Change of Plans

Hoi An Travel Blog

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So the plan was to go from Ho Chi Minh to Doc Let, a small secluded beach up the coast from Nha Trang.  (For those of you who don't know, Nha Trang is Vietnam's destination for the drunk backpacker free-for-all on the beach scene.)  From Doc Let I was going to make my way up to Hoi An and then onward to Hanoi.  It turns out that Doc Let is nearly fourteen hours on a bus from Ho Chi Minh, and it's fair to say it'd be the same to Hoi An, as Doc Let is pretty much the halfway point between the two.
  As if fourteen hours in a bus weren't bad enough, the road between Doc Let and Hoi An is notorious for being the worst in the country.  I'm sorry, what?  You mean that bus ride from hell wasn't the worst in the country?  That, and the rule of thumb is you add a solid hour (if not two) to any time estimate involving buses.  Um, no thank you.

So I saved my time, sanity, and future chiropractic bills and bought a plane ticket to Hoi An, and then another one to Hanoi.  Clocking in at an hour and fifteen minutes each flight, I'd say it was a worthwhile investment.

Hoi An is charming.  It's a World Heritage site, with an Old Quarter that doesn't allow cars (although motorbikes roam free) and a grid of preserved older buildings.  Most are painted yellow and have that kind of quaint countryside feel to them.
  (Except it's not in the countryside.  I make strange associations, I know.)  It's a nice place to stroll around, particularly after the chaotic mayhem that is Ho Chi Minh.

I linked up with Allan and Dave again, the two Australians I hung out with in Siem Reap for a few days.  (They're flying to Hanoi from here as well, so we'll have the next several days together.)  We spotted an area with picnic tables that resembled the cheap eats in Siem Reap, and so opted for that for dinner.  It was disappointing at best.  We all ordered fried rice, Allan and I going veggie, Dave going pork, expecting the light, fresh, tasty fried rice that is found in Thailand (and to an extent in Cambodia).  Instead, we got rice that had literally been cooked in a deep fryer, with pools -- POOLS!  -- of grease on our plates.  Ugh.  Looks like I'm going to have to start thinking Chinese and ordering accordingly.

It's great being back with the boys.  It was fun catching up on our travels, and is always nice seeing a friendly face.  There's no shortage of laughter between the tree of us.  It's going to be a good week.
Connie says:
Eat pho! It's the best Vietnamese food ever! And it's sans grease :)
Posted on: Feb 03, 2010
sylviandavid says:
What a fun blog.... so glad you flew.... brilliant decision.... Looking forward to the week... sylvia
Posted on: Feb 02, 2010
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