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22 January 2012 / leggypeggy

Hoi An—something for everyone, even eyelash bending

Anyone for a bent eyelash?

We loved all the places we went in Vietnam—the sights, the people, the food, the markets, the hospitality—but Hoi An was the place that had something for everyone. Even extreme shopping and extreme weather.

There was a torrential downpour the day we arrived. It bucketed down for a couple of hours and we got soaked. It’s when I discovered that my old Goretex jacket was no longer waterproof (and when Poor John paid an absolute bomb for a plastic rain poncho in an eye-smiting shade of chartreuse). It rained heavily again the next day and I got a nice blue poncho at close-to-the-right price. But believe me, the ponchos they sell do not breathe, so it’s not much fun to traipse around in them.

But this wet introduction didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for or interest in Hoi An. We explored most of the city’s streets, and managed to wander casually in and out of the port, temples, businesses, houses, shops, restaurants and markets. We never made it to the nearby beach.

How about renting a driver and his laundry?

Even though the place has hundreds of clothes and shoe shops ready to make anything your heart desires, we resisted buying anything beyond the ponchos. Good grief, my entire wardrobe consists of camping shorts and pants, merino tops, runners and thongs (shoes, not undies, although I own undies too). I don’t need to buy more until what I have wears out.

Sadly, we didn’t manage to take the bicycle tour that I heard about after I got home. I think they offer half-day and day-long bike trips around the region, and friends who have done them say they are excellent. And not too strenuous because the whole area is quite flat.

Hoi An is also where we visited the sesame rice cracker factory and ate the sublime white roses.

It’s also where I saw two amusing sandwich-board signs. One offered to bend my eyelashes and the other promised a driver who seems to bring his own laundry. Or maybe he does mine?

We stayed at a friendly little hotel—Green Field—which I highly recommend. So reasonably priced and with a super-efficient travel agent who organised our side trip to Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. When we set out for the airport, they gave each of us a silk embroidered wallet as a souvenir. Nice touch.

Also don’t forget to pick a number before 29 February 2012.

4 Comments

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  1. Brian Lageose / Jul 30 2016 12:05 pm

    Eyelash bending? The thought might keep me up tonight… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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