Hoi an ~the ancient town painted in a golden yellow colour that sparkles in the sun and shines in the rain.
Our 3 hour car trip down the coast from Hue was diverted due to bad weather so we miss the Hi Van Pass and Marble Mountain as it is raining so hard and unsafe. We have seriously seen enough pagodas and temples and walked enough steps so there is not a lot of disappointment in our bus!
Our girl gang arrived to flooded streets and we got diverted around Hoi an town. We had no idea where we were ! It was warm and pouring from the sky above as we sat up high in our ? bus. Toot toot!
A quick bag drop off at the hotel and it’s off on a walking city tour with our local guide Hi….. try saying hi- Hi ! We had to remember to say hello Hi ?
We walked from our little Island called the Peninsula across the foot bridge that the locals call the love bridge. This links to the mainland and old town via canals. As they are trying to preserve the old town tourists pay a small fee to visit the historic sites, and you can use the ticket for the whole time you visit.
Hoi an used to be a busy port so lots of boats floating up and down the river and there are lots of different architecture styles throughout the town here from French colonial buildings, Chinese shop/houses and amazing temples!
Luckily it’s just a light sprinkle of rain on our wander through town seeing the Japanese bridge, old police station another temple, old Chinese homes.
Hi- our guide says goodbye to us till tomorrow and we are off to the tailors- Shirts, dresses, shoes, boots, bags you name it we are supporting the local economy…. I can feel a new suitcase purchase coming on.
It’s stinking hot and after a few hours of planning/shopping etc, we end up back near our hotel and at our new local favourite Tom’s Spa….5 girls needing an hour long foot massage! So funny all lined up with a fish bowl window.
Yawning our way across the road to our hotel, and early to bed it is still raining and we are shattered. Parts of our hotel paths are flooded and we hope our wish/prayer at the Japanese Bridge temple comes true (no rain) for the end of the week when we go on our bike ride as Lindy has already had a thong blow out!
The next day is a free day and the morning brings more rain and more tourists- funny being in South East Asia there are loads of Australians who the locals adore. At Danang a hotel area 30 minutes away on the beach the Korean, Japanese and Chinese like to stay at high end hotels at the beach and flock in by the bus load morning, noon and night!
It’s a crowded city and add to this the personal space issue of our Asian friends ….. not so squeezy!
Lee, Mimi and I get up early morning and go to photograph the old town as it starts to wake up….. we are all so happy to get up and do this without people with selfie sticks and 5 different outfits getting changed for photo shoots in the streets! Ahhhh….
This picture below is a wall I was trying to photograph and along comes a local lady who sees us taking pics and just sits right where I’m trying to take pic! Well we just embraced it much to her surprise … I think she thought we would move on!
The next day is dry and fine and our travel gang sigh in relief as we have a 25 kilometre push bike tour through old town Hoi an, along the river, through villages, across a highway to a tourist attraction the basket boats. A fishing net demo, a crab catching demo and a cruise through the water coconut plants-
These old traditional boats were used for fishing and then when the French came along the Vietnamese said they were for fighting games as the French were scared the locals would take all the fish!
Our little round weaved boat takes us on a tour through the water coconut palms that are used for roofing of garden beds or pool gazebos etc. They show us how to catch the little crabs that live in the sandy cays around the coconut palms, its a peaceful 45 minute experience that is filled with laughs, photos and a spin by our boat ?✈️ captain!
Back to the dock of the bay and on our bikes again after our bum break! Ouch the seats are not so comfy so the next 10 kms has a few groans happening about butt pains whinging about our tail bones and aching butt cheeks – amazing really considering we all have so much padding !!!
Seriously riding through the rice fields on one side, seeing the farmers herding the ducks and the prawn farms on the side of our trek through squishy mud, grassy paths out to a community garden and we are chanting We’re going on a Bear Hunt” wait wrong song. ‘We’re going on a bike ride”
I have stopped to take a photo and I turn around and the 4 girls in front of me have somehow “bogged” their bikes in the mud!!! Hahaaaaa I take the high road and nearly fall off laughing so hard as they then try to ride a bike and flick the mud of their slippers thats what the Vietnamese call our thongs !!!!
Singing “Riding along on our push bikes honey when I noticed”………wait where is Keryn?
She took the corner too wide and has fallen off her bike into the lemon grass……. she is lying on the garden with the bike on top of her and a bit wedged and we are all wishing we had depend on as we try not to pee ourselves laughing!
A local man- (not us) stops to help her……. we are laughing so hard. Keryn who is a bit dirty and dusty says between laughs ‘at least I smell good’ !
Even our guide is ? laughing and we all have to try and be serious for our gardening demo, Kez is already dirty from the mud and now the fall so she becomes our demo gal for creating and planting a new garden bed for us!
Then it’s time to water the garden. Which Lindy and I volunteer for as it’s basically weight lifting ?️♀️ buckets of water to walk between the veggie patches and tip the buckets as you go…… see the pics below, you get the picture!
Our guide says the younger generation of teenagers here don’t want to study to be a doctor or take over the family farm, because they can earn more money doing these tourist things! He said the older generation are concerned with what will happen in the future….. we can also see all this new infrastructure, highways and hotels, that as tourists we help pay for and the locals are grateful, however it’s becoming so touristy and all the new hotels are huge and there won’t be any beach to visit unless you stay at a resort!
Any way after the bucket watering, it’s off to cook part of our own lunch with Danny, a ‘famous’ Vietnamese chef who spruiks his own cook book and then tries to entertain us only are the main attraction. I throw my pancake over my shoulder ( accidentally ) as part of his show and Lindy’s some how lands her hot pancake on her chest and then the floor, followed by a frog landing on our cooking demo table….. Danny is very clever at food art.
Too many laughs!
As we have been cooking a lot I decide I’m on holidays and sick of cooking my own meal and ask the girls if they want to wag cooking school on our last full day in Hoi an …… of course we all agree so it’s off for a nice dinner and a few too many drinks before a day to lie around the pool, do some art works ahhhhh holidays you gotta love it.
Hoi An has been amazing great food, awesome group of gals willing to be silly in watermelon and pineapple shirts- a pretty little town and we have loved our 4 days here…… it’s off to the big smoke now … Saigon!
More from there later Mrs W xx. More pics below …