Raj: BEST curry and beach, worst heat, and most relaxed town is my summary of Hoi An. We are staying in the old city which exudes charm. It's Vietnam on a smaller scale and easier pace. What is different is every second person in this tiny town is a tourist - which is good and bad. I think it would have been different 5-10 years ago - same experience but cheaper still. You do get constantly pursued everywhere you walk which after a while you just get used to and ignore. Oh and there is no McDonalds or branded fast food chain to speak off - a good thing, I guess. The hardest thing has been the HEAT. Hotter than we've had to date and little shade. The only ice-creams we get now are in a tub - sticks are useless as the ice-cream just falls of as soon as you unwrap. With the constant heat, the kids struggle fairly soon into a walk. I can appreciate they would rather stay in their own air conditioned room with separate beds, TV and Wifi, and hang by the pool - the temperature of which is like a bath at 4pm - I mean it's actually warm-hot! By far this is the warmest water I've ever experienced - just amazing. As for the beach which is a short taxi ride, it's the BEST we've experienced so far - warm, clean, still, expansive and beautifully set in coconut palms, just magic. Together with the BEST curry I've ever had on my birthday (going back for seconds) I'm really enjoying Hoi An. Still in search of that perfect Mango Lassi ... settling for fresh mango instead!
Harley: We are now in Hoi An in Vietnam. Hoi An is a lot quieter. In Hoi An we have been to the best beach on our trip so far. Me and my dad got our goggles on and went out really deep into the sea and saw quite a few fish. The water is very warm and quite still and calm. In the heat you can only go out for a short time before you get too hot. The temperature is almost up to 40 degrees outside but we have got air conditioning inside. We have also been in the pool a lot lately. The pool is very busy, small and hot. Today we went to a place called Solo for lunch. At Solo I had a banana pancake with hot chocolate sauce. I like Hoi An because of the beaches but it is the hottest temperature I have ever been in.
Anouk: A few days ago we arrived in Hoi An. So far each morning we have been going down to a beach. At the beach the water is very clear so you can see the sand. I wear my goggles so I can see the bottom of the sea. I have seen little fish and crabs in their shells.Yesterday at the beach Harley, mum and I found some rocks then put some shells on them. When it was finished it looked awesome! Then today my mum and I made a koru and a heart with shells in the sand. After the beach we sometimes have another swim in the pool at the hotel. Sometimes the pool can be too hot, too cold or just the right temperature. The pool is deep because when I stand up on my tip toes with my hands up my hands don't even come out of the water.
Vikki: Last night we were lucky enough to experience a full moon festival in Hoi An. Each month on the night of the full moon, the old town shuts down all normal lighting, closes the streets to vehicles and motorbikes and lights lanterns all along the streets. Locals come from all around for the festival, enjoying street entertainment and releasing candle lanterns in the river. The lanterns are said to bring good luck and health so we joined in and the kids released one each. We ate down by the river, watching the entertainment and while there were masses of people everywhere, everyone was happy and it was peaceful without any vehicles.