We left Hue as we found it - pouring with rain. We had booked a train to go to Da Nang (on our way to Hoi An) as the views were supposed to be good as it goes down the coast. We arrived at the station 30 mins before the train only to find that the train is delayed by at least 2 ¼ hours. We decide that it may be better to get the bus, so after taxi rides and various negotiations we were off on a bus to Da Nang.
The bus journey was OK - the seats were designed for the rather smaller Vietnamese but at least it was not like Chinese buses with all forms of livestock on the bus. It even had in-bus catering - a lady got on selling shrimps cooked in rice papers (a local delicacy) - all kept hot in banana leaves. We couldn't see much except for low cloud and a lot of flooded fields - we couldn't see where the flooded fields ended and the sea began. After a transfer at Da Nang we had a short ride to Hoi An. There, we had the normal problem of the bus station being 2km out of town and no taxis to be seen. We were offered rides (complete with luggage) on the back of motor bikes but declined these on health and safety grounds! When we arrived at the hotel, it was clear they had a few flooding problems here. Our hotel was right by the river with some roads and the market under water. (We found out later that the water was on it's way down - it had been another foot higher so would have flooded the hotel and several streets in the town.) The town itself had a nice feel to it - lots of old buildings but also a lot of tourists and tour groups and the associated shops.
Next day we bought a ticket for the attractions in town - made up of various temples, old houses and museums. These were interesting - especially the Chinese association house (formed by Chinese communities that lived here - different ones for different parts of China). The best one was the house from Funan - very colourful and quite different from the places we had seen in ChinaAfter lunch we went round a merchants house - not that interesting but we saw the impact of the flood as it was right by the river - the house had had 2 feet of water in it and it wasn't the worst flood they had had recently. One about 20 years ago had flooded up to the first floor. Seems like this happens most years - the only question is how deep it floods. We had a quiet dinner and found another unpleasant bye product of the floods - a rat ran along a wall just inside the restaurant - Fran screamed but was a little more composed when it ran back about 30 minutes later.
The following day we had a trip to My Son - it had been given the big build up by the guide book. These are temples that date from the 7th century and were built by the same civilisation that built Ankor Watt. We left Hoi An in sunshine and arrived at the site in rain and of course I hadn't packed a rain jacket. So it was a case of dodging the showers and sheltering inside the ruins when the heavens opened. The ruins themselves were pretty run down and not very impressive. You needed to imagine what they were like in their prime. We returned to Hoi An - by which time it was sunny again so we went out for a walk over the river, after the obligatory piece of chocolate cake. The cake was good but just as we got over the river, the heavens opened again. After taking shelter, we decided we had had enough and it was time to move on.