12.04.2012 - 16.04.2012
Hoi an was a pleasant bus ride from Hue. Some of the scenery along the route was stunning, and it is an area strongly recommended for easy riders, but something we didn't do. We had our hotel booked for the first time and were picked up at the bus station which was great. Out hotel was $12 a night and decent for the price, until we learned you could get a hotel with pool for $10 haha.
It is quite a nice little town which looks really beautiful when it's illuminated at night with lots of lanterns all over the town. We wandered around looking for some “Cao Lao”, which was the local delicacy. We found some on a boat on the river, where the atmosphere was enjoyable, but the food wasn't. Thinking it must be better than this, we set off looking for a second dinner. We crossed over the bridge and turned to the left. At the end of the street, past all the restaurants, is a lane lined with picnic benches. This is where the local families who don't own restaurants, can offer their food. Every second bench is a new family. We walked past every bench until the very end and the woman there was delighted we chose her. We were glad we did too because her Caulau was delicious! The food was so good we ate with her two nights trying the pho, fried rice, caulau, wontons and white rose. All dishes were superb. I fully recommend that street if all the other families cook like that. Also, everywhere in Hoi an they have signs for “fresh beer 4,000VNO” which is a local beer. It's a local beer which was quite tasty and very cheap.
There are two beaches outside Hoi-an, a busy one to the east, and a quiet one to the north called An Bang. We rented bikes and cycled to An Bang. The beach was relatively quiet and nobody really hassled us so it was great. The weather was beautiful, the sand was white and clean, and the water was refreshingly cold. It was a nice, relaxing way to start the day. That evening we met a Polish couple who were good fun, so we hung out with them.
The next day we wandered around the town and into the local market, which sold everything. We got taken to tailor shops a couple of times as Hoi- an is famous for them. We decided not to get anything though.
After Hoi-an we went to Quy Nhon, it was toss up between there and Nha Trang and we picked Quy Nhon because we heard it was less resorty and touristy. Also, they have a leper colony there.
It was evident that this was a less visited place as cheaper hotel options were a little difficult to find. Luckily we got off the bus outside some cheap hotel right along the beach, so we stayed there. It was called Anh Vg and was $10 which was fine and the room had a sea view, from across the road.
The beach there was nice and it's pretty long and in the evening there is a market down on the left side which was quaint. They were also supposed to have an old tank half buried in the sand, but they had removed it before we got there. `
As we only had one full day there we decided to rent bikes again and tour around. We had heard there was a leper colony and that the beach around it was supposed to be beautiful, so we decided to head there for a look. The ride out there was up a steep hill for two kilometres which we had to walk as one of the bikes broke, and the chain kept coming off. Once at the top though, we had to freewheel down the other side with brakes that barely worked. As you can imagine, the bikes were rubbish.
We arrived at the place where the colony was, and headed for the beach. It was a long beach and had quite a bit of rubbish and rusty nails on it. The old area of the colony was interesting enough but I didn't get to see where they live now as Kevin was too scared to get too close to them, haha.
After a little sunbathing and nosing around we decided to checkout the other sights of Quy Nhon, which consisted of a pagoda, a big Budda, and a couple of towers.