Hoi An

Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
Trip End Mar 31, 2011

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Flag of Vietnam  , Quang Nam,
Monday, August 2, 2010

The overnight bus from Nha Trang had reclining seats that were well designed for the average diminutive Vietnamese physique so they were rather a struggle for us, but on the plus side they only showed a couple of hours of Vietnamese Stricly Come Dancing and then two kung fu films so the aural and visual assault wasn't what it might have been.
Arriving at 5am, we checked for into a nice hotel which had once been a US army barracks for our first night; no doubt the swimming pool was added later but even so it was a rather impressive and comfortable building.
Hoi An was a busy port, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries and houses were built by Chinese and Japanese merchants which have survived wars and floods and now form a very pleasant old town.  Its fairly tourist-ified, with most of the houses now restaurants, art galleries and tailors but its very pleasant to take your time over walking around.  There is also a good beach at one edge of town, so we're very happy to spend a few days here.  The local food is very good as well; Vietnam seems to have a lot of regional culinary diversity, and we have some noodle soup here prepared with lots of mint that tastes very light and fresh.
We visit 'My Son' temple about 50km away, which is a complex of temples designed in a similar Khmer style as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, although they were never as impressive and have suffered a lot of war damage.  When we went to Angkor Wat a few years ago, we had had a private tour and being in a large group tour here made us realise just how important a good guide is, because we didn't really get much of a feel for what the temples might have been like once. 
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