Up at 8 to catch a bus to Hoi An. We got a open ticket from Hue to Nha Trang. We arrived about 1, as soon as we got off the bus we were poached by people selling us hotel rooms. We had a look at one for $10 and we decided we would take it. We had a walk around Hoi An and it is the nicest places we have visited it is beautiful. The old part of the town is a UNESCO world heritage site. All narrow lanes full of cafe's, restaurants and shops, all decorated with lanterns and fairy lights. It is very pretty and set on the Thu Bon river
We then headed for a tailors which we have been looking forward to. After some tme and negotiations we ended up buying a high quality Kashmir suit for me, 2 shirts, and a coat each. All measured to fit and designed how we wanted. (Sophie drew the designs for the coats.) We got it all for $225, not as cheap as we though but still a good price for tailored cloths.
By the time we finished in the tailors it was time for tea. We managed to get a table in what looked like the busiest restaurant in Hoi An. Later we found ouut it was reccommended in the Lonely Planet. We could see why as the food was delicious. As it was Good Friday we had fish only - we had Hoi An's famous white rose (shrimp paste in rice paper steamed) and fried wontons topped with shrimp and prawns. Oh and we had a tuna fillet which was delicious!
We explored the old town some more this morning, wandering around the markets. Haggling the old ladies for a pineapple. The make it so its ready to eat, peeled and quarted. The pineapple over here is so nice, I could eat it all day. We then had some street food. We didn't know what we were doing. The lady gave us a tray with chicken satay, salad, sauce and some rolls and what I thought were napkins but was dried rice paper. When she showed us how to make them they were very nice and could see us buying them again. We then went back the tailors for a fitting. They had already made mu suit and shirts and sophie's coat. They needed a few adjustments but as we had time we wanted it to be right so even the little things we got changed.
We then went for some street food down by the river. It was on the corner by the bridge that is lit up by fairy lights and is decorated nicely. We had Cao Lao. That is another famous dish from Hoi An. It is like a noodle soup with pork and beansprouts. It was very good and cheap too. We then found a bar that sold fresh beer at 4000 dong which is about 12p. Sophie couldn't even resist the cheap beer.
Lazy morning before mooching arround the town and markets buying lots of souvenirs, stopping every 30 minutes for a sit down and a drink of water as very hot today. We ended up back at the lady selling the chicken satay rolls for lunch. We then went back the tailors for a few more alterations to our cloths, hopefully be ready to pick up tommorow.
We went the food market and haggled down for some bananas and a pineapple for our breakfast. We had already walked around the town about a hundred times so we went to a pool that we saw in one of the bigger hotels down the road from us. It was nice as the days are so hot and we could cool down.
In the evening we went for our final Cao Lao down by the river followed by a huge chocolate cake from one of the posh cafes. As it was Easter yesterday we treated ourselves. We picked up our clothes from the tailors on the way back to our hotel.
We packed all our new things along with a load of souvenirs what we have collected along our travels and headed for the post office. We sent some by sea mail and some air mail. Came to $100 in total! We went for a walk around the town for the final time before we went back to the hotel to pick our horses for the Grand National - we didn't want to miss out!
At 3 o'clock we had a cookig class at Cafe 43. The owners daughter told us how to cook 3 Vietnamese dishes which we chose of the menu. We chose to cook chicken, chili and lemon grass and pork spring rolls and sautee chicken curry. The ingredients were ready for us, we had to chop the veg first and then as she talked us through everything we were writing it down. We rolled our own spring rolls, which are harder than you think but once you've got the hang of it your ok. We enjoyed cooking the food and seeing what goes into the dishes. The best part was eating them! We then had to get a night bus to Nha Trang. We managed to get ok seats. It was on the top level (as there are 2) and along one side (as there are 3 rows.) The seats recline but they expect you to put your feet in a box underneath the person's seat infont of you but no bodys feet fit! It was a pretty uncomfortable bus ride really M x
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