15 October 2011

This could get messy [Hoi An, Vietnam]

Continuing south with Yona and Simon, we hit Hoi An. A nice beach-side city with a beautiful old town.

The first day was one of the best days I have had in a while. The weather was absolutely perfect; hot and hardly a cloud in the sky. We grabbed a bicycle and rode down to the beach. The place was deserted, just us, a couple of Vietnamese fishing boats, and kilometers of beautiful coastline. We lay on the white sand, swam in the sea for hours, and had a fresh seafood lunch at one of the beach side restaurants. It was bliss.

Unfortunately the following day was not quite as nice. In fact it was pissing down! We still went in to the old town to wander around for a couple of hours, and it was really nice, but the bad weather really put a damper on the experience.

I had planned to watch the All Blacks v Argentina game during the afternoon, but the power was out all over town. There was one very nice hotel that had a generator which I asked about taking a room for a few hours, but the satellite was out. I ended up just sitting in their lobby and streaming it.

A couple of final notes;
- I found some amazing Vietnamese rum here. A 600ml bottle goes for about US$1.50. This could get messy.
- The Vietnamese people can sometimes be extremely frustrating. Besides the constant hassling to buy their goods, they are often unwilling to bargain just because you are a foreigner. They would rather not sell it to you at all, than sell it at a reasonable price. So when you ask how much something is, and they tell you $20 when you know it is worth $2, they wont budge at all on their price. It really does not make sense to me; it is like they don't want to make money.
- There is practically no hostels in Vietnam. And when you do find one it is often the same price or more than a single room. It really makes no sense. And you can usually take a double room for two people for slightly more than a single. So it is quite frustrating travelling solo.

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