Hoi An – Vietnam

Hoi An is awesome.  We got lost for an hour when we got here and bumbled around with our 25kg packs, spaced out in the heat.  We managed to find a cheapish hotel at eight dollars a night, which is expensive for us.

We did all the touristy stuff here, but the Japanese tombs stick out in my mind the most; we wandered down the back of town through the local’s housing in dark and dirty alleys, to find the first tomb which was in an old lady’s back garden.  We where a bit scared at first, but she invited us in and gave us some incense to put on the shrines; it was all very cute and we gave her a little cash as thanks.  We found the second tomb in the middle of the rice paddies, and some people extorted cash out of me for the privilege of seeing it; one lady even ran down the road after us, but we told her where to go.

We bumped into the Australian girls we met on the way to Denang, apparently Whey, is way to cold, just like Hanoi.  We where a little upset we did not go to Whey because it sounds awesome (bikers in petty coats and other crazy stuff), but hearing how cold it is made us feel better.

We mainly hung out at Treat bar here, and met many back packers.  I have missed the camaraderie which is present in backpackers, but it’s still not the same as in India, I guess that it is because in India it is harder and we all have too stick together.  One of the backpackers we met had sampled a Vietnamese drink which has snake blood and a freshly removed snake heart in it; he seemed to think it was awesome… apparently the myth is that the heart is still beating as it goes down.

There is a beach four km away and we cycled there a few times… on Vietnamese roads.  It is seriously insane here: no one indicates, except the nice ones who see confused travellers and take pity; there is no lane discipline; if they are turning off to a side street, they will cut you up and not even look over their shoulders.  I almost got spit roasted by a car and a motorbike.  I played with the idea of renting a bike, but decided cycling was enough.  All the bikes here have female seats and no back break, grrr.

The beach was pretty awesome, but a little windy.  The levels of stress from beach sellers was reaching India levels, but was not as bad.  There was a Vegan café to the right of the bridge on the way to the beach called Karma Waters, who served vegan pizza; the pizza was 100 dong, which is about four pounds and too expensive for me hehe.

We both had super cool Indie jackets made for thirty dollars each.  We also had a couple of new suits made as well for eighty dollars a pop, with two pairs of trousers; I was riped into having three more pairs of work trousers made for about 30 quid (Kasmir):

After spending all that cash on cloths, I could not bring my self to part with twenty dollars for a new pair of trousers:

That is my third pair of combats since we left, and with only three weeks to go and limited funds… I am becoming a cheap traveller.  I am also pretty good at sewing now.

It is very easy to live here and after seven days of relaxing we decided to move on.  We did not want to get into another Chaweng beach routine of just living and not doing much else.  We are moving onto Natrang next, hopefuly we will see China Beach in Denang on the way.

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