Trip Start Jan 16, 2009
40Trip End May 26, 2009
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Where I stayed
We did indeed kill time until the bus in Nha Trang by sitting in a bar and drinking coke and vietnamese coffee (which we're now quite addicted too, it's made with condensed milk and is awesome). The bus was was 12 hours 6pm till 6am and was not too horrendous, apart from the fact that bus driver spent most of his time on the wrong hand side of the road round blind corners, with a cliff on one hand side of the road, but that seems par for the course round these parts. We just tried not to look as it's terrifying.
We rolled into Hoi An at 6am and found the place was alive! People round here get up really early as it's obviously a bit cooler, we passed a primary school and a high school and the kids were flooding in at 6:15am! Albeit looking half asleep but still, we were impressed
Hoi An is a beautiful place, during the war (which we are now experts on) both sides had an agreement to not bomb it which they both stuck to. Therefore its the only place in Vietnam which is actually ye olde style. It reminds us a alot of Pingyao in China which was stunning, this is quite similar, the style of the buildings anyhow. Also there's a lot of Chinese lettering around, a consequence of the main religion (which is kind of a hybrid of Taoism/Buddhism/Confucism) and the Chinese influences from back in the day. It's also a conservation town so theres strict restrictions on building and renovations and, unlike Nha Trang, the streets aren't covered in rubbish. Which is nice.
The other thing about this place is that there is about 500 tailor shops in the town. It's insane. So obviously we have had to had plenty of things made. On the first day we were here, which I (EW by the way) think was Monday we went into a random one to a get a dress made to test it all out
On that first night we found the western bar of the town. It's actually pretty cool and is known as the Communist Bar. Hence the Che Guevara pic. We met a load of people and had a awesome night. On the Tuesday we went back for some dress fittings, we decided to go to another shop and get more stuff made, as the first dress was only $20 we thought why the hell not. So in this other shop I got a bit carried away and got 2 more dresses made and a suit (obviously for when I do all them job interviews when I get home....), and Emma got a suit (we do now have matching suits, we look awesome) and a shirt made. It was amazing, I have now got 3 fancy dresses and a suit tailor made for a little over 100 pounds. Bargin.
Tuesday night we went back to the communist bar and chilled out with everyone we met the night before and ended up going to a beach party, which was ok, not quite the standard of the Thai islands, or even Nha Trang
We've been quite lucky so far, there are some horror stories floating around about getting clothes made here, especially shoes. A German girl, Soli, who've been been with every night in the bar had some boots made here and although one pair was fine, even after going back there many times the other pair of boots still didn't fit her, so as she was leaving the next day she said she didn't want them, she couldn't even do them up so they were really crap. The man who made them came out and started shouting at her, saying "well we have the same size feet and they fit me"
Anyway Thursday afternoon we went back for the dresses and this time time everything was finished apart from one dress that I kept having issues with, this time they'd made the middle of it too tight whilst trying to correct an earlier problem of a bizzare looking seam. So we were told to come back again in the evening and it'd be taken out a bit. Thankfully when we went back that evening they'd sorted it and we could go to book a ticket out of here! It's been one of the places we've stayed the longest in as it's been 4 nights. But we've now got a ticket for for Hanoi which leaves today (Friday) at 2pm, so now we're just hanging around waiting for that.
Had a brilliant time here but looking forward now to moving on!