July 23 | Comments (0)
We were up at 4am to catch our flight to Hue from the Hanoi Airport, the taxi arranged by our hotel arrived on time and the flight was perfect getting us in to Hue at about 9am. We chose to take the airport shuttle into the city and it dropped us off at the Thahn Noi Hotel. Slightly more expensive than the accomodation in Hanoi, but well worth it as we were staying inside the walls of the the citadel in Hue. We spent the morning visiting the citadel (gorgeous and sprawling) and the afternoon on a mission to send home a giant tea pot. On our way to visit a pagoda we stumbled accross a pottery shop and both fell in love with a massive teapot and bought it without hesitation. We spent more than an hour wandering around the south bank of the town in order to find the Central post office, who generously helped us pack it in foam. (Hopefully it'll make it once piece.) The only problem with travelling with small bags (not that the teapot would have fit anyway) is that shipping charges start to add up.
The next morning we took a bus south from Hue to Hoi An which took about 4 hours. After some searching we managed to find a great hotel thanks to a random encounter with an 'Easy Rider'. We're staying at the Phuoc An hotel, just outside the old town. $17 gets you a pool, a large room with air-con, breakfast and very friendly staff. It's only a 10 minute walk to the river in town, but they give you free bikes if you want them. If you're coming to Hoi An, you can't do much better than this for what you pay.
Hoi An is beautiful. It's a great place to unwind for a few days/weeks. The beach (just outside of town) is gorgeous, the old town is resonably quiet as no cars are allowed and every street is filled with tailors ready to create whatever you want....dangerous! Four pairs of trousers, three skirts and a coat later, we feel we've embraced what Hoi An has to offer. The food choices here seem more Vietnamese and less Chinese. We've had grilled fish, fresh clams, king prawns as well as the local specialties - white roses (shrimp dumplings), deep fried wontons, fresh spring rolls and Cao Lau.
We'll be living the good life in Hoi An until Wednesday and then we're flying to HCMC before going to Dalat for our last few days in Vietnam. Right now...off to get fitted for my nice new trousers.