So today was one of the best days of our lives but we'll come to it later...... The suspense!!
Nha Trang was our last place we started blogging about and we'd just arrived and had a beach day. We went out on the second day, slightly hungover from the night before, in search of a swimming pool. South East Asia hasn't disappointed us once yet and it always makes you laugh. We found an Olympic sized swimming pool on the internet not too far from the centre of town so decided to take a taxi and go for a swim. It should be a relatively straight forward process but as you can start to imagine it was the complete opposite. We arrived at the pool and walked in the main entrance when a man looked at us, looked at the pool and started laughing. In broken English saying "you swim, no swim here". We found out why he was chuckling when we realised the pool had about 4 inches of water in and was no longer used by the public. LOL
We headed back towards town very downbeat and very hot. We did find a pool in the end so all is well however, like everything else in Nha Trang it was completely overrun with Russians. Apparently 3 years ago a few chartered flights began to Nha Trang and since then in peak season there is 5 or 6 flights a day. It's a shame because it's now become a resort and really you could be anywhere in the world when you're there. Day 3 was spent on the beach as well and we thought long and hard about parasailing but the price was tooooo high. We will definitely do it whilst we are away.
We headed north out of Nha Trang on Wednesday en route to Hoi An. Another sleeper bus and another short bed but for $10 you can't complain. 14 hours later we arrived and had a bit of good fortune as we found a hotel right on the cusp of the old town for a good price and checked in. After a nights travelling and little sleep we had a shower and headed out. We had read about Hoi An and it's sightseeing with historical buildings built in the old town and a few bridges. Really if we are being honest the sightseeing was not that great. The town itself was the complete opposite. By far our favourite place in Vietnam and some of the best food we've had since being away. Both of us had wanted to get something made for us in Vietnam & this was definitely the place. We browsed the shops for the second part of the first day and picked out what we wanted. I decided on two suits and Ellie wasn't sure and in end she decided that although a dress would be great it wasn't something she really wanted and wouldn't get that much wear out of.
Day 2 in Hoi An we took part in a cooking class which was so much fun. We had a great guide, a funny chef and the class all to ourselves. We'll be recreating the recipes at home so don't worry. Ellie is now a master of fresh spring rolls! After the cooking class we took in some more sights and Ellie spotted a pair of sandals she liked. She managed to get them made for her feet and they fit perfectly she wasn't too bad at haggling on the price as well! I had a second fitting on my suits and they were sent off again for alterations. We chilled out a lot in hoi an went and checked out some rice fields, the local beach and booked a trip for today.
After much convincing Ellie decided that we would ride the Hai Van Pass on the back of my motorbike. I was keen to ride myself and although I would never rent a bike in any other situation this was the one exception to the rule. Ellie booked an easy rider and he was great. We set off his morning on the ride from Hoi An to Hue and it was up there with the greatest thing we've ever seen. Ellie was on the back of a Honda Cruiser with her guide Ro and I followed behind on an automatic bike. My bike was great until it broke down about 30km in to the trip and Ro had to push my bike with his foot all the the way to the petrol station. The minor hiccup aside we stopped off to see some incredible beaches and then wound our way up the Hai Van Pass. It was on top gear a while ago so some of you may have already seen it. If you haven't it's hard to put in to words how incredible it is. Pictures don't do it justice and you're riding along constantly looking to the left or right mesmerised by the view. Our guide was great and we stopped off for lunch before heading down the mountain and on the road to Hue. Two more stops at Elephant Springs, a natural pool, waterfall and tourist attraction which was good fun apart from both of our watches condensations/breaking!
We stopped off at a small fishing village and watched some local men making boats before taking on the final approach to our destination. A small rain shower was quite nice to take the temperature down a few notches and at 5pm local time we arrived. It was a relief to arrive and I know my mum wouldn't have agreed with riding a bike but it was the best way to see this section of Vietnam. We both really enjoyed ourselves but got quite sunburnt despite the factor 30 sun cream.
We are checking out Hue tomorrow as were both shattered from a long day travelling and are off to Hanoi on Tuesday where we'll stay for a night and then head out to Halong Bay, Sapa and then Laos.
We hope you're enjoying the blogs!!