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Published: August 4th 2017
We arrived bright an early in Hoi An and were immediately relieved that the place was quiet and beautiful. Our homestay was perfect. Big room, balcony with ensuite, aircon and breakfast included! We sat outside having coffees and started chatting to a couple from Russia (Alex and Aluna) who were on a break from teaching English in China. After an hour of quizzing them in every aspect of their work we have now decided that we are also going to teach English in China! We set out towards the old town, only a 10 minute walk from our hotel, and we found the morning market was in full swing. There was bright coloured fruit every where you looked lined up against the river and whilst we wandered along the riverbank we found a spot where we could watch the fisherman and the boats going out from the day (obviously with a coffee). It has beautiful French colonial buildings all painted in a sandy yellow with white detailing and black wooden beams for decoration.
After our coffees we mooched through the walking streets with silk lanterns criss crossing from tree to tree. All the while hiding from the ticket toll booths as you are supposed to pay for a ticket to walk the streets of the old town (I know.... the cheek!). There were art shops, tailors, coffee and tea shops - was bliss! We almost ended up buying silk trousers and a suit jacket but managed to resist temptation. We also looked high and low for Chars (fake) North Face puffer jacket but sadly there was nothing to meet her exacting standards. In the evening the whole of the old town is lit up with silk lanterns criss-crossing the streets and it looks even more beautiful (if that's possible) than the day time. Maybe it was the French architecture but something in the air made us crave red wine for the first time in the trip so far and so the hunt was on for a reasonably priced bottle of red. It wasn't exactly the the most delicious wine but then again we don't think Vietnam is famed for its vineyards but after a few glasses it tasted devine so we ordered another bottle and sat by the river watching the world go by. On our way back to the hotel the river was filled with floating lanterns and so Char lit one for her mum and we had a little quiet reflection, she would have loved this place so much. Back at the hotel we decided in our wisdom to have a ciggy on the balcony before bed and accidentally locked ourselves out there. Shit, we could not get the door to unlatch and it was late so the main door was also locked. Jack made a great ninja climbing about checking any doors and windows whilst Char sat around planning what would be the comfiest way to sleep on the balcony! In the end Jack had to wake up the family downstairs who were very shocked to hear that he had climbed down the side of the hotel but thankfully let us in and we got to sleep in the bed after all!
The following day we walked, pretty hungover, in the heat of the day to the outskirts of Hoi An where there was a pottery village. We walked around ogling the locals making bowls and plates and trying to sell us pottery whistles shaped like animals. We then went to the terracotta park where they had made pottery minatures of famous places around the world, we visited the colleseum, Sydney opera house, Taj Mahal and the pyramids all in about 10 minutes! Then Chars day was made when we got to have a go at making our own pots on the wheel (with help of course). Char was a natural, obviously, and whipped up a beautiful little pot whilst jacks cumbersome hands struggled a little with the delicate task, maybe he is better suited to making soup bowls rather than tiny pots! Still, they both turned out great in the end but sadly we couldn't keep them as the kiln was not lit that day, they only light it once a month and the entire village fire their months work together!
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