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Hoi An

It's an early arrival in Hoi An from Da Lat with the night bus and we decide to walk over to where the cluster of hotels are rather than take a taxi. It's a really busy time in Vietnam due to the New Year’s celebrations, so it takes some time to find a place to stay. We finally find a hotel and get a room on top floor with a balcony - which is quite nice. The hotel is a bit run down though - you get what you pay for I guess - but it was adequate. Only later we read the reviews on Tripadvisor, and I don't think we would ever go near the place if we'd read them before we got here. Our experience was OK though, and the staff were nice and helpful unlike what had been experienced by the majority according to the Tripadvisor reviews. The room was also clean, although it was in a state of serious disrepair.

[caption id="attachment_1936" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Nha Trang. Nha Trang.[/caption]

Eager to have a look around we take to the streets for a little sightseeing walk. Unfortunately all of the museums and the historic houses that are normally open for tourists are closed due to the holidays. On the plus-side the temples are open, and due to the holidays, free to enter. We're instantly charmed by the interesting mix of French colonial with Chinese architecture as we walk along the historical centre, and it looks even more idyllic than normal because of all the lanterns and flower decorations for the celebration of the Lunar New Year’s. Also along the streets in town are countless of flower sellers - we've seen scores of them everywhere since arriving in Vietnam but this must be the busiest place with them so far - it's even difficult to walk in some places because there are so many of them. There are quite a few Chinese temples along our route, so many in fact that after a bit we just pass most of them by - we're gutted that the museums and open houses are closed as we'd love to have a look some of these - c'est la vie. Another popular attraction is the Japanese Bridge, so we do of course stop off by there as well.

[caption id="attachment_1937" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Japanese Bridge, Hoi An. Japanese Bridge, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1938" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Japanese Bridge, Hoi An. Japanese Bridge, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1939" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Japanese Bridge, Hoi An. Japanese Bridge, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1940" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Japanese Bridge, Hoi An. Japanese Bridge, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1941" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Japanese Bridge, Hoi An. Japanese Bridge, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1942" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lanterns, Hoi An. Lanterns, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1943" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lanterns, Hoi An. Lanterns, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1944" align="aligncenter" width="508"]Cam Pho Temple, Hoi An. Cam Pho Temple, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1945" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Cam Pho Temple, Hoi An. Cam Pho Temple, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1946" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Cam Pho Temple, Hoi An. Cam Pho Temple, Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1947" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1948" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1949" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1950" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1951" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1952" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1953" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1954" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1955" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1956" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1957" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1958" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1959" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1960" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1961" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1962" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1963" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1964" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1965" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1966" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1967" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1968" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1969" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1970" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1971" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1972" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Hoi An. Hoi An.[/caption]

Another plan of ours that got squashed was to take a cooking class here in Hoi An, but again due to the holidays none of the restaurants were doing them. Many of the restaurants had even closed down completely for the New Years. The same story went for the tour companies, so we weren't able to book up any sightseeing tours either, we were just left to roam the streets and soak up the atmosphere.

On "Lunar New Year's Eve" we of course went out to have a look at the fireworks by the river. Just a minute before the show it started to rain - it was torrential and it didn't let up before after the fireworks show was over 20 minutes later. The fireworks were fantastic though even though everyone watching was drenched by the rain in seconds - I'm surprised the firework actually still worked with such a persistent heavy downpour. After the show was over we joined the very drenched-to-the-bone - but surprisingly cheerful - crowd heading back through town to get back to our hotel. Had we not been soaked we would have stopped for a couple more drinks in the centre of town.

[caption id="attachment_1973" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1974" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1975" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1976" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1977" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1978" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1979" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1980" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1981" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1982" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1983" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1984" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An. Lunar New Year's Eve in Hoi An.[/caption]

The next day there is no busses running so we have to stay put in Hoi An for another day to wait for further transport to our next destination Hue. Of course, as it's the day after all the festivities pretty much everything is closed so it's a day of just relaxing for us.

We booked our bus to Hue through our hotel just after we arrived here to be sure we would get a seat. And on the day of travel we get picked up in a van to take us the 300 meters up the road to where the bus is waiting. If we'd known it was so close we would have opted to walk up there instead of sitting waiting for this van to turn up... We're soon on our way though and the journey is fairly quick.