Monday, November 19

Vietnam-Cambodia, Day Three: Hoi An

So day three and we finally get to do some, you know, touristy stuff.

Our first stop of the relatively early day was to the tailor. Yes, that's right - one of the things we were told to do by many sources was to seek out a tailor and get something made. I was pretty much set on a winter coat for work - in hindsight slightly ambitious, but if I was going to get something made I thought I'd get something I actually needed, although for a minute I was tempted to go a little crazy and order whatever I could. We spent a couple of hours picking designs and getting measured up; I didn't actually think this would be the start of my holiday proper.

Hoi An has lots of little museums, temples and cultural sites to see. For mutual convenience we had to buy a five ticket set, which turned out to be plenty enough to see all the interesting bits including a dance and culture show. Oh and just in case you were wondering the heavens opened at around 3pm - thankfully it didn't last too long, although judging by the visible signs of regular flooding left behind in previous years it seems that we might have been pretty lucky that it stopped when it did.

Lunch was at Cargo, a colonial cafe-cum-restuarant on the river. We sat upstairs on the balcony and I have to say it was pretty blissful. The holiday vibe was in full swing by then and any apprehension I had about this trip had been totally discarded.

Toward the late afternoon we were due back at the tailors to check out the first cuts of our orders. I always thought that the word "minor" preceded "alterations" when it came to bespoke clothing, so I was quite surprised at how much more work was needed on what we were shown and although we were still impressed by the turnaround, I did leave glad that I hadn't gone for that suit.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped off at the restaurant across the road to take part in a cooking lesson. This is another of those things you have to do in Hoi An, although if you did want to I would recommend doing a bit of research and planning - all the food places we passed seemed to offer "cooking lessons" and I couldn't help but feel it was just an upsell for most of them, as opposed to a genuine experience that would be found in a well established cooking school. But still, the place we ended up at seemed to have a reputation for decent food; our class was more a "behind the scenes" than a proper lesson, but what we helped create was pretty decent. I have to say though it felt ironic to pay over the menu cost for food we prepared ourselves!

And that was how we ended our first real day in Vietnam. I have to say I'm really enjoying Hoi An right now - it's a place to chill more than be active and in fact the old town feel, the river, the quaint vibe and even the flooding all reminded me of a place I had been to before: Hoi An really is an Asian Paraty. Sure, the weather and hotel were against us, but it was a wonderful place and just like Paraty wasted on singles like us.

And as such we had decided to book our flights out for tomorrow.

(Photos here)

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