After a dreary last day in nha trang which consisted of wasting time until our 6.30pm bus ride to hoi an. The over night bus was seen through with little incident and it was possible to get a couple of hours sleep whilst listening to the trusty mp3 player. Arriving in hoi an we quickly found a cheap, clean guest house and tried to get a couple of hours sleep before going for some breakfast. The plan started well until lucy advised that we should take our malaria tablets as we forgot the night before. About half an hour later we were both feeling a bit rough, and it quickly dawned on us both that taking them on an empty stomach would result in, well; hiroshima. Now, with an even emptier stomach lucy made a better decision, to go to breakfast.
Hoi an is a tiny town nestled on the river banks and is crowned with being a world heritage site. Taking a walk around it was clear that it was going to be simpler to deck ourselves out in some new silk threads than get something to eat, as hoi an boasts an impressive 200 taylor shops. Trying to
explain to these people that we couldn't possibly carry suits and coats for the next year was a trying task, and as brick walls proved more understanding, the next few days were spent dodging shop owners and youngsters trying to measure the inner thigh. The town does boast some impressive scenery and crumbling architecture that gives the place a rustic, natural feel. Instead of heading home to catch up on sleep it was agreed that the best course of action would be to spend the day exploring the town until we were forced by some nasty locals into drinking some cheap local beer, bastards! In the afternoon the heavens opened and we found ourselves stranded in a cafe where the food menu was less than impressive, and it soon became clear that a dash through the rain soaked town was the only way to ensure a good feed. We arrived back at the guest house where we were confronted by the owner who seemed both impressed and confused that we had left twelve hours earlier for breakfast. The next day began reasonably early with breakfast next to the guest house served by manuel from fawlty towers brother. We hired some
bikes and headed out to the local beach where we found a place to park for free, offered to us by an american who owns a beach side bar. Throughout S.E Asia we have been presented with the opportunity to buy plenty of crap from plenty of people, but on the beaches of Hoi An it seems that since the days of occupation by charlie, the locals have been honing their bartering skills. Being offered a pineapple for three dollars was the final straw (20 cents is the real value) so we decided to chat to the girl for a while. It turns out that lots of idiots pay this sort of money for undersized, dry, tasteless fruit (we know as aussie dave brought one for a lot less) and she loves to take the piss out of them in Vietnamese. The people selling items on the beach turned out to be a reasonable bunch who, once you spoke to them were really nice. Miss pineapple did tell dave that she would kill him at one point if he didn't cross her palm with silver, then reduced her threat to 'i not kill you but i think you die soon'
but as she couldn't say it without laughing, her cover was quickly blown. After some lunch at the bar where we parked the bikes we again were treated to another drenching as the heavens opened, and not wanting to appear scared of a bit of water we spent the next hour or so riding the backstreets being shouted and laughed at by locals who thought it was hilarious to see us totally soaked, and a bit lost.
From Hoi An we made the short bus ride to Danang, a city that upon arrival it was clear we would spend a minimal amount of time in. The reason for this stop off was to get a visa for Laos, so we gave the city a chance by hiring some bikes to explore the local beaches and have more close shaves than Wallace and Gromit. We made our way out to china beach where the Americans went for some rest and relaxation and took a break from shooting people during the Vietnam war. It really is a stunning piece of coastline that stretches for around 25 kilometers all the way to Hoi An. During our time spent in Danang the Chinese
Navy where bringing back the bodies of hundreds of Vietnamese fisherman who were caught in Typhoon Chanchu. There where around one hundred rescued but many more perished far from the coast whilst deep sea fishing. The port was opposite the hotel and there were hundreds of relatives and onlookers waiting to see if their loved ones were amongst the dead. The typhoon happened over a week before and it was explained to us that the families of the dead would have to pay for the recovery and many would be unable to afford a proper funeral. As the men working on the boats, some were the whole male side of one family were the ones earning all the money, life would be very difficult for the wives and children as there is no help from the government and no insurance. It was a sad way to leave Danang but we were pleased to be away from a place full of grief and tragedy.
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