Dec 082006

With a storming hangover I went and checked out a dive place, had breakfast, then headed to the airport at Nha Trang for a one hour flight to Danang for Hoi An. After my love for Luang Prabang in Laos, and everyone comparing there to Hoi An I was keen to get there. The journey was short, but with a hangover it proved a bit interesting as I wasn’t the liveliest.

Hoi An was exactly as expected, if not better. There is a whole load of cheap accommodation here so it’s possible to get somewhere with a small pool, nice room, balcony, breakfast, free bicycle hire etc for $15 such as the Phuoc An Hotel – can’t complain.

In fact the vibe of the place was so good when I arrived at the hotel I felt no need to leave quickly and it wasn’t until the evening I wandered through the town for the first time.

Although it’s clear there are numerous tailors you just can’t prepare for how many there are – every second shop is, and even the examples outside them show some amazing clothes, and in all varieties from board shorts to combat trousers to the slinkiest dress.

I can’t decide whether Hoi An is a good destination for backpackers or not. On one side I’d recommend against it as there are just too many temptations for your wallet – tailors, art, crafts and cheap beer (starting at 3000 Dong, 19 cents or 10 pence a glass if you look around!), but for that reason I’d wholeheartedly recommend the place to anyone. A friend of mine had three beautiful suits tailored for $90, you can get jeans for $15 and all sorts of tops, shorts, dresses and trousers tailored. The custom fitting also extends to shoes, flip-flops, trainers ($13?) and leather boots ($25 or less).

It’s a great place to explore on bike, foot or cyclo, with a buzzing market, a riverside, and a 22km+ beach around 40 minutes cycle from town. It’s now monsoon season, so not ideal for the beach as a main reason to visit at this time of year, but a nice addition anyway.

After a few hours chilling out I went out and hooked up with Claire and Scott I met in Luang Prabang as they were in Hoi An tonight before heading their separate ways.

Here is a selection of my Hoi An pictures

 Posted by at 9:24 am

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