After a shocker of a sleep (man hawking with his throat all night, creaky train, bumpy train tracks) I felt really refreshed when I woke up...not!!!
We arrived in Denang (a big station near Hoi An) then drove for an hour to Hoi An. First impressions...very quaint little place and very much my kind of town with little narrow streets, hanging lanterns and colourful boats on the river.
We went for lunch and I had something called 'Ban Xao' (pancakes you wrap yourself using rice paper and a yummy dipping sauce. Couldn't wait ot finish lunch though because I had my eyes on the amazing taylor shops where I could design my very own garment of any kind I want. I was danerously tempted to spend a fortune. I went to the taylor recommended by our tour guide and got the ball rolling with a winter coat. I met a couple in New zealand who told me how amazing Hoi An was and told me to get planning what I wanted before I go because it can be quite daunting when you get there, so I turned up knowing exactly what I wanted with sketch and all.
I returned to the taylor 7 hours later and the main body of the coat was made (I loved it). I had my first fitting and chose all the trims. I also bought today a North Face ski jacket for £60 (North Face is made in Vietnam, so probably off the back of a lorry so I sure hope its waterproof).
Dinner was yummy street food in the town and I chose a noodle dish with quail eggs and pork.
The next morning I went for my 2nd coat fitting and it was looking fab. We wandered around the cute streets of Hoi an and the amazing food market packed full of herbs (which are used a lot in Vietnamese cooking). I went off and had a bit of much needed 'me' time later that day and had a little swim in the hotel pool.
In the afternoon we all met up to learn how to ride a moped. I found this whole experience very scary especially after I couldn't initally get used to the brakes and crashed into another moped and grazed all my leg, another one of the girls in our group fell off her moped about 10 minutes in and had lots of injuries for a minor accident (her shoe was completely ripped off) and then immediately after we saw a guy crash his moped, he flew into the air and looked in a very bad way. We had no choice but to carry on after this. I just took it very easy and went about 40-50kn/h which meant I was on my own a lot because the others just sped off without me. We drove to Marble Mountain to see the buddha inside the mountain, then to the beach and then back to the hotel. I can say now that I am pleased I leanrt to ride a moped, but I am also very pleased to be back in one peice.
In the evening we went for a few drinks and then dinner in a lovely restaurant called 'Morning Glory' which has a famous chef. It was slightly more expensive than we'd been used to, but think my dinner came to about £5 in total including my drink.