Worldwide Travel Blog
Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog Worldwide Travel Blog

 DAY ELEVEN - Hoi An City, Vietnam

Previous Blogs: Day 1 Tokyo | Day 2 Tokyo | Day 3 & 4 Singapore | Day 5 Singapore | Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City | Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City & Tunnels

Day 8 Can Tho | Day 9 Floating Market | Day 10 Flower Market | Day 11 Hoi An | Day 12 My Son Temple | Day 13 Hanoi | Day 14-16 Halong Bay

Day 17 Luang Prabang | Day 18 Temples-Waterfalls | Day 19 Mekong River | Day 20-21 Bagan | Day 22 Bagan | Day 23 Inle | Day24-25 Inle

Day 26-27 Finale

Click photos for a larger image...


Today we took a flight from Saigon to Danang where our private guide for this area and driver picked us up at the airport and drove us to Hoi An, a short 30 minute drive from the city.

Danang is basically a beach resort town and they originally had booked us here for three days, but we had them change it because unlike other tourists who are not from Florida, beaches don't really interest us, we live on one!.

Danang is very clean, I mean extremely clean, not a piece of trash anywhere.  It's also a modern city that could be anywhere in the USA except everyone is Asian and you can't understand the signs!

We had a guided your of the ancient city of Hoi An dating back to the 16th and 17th.  It was a trading town between the Chinese, Japanese, French and British.

This is the Dragon Bridge in Danang, one of 9 bridges in the city. Every Saturday and Sunday at 9 PM the dragon actually breathes fire!

On the way we stopped at a marble statue place to see how they carve these statues (it's a selling thing, more later)

Our lunch was included - traditional Hoi An food, chicken and rice, pork and noodles and something baked inside a rose shaped piece of sticky rice flour. Pretty decent. And the regulation beers were $1.10 each which is not bad for a tourist restaurant in a super touristy area.

We then went on a walking tour through the old city starting at a Buddhist Temple

These spiral looking things you see hanging from the ceiling are actually incense - light the bottom and they slowly burn their way up - one of them lasts for 3 weeks!

The decor is pretty lavish - this is where the Chinese originally settled.

We walked across an ancient Japanese covered bridge with an old guy paddling nearby angling to have his picture taken for money.


As pretty as it is, it is nevertheless a tourist trap with wall-to-wall trinket shops with barely a local in sight - just tourists.

We were also "treated" to a visit to a silk factory to see how they get the silk from silk worms as well as an embroidery factory which posed as an old traditional house hundreds of years old.

These visits, like the stop at the marble factory can be interesting, but are essentially sales pitches to get you to buy their products.

That is the downside of doing custom tours or package tours, there will be one of these type stops almost every other day. While you are under no obligation to purchase anything, it is still never the less irritating especially when you have three in one day, like today.

However, I understand that they have to make money and the tour guides are paid to include these stops in their tours. But three in one day?? Too much. I am used to one or less as the necessary evil that goes with having a tour guide. At least you do see how they make the goods which can be interesting and at the very least a restroom break.

So here we are at our hotel for the next two nights. Free Wifi again, nice pool and Wendy has gone off to the spa in the hotel. One hour Massage and one hour pedicure for about $38. Not a bad price when you consider it is in a 4 star hotel. Probably cost half that or less on the streets but at that price, who cares?

Something interesting about restaurants here. They hand you the menu, take your drinks order and wait by the table for your food order.  Talk about major pressure while you try to figure out what you want in a menu where the English is very fine print and often doesn't even make sense.

They don't bring your bill until you ask for it, and don't clear the table until you leave. So no pressure here.

Then when they bring you the bill they wait right there for the money putting you back under pressure to figure out and count out the correct amount of money in a currency where the 50,000 bill looks very similar to a 500,000 bill!! Big Difference if you make a mistake!

There is no tipping expected, you just round the bill up leaving the change on the table.  Or...they charge you a service fee.  Look closely at your bill.

And finally....






A sign outside a restaurant listing in English the various things they have to offer. Ice cream, pool table, etc. all seems quite reasonable...


Until you get to the laughing gas part!




I think I will take the other stuffs...


Wendy's Note:  Ha! FINALLY!  A REAL Vietnamese pedicure!  Funny after all these years of seeing Jenna Lai (originally from Vietnam).  I will say her pedi's in sleepy New Port Richey are the BEST!!!  Tonight's pedi wasn't the best, however....what was the BEST -  the hand painted lotus flowers on my big toes. I'd take a pic, but toes are just plain ugly no matter how great your pedi is.

For you massage lovers! TAKE NOTE!  Massages in Asia (I've also experienced this in India, too) are initially VERY different than the US, Caribbean or Europe.  Here, they bring you in the room and tell you in their broken English to take off all your clothes.  Well, duh.  You hesitate for a moment, they say, once again - but in a sterner voice:

"Take cwoz off now

If you hesitate just a nano second more they will just start stripping you down.

So, there is no taking your clothes off in leisure in privacy, nestling your way onto the table and positioning your sheet in the perfect manner to hide your whosis and whatis.  You strip down in front of them.  If you have a problem being naked in front of someone you'll never see again, then skip the full body massage and go for foot reflexology instead. 

It really was a wonderful massage and I may opt for another tomorrow night.  :D