28th July 2012
We leave our hotel at around 9:30 ready to move on to Hoi an. On the way we stop a the Royal Citadel which was a huge complex of palace building at one time but only a few still remain after a bombing raid by the Americans during the Vietnam war. We are told that the plans are to return the citadel to its former glory over thee next 25 years and that the project is being sponsored by American Express (now I know what they spend my money on). After our tour we board the bus and start our journey to Hoi an, this should take around 4 hours. The road we take leads us along the coast line and into the mountains but we are told that normal traffic now goes through a tunnel which is the longest in Asia and cuts through the mountains. About 2 hours into the journey we stop to take some photos of the bay below and are told this area is where the Top Gear special was filmed. We jump back on the bus after dogging the lorries and bikes whizzing down the hill and continue on until we arrive at the top of the mountain for a rest stop. From this view point you can look over the bay towards Hai an and look back down at the other bay from which we just came. Dotted around the hill are pill boxes left over reminders of the Vietnam war. After dodging all the shop keepers selling there cheap crap as our guild calls it we are off again for the last hour and a half.
We arrive at our hotel around 14:30 "The Van Loi Hotel" check in and dump our bags and then off to lunch. I order some soft noodles with prawns and when it arrives horror! there are peanuts on it. Bond gets the staff to take it away and the soon bring me a fresh meal without the peanuts. After lunch we are taken to a Taylor's and some of the group order some cloths which are made to measure I decide not to as on the way to the restaurant one of the locals called me "Happy Buda" Mmmmm salad for me for the rest of the trip. Roger and I wander around the town for a while looking around the shops and then head back to the hotel to meet everyone for dinner at 20:00. By the time we finish dinner I'm shattered so decide to got back with some of the others to the hotel. That lasted about 30 seconds . Tracy, Simon, Jill, Michael, B, and Hans all convince me to go to the bar for one drink which turns into 2. We sit in the bar chatting and playing a game which be tells us about and you have to guess what the patten is to what she says by saying something similar. Once you work out what the patten is you carrying on playing and we are all in stitches of laughter as one by one we all work it's out leaving just Michael guessing. We wander back to the hotel and arrange to meet for breakfast at 8:30.