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Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Hoi An Images

The wet season seems to be coming to a close in Saigon, the wind has changed direction and it no longer rains every day. That's not the case in Hoi An. It bucketed down every day, usually two or three times a day. Umbrellas just didn't cut it so we got some disposable raincoats, the type that make you look as though you're wearing an ill fitting condom. They certainly keep the rain out but it's like wearing your own personal sauna and pretty soon they were sweat wet inside. Not a good situation so we fell back on plan B; when it rains go inside.

Going inside wasn't hard, there were plenty of cafes to shelter in, mostly serving good food.
Snack stop
The photo above was taken in a regular stop off point as we cycled to the beach. The observant amongst you will notice that it's not actually raining in this picture. But it did later.
Rain again


The beach is a 4km bike ride away and despite the wet weather was lovely to visit. Maybe lovlier because of the wet weather as we had the place to ourselves and even the hawkers stayed away.
South China Sea

Hoi An is very pretty and well worth a trip. Food and shopping are top class and there's lots to see and do.

As always motorbikes are the main form of transport.
Tangerine Vietnamese vespa closeup
Bicycles are much more common than in HCMC
Daily business

But it's boats of all shapes and sizes that are the most eyecatching transport.
blue and battered
Fish market Hoi An

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Hoi An continued

Our trip to Hoi An was a great success. We started at the domestic airport, I wasn't expecting much and dreaded it being like Prestwick, but it's nice as airports go. I have seen so much fresh fruit for sale at an airport either whole or in smoothie form, I had a custard apple smoothie and passed on the delicacy below.
braised tortoise

Our first hotel was the state run Hoi An Hotel.
Hoi An Hotel bedroom
Nice spacious rooms and the mosquito nets and shutters add a pretty air to it.
The pool area was well maintained and although this hotel caters to a lot of tour groups the pool was fairly quiet while we were there. I expect they're all out doing what they're there for; touring.
Hoi An Hotel pool
It's only downside was that the breakfast facilities sometimes got a bit overwhelmed when groups were leaving at the same time, otherwise it was well run, friendly and had very good facilities including a spa and garden bars and cafes.

The best part of it was the sign on the minibar:
Enjoy your drinking
As this is a state owned hotel we took our instructions seriously.

Our next place was on the smaller side.
Ha An Hotel, Hoi An
This very pretty hotel cost us £10 per person per night for a superior room. The staff were welcoming and helpful, the breakfast buffet outstanding and they have free rental of rattly bikes to get around on.
Ha An bedroom and fruit
Rooms are lovely and liberally sprinkled with flowers and petals for your arrival and come with a constantly replenished fruit basket and an area of blacony.
Ha An Balconies

If you're in the area I'd highly recommend the Ha An.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Hoi An

covered bridge
Originally uploaded by amasc

We've been off on a jaunt to Hoi An. Flights cost $100 return per person, hotel £10 per person per night. Tailors were accurate and cheap as were shoemakers ( we had to buy another bag for the return trip) and Hoi An is one of the prettiest places we've see. More on our trip tomorrow but we have clothes to unpack

Traditional Fishing
The couple above supplement their fishing income by posing for tourists going past on boats. Very enterprising and worth a few thousand dong to grab a picture.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Random Images

Just a few shots around town.
lounge lizards

Backpackers' (Pham Ngu Lao and the surrounds) is full of bars, restaurants and deliciously tacky giftware shops as well as hotels and guest houses. It's not the most high class end of town but there are few things that draw us back. The Mumtaz restaurant, of which more in a later posting, and Le Pub's gin and tonics. Last night we shared our drinks with some friends, the focus might be off a little but that's understandable under the circumstances.


High on a wall, and a little earlier in the day I saw this image in the same part of town. I've always had a mildly voyeuristic side and love peeking in at other peoples' windows.

woolly hat shop

Elsewhere Saigon's Premier Woolly Hat outlet continues to puzzle me, I understand it gets a bit colder in Hanoi but surely not THAT cold.


There are many tall, thin, brightly coloured buildings in the city, this hotel may not be the tallest, thinnest and brightest but it has to be in the running for the title. (On Nguyen Trai)