Bad and then Good.
Hoi An Travel Blog› entry 39 of 105 › view all entries
Work up. It was raining and Da Nang was crap. No character what-so-ever. Walked for some food and got lost. Found myway back by Moto and grabbed my bags, ready to leave. A Moto rider was on his way to Hoi An at 11.00am so i had two hours to kill. Watched the Titanic - first time in years. Such a good movie, but brought tears to my eyes just like the first time. On the bike, a proper bike. Strapped my luggage to the back and we were off. Across the bridge out of the city. Then it became good. Speeding alongside China Beach, palm trees lining the coast. Whispy cloud, shining sun and a gusty wind. This is more like it. 30km of one long stretch of road. Passed fancy resorts. Pasty skinned old couples arrived by the bus load. Passed much empty space on the beach, signs showing that it is soon to be taken up by resorts, hotels and golf courses. Passed small sand dunes and marble mountains, which used to be islands. 30minutes later we were in Hoi An. The contrast between this City and Da Nang was incredible. Hoi An, a riverside City was full of personality. It is unique and has such charm. Old beautiful streets and rustic archaic architecture. As i was on my own, I could only find a $10 room. But the hotel was nice, near the Old Town and the staff were very friendly. Had a wonder through markets and pass the many Tailor, Art and Gift shops. You could spend a fortune here. Due to the Cities charm, it was pretty full with travellers but also locals. Walked along the river and couldn't believe it when i bumped into Luke (The Londoner). Absolutely mental. He had a different look about him in comparison to when i saw him back in Thailand. His wrists were covered in bands from different countries, he wore a beard and messy hair, a shark tooth was strapped to his arm. He looked travelled. You can just see it in some people. His travelling mates looked the same. They just have a look about them. They look interesting and different. The previous night Luke had gone to a bar (called "Fuck Strong Bar") where he did kareoke with part of the Vietnames Mafia and Chief Of Police, recieved paid-for drinks all night and had a 3hour illegal tatoo sitting. Walked with them for a bit. They went into a clothing shop where they had their tailor-made vests and baggy fisherman trousers waiting for them. $14 dollars each. Quality material and it is so comfortable. I want some. The one Canadian guy had bought a personal hand-made carved Buddha head from the market earlier. They also stopped a lady selling sunglasses (which i always avoid) and bought some fancy fake Oakleys. We went for some fruit-shakes and food. I then left them, already friends with the Canadian bloke (got his address for when I'm in Canada) and walked along the river as the sunset. It was insanely beautiful. One of the prettiest nights i have experience. Sat on the river edge, drinking a 13p local "fresh" draught beer. Showered and headed back into town. Decided to splash out - four-set meal in a fancy restaurant overlooking the main street. $3.50. I had all the local famous food - White Rose, Fried Wuton, Shrimp covered in Sugar Cane and Rice Pancakes. All very good. Washed it down with a fanta and headed through the streets on a beautiful walk. From 7.00pm, on that particular night (once a month) no bicycles and moto's are allowed along the roads, it quietens and all you can hear it the patter of feet and the voice of people. The streets were softly lit with an orange glow. Old men were playing checkers by candlelight on the roadside and the arouma of incense drifted through the warm evening air, the smoke caught by the lantern's light. Wooden boats glided over the calm shimmering water, reflecting the bright moon which in turn highlighted the nights clouds. The boats quietly passed floating lanterns which bobbed over ripples and dotted the waters surface. Children sat on the river's edge, letting the lit lanterns onto the water and happily watching it float off in the dark. Cheeky locals children tried to fish out released lanterns so that they could sell them again. The archaic buildings were made even more beautiful by the dimmly lit streets and I sat in a quiet restaurant on the rivers edge, drinking beer from a glass, the candlelight flickering through the liquid and turning it into a rich golden/amber colour. I shared stories and drink with two Italian guys. After many a round of beer and rice whiskey we walked once more through the streets and then we parted, strangely passing weird words of wisdom onto me: "nice meet you - you have beautiful energy. remember, f*ck a lot of girls, doggystyle. remember.is important" and then they left.