Hoi An Day 1 (29.06.2012): Our sleeper train pulled into Da Nang train station an hour behind schedule at around 12:45pm. We had been on the train since 18:15 yesterday evening. The journey was ok. We had soft beds in a 4 berth cabin. The train was very loud and jerky though + the locals were very noisy. Not much sleep to be had on the sleeper trains but it was an experience in itself. Vietnam is much less set up for tourists than in Thailand. We struggled to get tickets, to find where to go etc. Whereas in Thailand there were some signs in English and plenty of people who could speak good English that is not the case here. Alas we did make it on to the correct train and we are in Hoi An!
On arrival at Da Nang we couldn't figure out how to get from there to Hoi An (Hoi An does not have a train station). We were swamped by taxi drivers but all wanted an extortionate amount. We found a nice Vietnamese man who helped us by telling us where the bus station was but he was hell bent on trying to get us to drive by motorbike to Hoi An. We had to refuse many times and eventually found a taxi who charged a little less, and got a taxi all the way to Hoi An (30km) skipping out the bus part - we were just too tired after having haggled for an hour and were both in desperate need of a shower (we stank!)
We arrived at our hotel Thanh Binh II at around 15:00. We have a huge room and are pleasantly surprised by how nice it is. Hoi An is enchanting. Having only spent a few hours here it is easily the prettiest place we have been to. It is incredibly charming and quaint. I feel like I can chill out here minus the numerous suit making shops whose staff keep pouncing on us - ah almost perfect!
Looking forward to seeing more of beautiful Hoi An tomorrow with less tired eyes.
Another plus for Hoi An is that beer is really cheap - we paid 12p a glass. Bargain Betty.