Hoi An, Vietnam, 2015

So we flew over half the country to arrive here in Hoi An. We really wanted to take the train and experience the country side and take in the views but it was completely booked. Our travel guy in Ho Chi Minh booked us that flight on VietJet .. never again. Our travel guy has also turned out to be a con artist liar.. We are realizing that almost everyone in the tourist industry here lie … constantly. We are used to peddlers selling their wares, bargaining and haggling, but flat out lying has never been a problem. Then again, how could we know. This guy waited a day before starting off with, “I hate to bring you some bad news, but there has been a huge flood in Phong Nah and no on is allowed through!” This came from the fact that he wanted us to book a bus and skip the other half of the country… through him of course. We chose to brave the flood and head to Phong Nah anyways, but had we listened to him, it could have seriously messed with our trip that we have worked so hard to plan and pay for.. asshole. There was no flood.. next chapter.

So we flew to Da Nang and arrived super late because of the aforementioned crappy flight with the military punk. From the airport we needed to somehow get to Hoi An which is another 50 km.. by taxi ? By bus ? No clue.. this would have been easy at 8:00 pm .. but it was now midnight and this part of the country was closed for business.. Luckily, we hooked up with 2 South African guys who had been more diligent than us, and had organized a taxi to Hoi An .. We split the cab with them and all was good. We ended up at the “Animal House” mansion.. giant rooms and one hell of a pool party happening downstairs.. till 5:00 am ..

Hoi An is a colonial type town .. very clean and quiet compared to .. other towns around here. Shops and restaurants close down around 10:00pm and the place becomes as dark as North Korea. There are many very old buildings and houses here … and I am struggling to say anything else about this place. Peaceful, beautiful, historic .. Hoi An. A break from Ho Chi Minh for sure and a milestone for this difficult trip so far ..

We took a cooking course! Picked up at our hotel and taken to the market to buy our ingredients .. then a cool river cruise to the compound we would be cooking in. We watched as the rice milk we would be using was made by hand.. and then we prepared our feast. We made 4 courses .. First, we prepared fresh spring rolls with pork and shrimp .. not deep fried, but with rice paper. Delicious .. Then we made a Vietnamese pancakes .. mmmmm … then a Beef Salad .. does that even make sense? Salad with noodles and slices of beef with a nice sauce .. again very tasty. And then we finished with a pork tenderloin noodle soup with the broth cooked from bones we picked up at the market. Amazing ! This was a great day.

Hoi An is famous for it’s tailoring … tailor shops every 30 meters. So we picked one and had them measure Sylvie for some new shorts. She got to choose the style, color and parts of the shorts like the pockets .. where and how many. We waited 6 hours, doing other things of course, and they were ready. They look great .. Sylvie is very satisfied with her Lara Croft shorts 🙂

We booked our sleeper bus to Phong Nah to go tackle the floods and volunteer to help out with the crisis… and explore Phong Nah-Ke Bang National Park. There’s not much else to say about Hoi An.. and that’s ok.

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