Another 5am get up to catch the train; luckily we had soft sleepers so we were able to get on and get straight back into bed. After a sleep we had a wonder down to the food carriage however there was nothing that looked even slightly edible, so pot noddles for breakfast it was. The food carriage was full of rowdy Vietnamese men that had been up drinking all night, it felt quite similar to being on a train back home. It turns out Asian trains are the slowest things ever and we didn't arrive in Hoi An until about 4pm, luckily the scenery was pretty spectacular and we were quite happy to sit back and relax whilst staring out he window.
After finding a guesthouse not far from Julia's posh hotel we went straight down to the river to have some food. Along the river in Hoi An it is the law that any shop or restaurant has to hang lanterns outside, it seems a strange law but it makes the whole place look really pretty.
After some food we found a bar with good happy hour deals and decent music (not something you get much of over here) and we decided to play some drinking games with an American guy that we had met, this resulted in Julia needing to go home to bed and me and Scott being a little worse for wear. However we powered on and ended up in a club/bar that was £3 drink all you want, with a free shisha and you could put your own music on, result!! To be honest I don't remember much past this, however the next day I felt pretty awful.
One of the things Hoi An is most famous for is its tailors, you can basically take a picture of any piece of clothing you like and they will make it to measure for the next day. I was determined I wasn't going to buy anything, however I did end up buying one dress, one skirt and one top. Scott decided to get some custom made shoes and he also got two pair of shorts, one of which are made of salmon coloured corduroy (I think they're red but for some reason he wants to believe that they're salmon coloured!). Julia went the whole hog and basically got a whole new work wardrobe.
The next day we all rented bikes and rode around the little cobbled streets of the gorgeous little town and then went out towards the beach. It was a pretty choppy sea so me and Scott hired bodyboards and managed to catch a few waves and Julia decided she wanted to go out on a jet ski. Lucky me got to go out on the back with her; all I can say is if anyone in the future has the chance to go on a jet ski with Julia Brock don't do it!!! She is a mad woman, I honestly thought I was going to die!
Julia and I decided we wanted to do a Vietnamese cooking course, Scott didn't seem so keen so decided to have some man time, doing manly things like going to get his shoes fitted (although it was good job he did go back for a fitting because it turns out that they'd made his deck shoes just how he wanted them but with a 2inch wedges heel!)
Anyway we turned up to the boat where our cooking class was meant to take place, as we walked up we could tell that we were the only people there. The guy running the course then walked us to the market where he told us to buy a knife that we could use later on when cooking, we refused so instead he took us around the market and pointed out veg like carrots and potatoes (you know those really rare and exotic vegetables that nobody knows what they are). He then took us to see all his fancy women and tried to make us buy more things like dishes and t-shirts. By this point we were really sick of this and on top the man was really creepy, we really didn't want to be stuck on a boat with him and his friends. We initially considered trying to loose him the crowd but didn't want him chasing us through the market so Julia made up a lie that I was sick and we jumped off the boat and onto the pier just before it pulled away. Luckily we managed to find another course that started a couple of hours later, turns out this one was fantastic. The lady took us around the same market but it was a totally different experience. She told us all about the local fruit and vegetables and explained how to get the freshest ingredients. We then took a boat trip to the cooking school which was in some beautiful gardens and we were taught how to make four different dishes, the picture at the top are some crispy shrimp pancakes that I made. The best bit of it all was that after we'd made our dishes we got to eat everything and they gave us all the recipes to take home. I promise that when I come back to England I'll treat you all to some yummy Vietnamese food.
Unfortunately this was Julia's last day with us so that evening we went out for a really nice meal and some gorgeous cakes from a local bakery and then it was a early night as me and Scott were up early the next day to catch a flight to Hanoi, Vietnams capital city.