We sleep in a little bit, take turns showering up and go downstairs to regroup. The front desk girl offers us breakfast even though it’s been finished for about an hour.
We talk to her about bus options to Hue. There’s only one bus and it leaves at 1:30. It’s now 11:30, fuck that would only give us under 2 hours to see this place. But I don’t think we need to stay here another night. Maybe if it was our honeymoon.
The girl tells us we can also take a private driver and leave whenever we want. It’s $20 mow than the bus. Yep, driver it is. Front desk girl asks if we were here to shop, “it is well known for shopping.” It’s been a while since our last shopping montage.
With that sorted we hit the streets towards old town Hoi An. There’s a tourism kiosk to get into the area during the day. It costs about 6 bucks. We get our tickets and go through the old town arch.
Hoi An is a stunning place. Colorful and quaint with tons of boutique shops, restaurants and cafes. Being an old port city it’s also a multicultural place with French colonial architecture and pieces added by the Chinese and Japanese. It feels like a totally different country from Vietnam here actually. Like some European version of Asia.
You can get boat tours, there are lots of cool temples to explore, a big central market and a Japanese covered bridge. We spent some time meandering around looking at it all. It’s hard not to like Hoi An, it’s so vibrant. The only problem is the influx of tourists, but any discovered place will have that. The tree lined streets with lanterns in the canopy set against the bright yellows, reds and blues of the buildings give the place a cozy and relaxed feel. Sitting in a riverside cafe for a few hours seems about perfect here.
And now it’s time for the Hoi An shopping Montage!
MacKay finds a sunglasses spot to replace the ones he lost. He ends up getting some fake Oakleys. “I know, fake Oakleys make you look like a douchebag. But I am a douchebag so I’m wearing them semi ironically.” The MacKay uniform was complete once more.
We find a shop selling Vietnamese Propaganda posters and check it out. There were a lot of great posters in there, some a little too great actually. Like one of Nixon with a large gorilla body holding bombs in each hand and his shadow covered in skulls. Looked amazing but maybe a little too controversial for the office.
Drisdelle and I both pick up a couple of posters. They’re printed on rice paper, which is kind of neat. The girl rolls them up and puts them in pvc pipe to protect them. Good thing too as its off and on raining today.
We also find a cheeky tourist t shirt spot. One of the shirt designs stood out to drisdelle and me. Just a telephone pole with wires going everywhere. It said Vietnam Telecom on it. Seems appropriate. “The red one please”, the guy comes over and puts his hands around my belly then my chest. Best feel up I’ve had in a while. “You XXL”, “XXL? You sure”, “Oh yes, him XL”. I trust his judgement and grab the shirt.
We’ve pretty much seen all the temples and highlights in the area. We kind of blitzed Hoi An but didn’t feel we’d missed anything really. Would be a nice pretty place to hang with your girlfriend and relax for a couple days, but we were satisfied with the few hours of taking it in and were ready to mosey on.
It starts torrential raining on the way back to the hotel and we’re running back now through the puddles and traffic. I still stop for a picture here and there, the place is just so damn beautiful.
Our driver nabs us at 3. He’s got a nice roomy SUV for us. We get in out of the rain and humidity to some nicely cranked AC with vents for each of us. Ahhhhhhh yeah. Private driver is the way to go!
We go back through Da Nang on the way. Construction everywhere, this place is getting built up. Tons of resorts. I wonder if the Russians and Chinese are involved like in Nha Trang. Probably.