this thing!
"Get me off this thing!"
The Japanese Bridge
The Japanese Bridge
A Hoi An alley
A Hoi An alley
Hoi An