Hoi An - Beach and dress collection

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Jul 23, 2013

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Flag of Vietnam  , Quang Nam province,
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We got up quite early and went down for breakfast. The food was OK but not as nice as we had got used to, having been spoilt for choice in both Hanoi and Hue.

After breakfast we sat in our room contemplating our next move. Our Vietnam Visa's would expire on 03rd March, which only gave us another twelve days to visit the four places that we had intended; Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Ho Chi Min City and Pho Quoc Island. We didn't really feel the probable hassle and cost of having to extend our Visas would be necessary, as we both felt we would have probably have seen enough of Vietnam by the end of Feb. After some deliberation, we decided to skip going to Nha Trang and Mui Ne, as they are both beach resorts; fly to Ho Chi Minh City, spend a few nights there and then move on to Pho Quoc Island for the remainder of time our Visa allowed.

Terry looked at Vietnam Airways website and identified that there were only 5 seats left on a late night flight on the date we needed to be out of the Hotel. We spoke briefly about the hassle of having to check out at midday and then spend the rest of the day with our luggage, but there seemed no other option. We would have to get back to Danang to fly on to Ho Chi Minh City anyway, which would take up some time.

It would seem we deliberated for too long as when Terry returned to the website, the seats had all sold out. We looked at the next day and already quite a few of them had gone. We decided that we had better buy a couple of tickets there and then, and work out afterwards where we would spend the extra night. That's what we are getting like.

After successfully booking the flight tickets to Ho Chi Minh we decided to take a stroll to the beach. Thank goodness it was almost midday; we would not have wanted to walk the 2.5km to the beach at any other time.....

Walking the road to the beach took much longer than originally anticipated and we didn't see anybody else walking in either direction. We seemed to walk through two small villages nestled between long dusty stretches of road that only provided traffic access to the paddy fields on our left and right. At one time, Terry had a bit of a paddy saying that the map we had been given at the Hotel was not true to scale so we could be 'walking for miles and never get there'. There was no real pavement or footpath to walk on, which meant walking on the road, and we could often feel the whoosh of the traffic or brush the clothing of a rider on a motorbike. A lot of people shouted 'Hello' and waved from the back of motorcycles or push bikes - they knew we were English.

Thank goodness we were rewarded when we did eventually reach the beach. We just seemed to walk around a corner, and there it was. We both stood in awe for a couple of moments taking in the sights that met our eyes. Together we watched the gentle movement and foaming of the transparent water as it crept on to the soft white sand; and looked up to the tall coconut palms, that were swaying gently in the breeze; creating some respite from the sun. I could have cried, it was so beautiful, I never thought I would see a beach like this in real life. Terry was lost for words as well.

We walked along the sand and found a beachside cafe to sit down and have a drink at. We were both a bit dirty and dishevelled but nobody seemed to notice. We ordered Lassis and sat watching the sea. We noticed beach loungers and asked a waitress how we could rent two. She told us they belonged to the cafe, so we paid to hire two for the rest of the day. As we had not intended to stay at the beach neither of us had any beachwear or towels, so couldn't really go in the sea.

It really was peaceful at the beach, apart from the vendors that continually hassle us to buy the trinkets that they were selling A good ploy to deter them, I discovered, was to put on sunglasses, lie down on the lounger and pretend to be asleep; they walked straight past then. The only problem was though that as soon as we sat up, they were on us.
I got so fed up with one lady who just refused to move from the end of our loungers, that I ended up reluctantly buying a small compact mirror I thought might come in useful but even after that she tried to sell me a plastic dragonfly. Unbelievable.

We started to walk back to the Hotel at about 17:30 - we had no other choice. Terry suggested the next time we went to the beach he would hire a bike and I could have a 'backie'.

About half way back to the hotel we stopped at a little open cafe for a Beer and some Spring Rolls. As we drank and ate, we were looking out over a lovely river; it was so serene and peaceful.

Back at the Hotel we freshened up and set off to collect my dress. It was OK, didn't exactly fit the way I had hoped it would, but was good enough. The sales lady tried to get us to order more clothes and we were that close to ordering a silk blouse and skirt, but now she knew we were good for the money she raised her price and would not negotiate to what we wanted to pay, so we left.

We found a nice looking restaurant in the old city to sit for something to eat. Terry really enjoyed his Crispy Wontons; even though they were not what he thought he had ordered, but my Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice was too salty.

When we got back to the Hotel we asked whether they had capacity for us to stay an extra night. We had discussed going to another Hotel, but for one night it didn't seem worth the hassle. Luckily, they had capacity so we would be able to stay until we flew out to Ho Chi Minh City.
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Lizzie on

Loving your blogs ......you should write a book. It all sounds so fabulous x x

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