off we go! travel blog

Betel Garden Homestay

Hoi An

These don't look big enough!

Hoi An market

Up before dawn today to catch the 05.28 to Da Nang, for Hoi An. Bit of a struggle as construction work next door carried on till 2am (apparently), but with a swift cup of cold coffee to help, we made it to the station with time to spare, only to discover the train was running 15 minutes late. Time for a hot coffee!

The train journey, almost 9 hours long, was ok, we had comfortable seats with plenty of room around us, food trolleys every so often and stunning scenery, as the train wound its way steadily up the coast. Changes from beaches to mountain passes/tunnels, rolling hills, extensive rice paddies, farmers ploughing small fields with oxen, banana patches, duck farms, fish farms, tiny hamlets, bustling towns, cemeteries (!); the time seemed to pass easily, well, the first 5 hours did. Ruth had made sure we had enough provisions as we were told the quality of the train food wasn't good, so we relaxed and enjoyed the ride.

Met at Da Nang station by a lad from our next accommodation, who raced through the town, hand almost permanently on the car horn, and out to Hoi An our destination. Vuon Trau is a delight; it is a home stay with rooms or 'cottages' set in a lovely garden with a pool - which we jumped into at the first opportunity.

After our swim we ventured into Hoi An old town. It really is lovely and so different to anywhere else we have been. A little neon, but mostly candles and lanterns. The people seemed friendly, no real hassle though they were keen for us to buy something, so we ordered some clothes and Ruth some sandals to be hand made to measure. (Hoi An is famous for its tailors/dressmakers). Should be able to collect our goods tomorrow. After a lovely meal in a restaurant overlooking the river we had a gentle stroll back to the home stay and bed - what a boring old couple! Looking forward to visiting the town in daylight.

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