7th – 9th December
The bus to Hoi An took about 4 hours, it was about 1pm when we arrived. We travelled through Da Nang on the way, which looks like its about to explode into a Vegas style area, with luxurious hotels everywhere (watch that space). We got off the bus, and were offered a free map and shuttle bus to the centre of town by a hotel, that, according to the map is right in the centre. This sounded like a good deal, so we took it. The hotel room was nice, but we figured it was a bit of a scam, so we thought we’d ask around and see how the other guesthouses compared. (When we were looking for the bus stop to leave Hoi An a few nights later, we realised it was closer to the town centre than the hotel offering the shuttle, so the map had the town centre at completely the wrong location!).
We walked towards the market, and found an absolute shithole that you couldnt pay me to stay in, so we walked on a little further and found An Phu hotel, which for $7.50 each per night was pretty good, we even had a pool.
Jack had been recommended a tailor, Ut, by his uncle and auntie, who visit Vietnam often, and Vinh from Hue had recommended Kim, but we went to see Ut first, as that recommendation was a bit more trustworthy. As it turns out, Kim pays commissions to motorbike taxis, even to Vinh in Hue, whereas Ut relies only on word-of mouth. We went to see Ut and got measured up for some clothes. I ordered one grey striped suit with a second pair of trousers, one green suit for a laugh, three shirts, two ties and one winter jacket for $300, all tailored with two fittings.
With our order placed, we went and had a look around town.
We went to the Why Not? bar with Laurence and Tom (who got to Hoi An the day before and were staying in the shithole mentioned earlier!) and got loose. This bar offers free whisky and coke, I avoid stuff like that, it’s got to be too good to be true, there is some dodgy whisky over there! We also went over the other side of the river to some other bars but the power went out so we called it a night.
On December 8 we spent the day haggling for more clothes, ties were $2.50 each, t shirts were $2 and singlets $1. The only thing restricting what we could buy was the size of our packs, and the two months traveling we had left. We went back to Ut for another fitting, at which point she invited us out to dinner that night. Unfortunately we had already made plans with Laurence and Tom to get Indian, so we arranged for lunch on the 9th. We booked our bus tickets to Nha Trang for the 9th and met up with the boys at the Why Not? Bar again that night and also were joined by Imogen and Ellie from Ha Long Bay/Hue. It was a big night.
On the 9th, we went to Ut’s for lunch, she had put on this big spread which we shared with her family. It was unreal. for $50 each all our clothing was shipped home (It arrived two weeks later), and we spent the afternoon at the beach, which was ok, but a bit overcast. Then we got the bus with Laurence and Tom that night to Nha Trang.
Thoughts on Hoi An:
- An Phu Hotel is worth checking out
- Stock up on ties
- I have no hesitation recommending Ut as a tailor (Sanh Dieu Chic-Unique at 62 phan boi chau st)