Hoi An - would you like to see my shop?

Trip Start Aug 14, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Vietnam  , Quang Nam,
Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hoi An is renowned for tailors (I'm sure lots of you have seen that on Top Gear) and we had heard from others who we met that it is one of the nicest cities in Vietnam. Considering our impressions of Hanoi and Hue coupled with what everyone had said, we were looking forward to coming here.

We arrived at the bus station having passed the time of some of our 4hr rainy bus journey by watching Transformers on Shane's I-phone! A hotel wanting everybody's custom gave us all a free lift into town, but we decided to stay closer to the old part of the city as it is, like Luang Prabang in Laos, a UNESCO World Heritage City. We found a reasonable hotel after realising we weren't going to get anything under $10 (we had been paying $8 in Hue) which had a small swimming pool practically in the restaurant - we didn't see anyone use it!

It was the kind of grey rainy day where the clouds hang low that we are all accustomed to in the UK, but we were getting fed up of it in Vietnam after the typhoon in Hanoi and the rain in Hue. Still, we found somewhere for lunch and had a roam around the old part of town wearing our 'cag-in-a-bags.' It was very quaint and had the same wooden shop signs as in Luang Prabang (UNESCO style). There were tailor shops everywhere and we kept getting hassled by the same conversations which went along the lines of:
"Where are you from?"
"England"
"Oh lovely jubbly hey?"
"Yes."
"You have beautiful boyfriend/girlfriend. You want to buy suit/dress/coat? You come look in my shop? Very good. Very good price."
It's okay the first few times but it did get very annoying considering we didn't really know if we wanted anything and their approach made it difficult to just look. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around, avoiding touts and working out how many nights we wanted to stay (We had prepaid for our bus tickets and had to confirm a seat the day before we wanted to leave). As the weather was so rubbish, the beach nearby was out of the question so we booked our night bus tickets for the next night.

For the rest of the afternoon we contemplated having something tailored, but then decided against it because we had heard that the quality of garments could be variable and on our budget, we couldn't afford the risk. Later on We had dinner in a small restaurant where we tried local dishes which were very tasty! Following this, we went back to the hotel with some chocolate, a cuppa and watched a film in bed - made us feel like we were at home with the weather outside!

The next day we went for a wonder as our bus wasn't until the evening. We found a Japanese bridge (can't remember why it's significant)! I then couldn't resist getting a red winter coat for $35 - our souvenir from Hoi An. After this we decided to have a late lunch/early dinner and had the best pasta since the UK as well as delicious mousse desserts French bakery style - yum!

Onwards on our last Vietnamese night bus to Nha Trang.
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