Everybody loves Hoi An! Especially the youngish backpacker girls. It’s a cutesy little tourist town with a nice (motorbike free!) walking street and lots lanterns everywhere that look cool when lit up at night, very photogenic. It’s got a river that bisects the main strip and you can take a boat ride down it or stop for a snack riverboats that line the sides. It’s great for shopping and souvenir collecting. You can buy custom made clothes and suits for cheap and you can show them a photo of any type of clothing that you saw a celebrity wear and they can try and recreate it. Well I packed enough clothes myself, so I wasn’t really interested in those things, but many are! Oh and beaches too.
As for me, it was pretty meh. I mean Hoi An is nice, and I did enjoy getting those signature lantern photos at night, but if you’re not there to shop, and the weather isn’t good for the beach, there isn’t a whole lot to do. After walking around for an hour or two I pretty much had the whole placed covered. But the no motorbike thing is highly underrated! You can’t go hardly anywhere in Vietnam without having to dodge ‘em all the time, then you’ve got the incessant honking to boot. Walking on a busy road with trucks and buses blaring their horn every four seconds is annoying is hell! So good work Hoi An, Vietnam needs more of this. I also did like the local food in the market. It’s around 20 or so stalls all jammed together with the women who run them simultaneously cooking and shouting at you to take a seat. I picked an empty booth and one ordered some corn pancakes and spring rolls. The pancakes you fill with some Vietnam herbs, wrap it, and then dip in peanut sauce. Surprisingly good!
During the day I rented a bicycle for a dollar and decided to do what I usually like to do, cruise around the countryside. It was a bit cool and cloudy, so good weather to be on the bike. It’s always fun to turn off the main roads onto the dirt tracks that lead out to rice fields and see where it takes you. Of course the locals are usually amused or confused when they see the tourists venture into the places. The other nice thing is that they have little coffee shops everywhere in Vietnam, so you can stop in, relax, and pay 50c and get an iced coffee. The coffee is dark and strong, so I usually get mine with condensed milk. Tasty!
Oh, I also feel like I need to mention that google maps works offline now! It’s like the greatest thing for traveling ever. I might never get lost again! Haaa, not. I’m actually writing this from Ho Chi Minh City and they have all these tiny little alleyways and even those are on google maps, it’s great. I can’t count how many times I’ve been on a motorbike just cruising every street trying to find something/somewhere familiar as to ascertain my relative location. Those days are over! It’s an exciting time to be alive!
So let’s see I probably biked 30 miles or something and at that point my ass just couldn’t handle it any more and it was time to make it back. I booked a night train for the next night, had a few beers with people at the hostel and took an early night. So two nights in Hoi was plenty for me. I met some girls who had been there over a week… I couldn’t really understand that one. But to each their own! Next up: Danang and night train to Nha Trang.