Getting Around Hoi An

We flew down from Hanoi to the Central Vietnamese city of Da Nang but as we wanted a bit of a change from all that city noise and chaos, opted to travel a little further south to the ancient small town of Hoi An. We were lucky enough to find a lovely AirBnB a couple of kilometres outside the town with gorgeous gardens, sun terrace and pool….

Gardens and pool area with Paul in the distance organising his bike

Our AirBnb provided bikes for free and this was the easiest way to get into and around the town. Good exercise too, and a way to work off some of the food and beer!

Paul cycling past some of the many thousands of huge yellow chrysanthemum bowls specially grown to be at their absolute best over the “Tet” Vietnamese New Year holiday
Bowling along merrily!
The covered Japanese bridge which dates from the C 18th and is probably the best known sight of Hoi An
Vegetables drying and fermenting in the sun alongside the river for Vietnamese pickles. I’m always stopping to take a photo of something interesting and letting Paul go sailing on – he’s in the blue T shirt in the distance
We’re spending rather a lot of time sitting around in cafes, the excuse often being that we need to get out of the sun. We guess the coffee is so good in Vietnam partly because of their French influenced past. I’m drinking an iced coconut coffee which is delicious.
At night little boats covered in coloured lanterns ply up and down the town river

We loved Hoi An which is a beautiful little town although quite touristy. However we were enjoying the bikes so much that we thought we’d go a little further on our last full day, so we cycled a few miles out to the beach. An Bang beach was the first we had visited since leaving India and we were again taken by surprise at how clean, organised and frankly glamourous it was! It was busy with loads of people enjoying the clean golden sand, shallow warm water, water sports, beach bars and beautiful views out to the Cu Lao Cham islands. We treated ourselves to lunch at “The Shore Club” and spent some time ruminating on how lucky we were to be there!

The picture came out a bit dark just because the snshine was so bright outside
Towards the end of the afternoon we rode back to our AirBnb through the paddy fields….

January 23rd is Paul’s birthday and as things worked out this was a travelling day for us. We had train tickets for the night sleeper from Da Nang leaving at 10.40 pm for the 10 1/2 journey south to the resort city of Nha Trang. We spent a few hours in Da Nang and liked it more than we had expected to. The city had beachside boulevards that seemed to stretch for miles along the coast, and also some impressive river frontages, full of modern buildings, including big name hotels. These seemed to vie with one another for the best neon and LED light shows as it started to get dark, but for us The Novotel was probably the best…

All of the bridges were lit, this photo does little justice to the colourful moving patterns on display

After finding the nicest restaurant we could at short notice for a birthday meal we arrived at the station in good time. The night journey really wasn’t too bad at all.

Waiting in the station for the train. The waiting room was clean, bright and well organised, only opeing onto the platform once the train had arrived.
The sleeper bunks were not very long, my feet are touching the end, so it was not a night to stretch out.
Grabbing a coffee at 9am ofter arriving in Nha Trang

We have a few days in Nha Trang over the New Year holiday, we hope a few restaurants and bars will still be open.

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