Yesterday, Matt and I tried local transport (rather than taxis and planes) to make our way from Hue to Hoi An. We caught the train to Da Nang (3 hours and 13 NZD each) over some insanely beautiful countryside, and then jumped on a local bus to Hoi An (another hour and only 1.50 NZD each).
Hoi An (population ~120,000 people) is a tourist hotspot, thanks to its reputation as a romantic spot for couples. Our hotel is just outside of the city centre, so it is quite peaceful. But, the city centre (‘Ancient Town’) is bustling. Although there is less traffic, the scooters go much faster and don’t seem to want to give way to you, so it is harder to cross the road than in Hanoi!
There has been a lot of rain here recently, but we lucked out today with only occasional showers. Hoi An is a much more beautiful place at night. During the day the river is muddy and you can see the rubbish and pollution.
Hoi An also has a reputation for excellent tailors. We visited one today at about 9.30am, and by 6.30pm we walked out with a two-piece suit and two business shirts for Matt (260 USD) and a pencil skirt for me (40 USD). We are travelling with carry-on only, so might have to wear a few extra clothes at the airport to keep our luggage below 7kg!
Tonight is the football final between Vietnam and Malaysia. Everyone here seems super-into it. We’ve seen people moving their TVs from their homes on the first floor to their restaurants on the ground floor, and the excitement on the street is awesome to watch!
One thing that we are becoming increasingly frustrated with is the touting. Even when we make it clear that we are not interested, touts stand in our way so that we have to walk around them, and follow us down the street. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but we find it creepy… no way am I buying your food/getting in your boat if you follow me down the street after I’ve said no.
Tomorrow, we fly to Nha Trang, before going to either Da Lat or Ho Chi Minh. There has been more rain than normal in the central part of Vietnam, so we are waiting to see whether Da Lat has some sunshine before booking our accommodation and transport.