The drive from Hue to Hoi An, heading down a winding coastal road, was exceptional - the views were fabulous and one of those times I wished my camera/I was better at capturing a scene. Generally, the landscape in Vietnam was beautiful, with small mountain ranges very often on the horizon.
We arrived at the Vinh Hung 2 Hotel in Hoi An, which I would highly recommend. It had a great layout with the rooms looking over a central courtyard area where the pool was, the staff were friendly and left little sweet treats in our rooms on two out of three nights, and not to mention between 3.30-6.30 pm (though they were very lenient about this!) there was cocktail happy hour, making some cocktails the equivalent of £1 each! Mmmm passionfruit daiquiri! (The first of many passionfruit-themed cocktails for me on this trip!) It was a really lovely place to spend a few chilled days with our group.
Hoi An itself was a lovely, if slightly touristy, town. The historic centre essentially consists of, as one guidebook put it, "an absolutely ridiculous number of shops." Right up my street then! Many shops were actually very similar, but had things in slightly different patterns or styles, so you just had to go into them all...right? The main things being sold were clothing and scarves, as well as more souvenir type things like fans and chopsticks. I picked up a few bits and bobs, but I'll leave that for another post!
While Hoi An is famous for its shops, what it might be even more famous for is its tailors. There were many tailoring shops throughout the place, all offering incredible deals on made-to-measure clothing. If I had had an event in mind or even a designer dress I had always loved, I would 100% have got one made but alas, while they were very cheap (in the region of $60, about £40 for a mid-length evening dress, for example) I couldn't really justify it when I had no occasion for it. However, many people on our trip went for it and the coats, dresses, boots and suit jackets they had made looked brilliant!
We had some lovely dinners in Hoi An, including in restaurants called Morning Glory (snigger) and Hai Cafe, which was particularly nice. Hoi An at night was a little bit magical, with colourful paper lanterns being displayed and sold in many places.
And of course, I mustn't forget the absolutely delicious range of cakes on offer at the Cargo Club. Mine, on the right, was a passionfruit and chocolate mousse - NOM.
Hoi An was also located approximately 5 minutes by taxi away from Cua Dai beach - of course I couldn't resist a chance to have a little swim in the South China Sea. Having been lucky enough to have visited a couple of tropical beaches over the last couple of years, this wasn't my favourite but still a pretty cool way to spend a couple of hours!
Next, on to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City!
Do you like a relaxing few days in your holiday or are busy cities more your style?