Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Vietnam - welcome to Hoi An - part 2

Our hotel was beyond expectation with a swimming pool, views and a bar. We were over half way through our journey and the hotels were getting much more impressive.

As we walked into town we were greeted by unit after unit of tailored show stores, clothing and suites, silk and crafts housed in buildings with a period mediterranean theme; Portuguese, Southern French, on small streets in a gridlike system busied by scooters, tourists and women with their market wares.

the river glistened in the sun - home to colourful tourist boats. The air filled with the smell of fresh Vietnamese food - fish, banana leaf, sweetcorn, chicken - herbs.

The first night I organised my wool cashmere suit - frantically choosing colour and fabric, style and sizing before dashing off to meet the rest of the crew for dinner then a quiet walk around the town with lanterns scattered along the roads and bridges. It was incredibly romantic - suddenly loneliness hit. Hoi An is not a late-bird, the shops shut and local tucked up in bed by 10pm.

The next day I was up at 5am to catch the local fish market, I was determined to see the hustle and bustle of this seemingly small town. I was confronted by a hectic waterfront of market traders of all kinds. The smells were incredible and the people friendly and welcoming and knew I wasn't there to buy and looked suspiciously at my camera. Here I got caught out, a lovely trader requested a photo - then demanded I pay her $1US. So be careful- this is a trick by the Vietnamese.

After breakfast, we cycled the back roads in the village watching how locals made sleeping matts, pottery, bamboo boats.

By afternoon it was off for more Hoi An shopping therapy including tailored shoes and trainers. By 6.30pm the sun was setting fast - the air cooled to a bareable degree and we ate and drank for the rest of the night - well the latest place we found was midnight!

Tomorrow I would pick up my tailored suit - the excitement was building.