Well, it’s been nearly three months since we arrived in Vietnam and the time has flown past.
On our last day in Siem Reap, the hotel we’d stayed at for three weeks, “Viroth’s“, presented us with a bottle of wine and a free ride to the airport in their Rolls Royce. Feeling slightly pretentious, we were very glad when we arrived at the airport that there was nobody around to see us😎
The last time we were in Vietnam was 2006. At that time crossing the street in Ho Chi Minh was the equivalent to taking your life in your hands and hoping for the best. No longer – Traffic lights have now been installed and though you still have to watch out for the rogue motorbike drivers who tend to ignore them, life as a pedestrian has become much easier. Also, something close to my heart – toilets have greatly improved!
From there we flew on to Hue. The Vietnam Airlines flight took 90 minutes and for a mere €100 each we flew business class – Definitely the way to travel (when it’s that cheap anyway).
We booked into La Résidence initially for 3 nights, which we then extended to 31 and ended up staying 45! Yes – we liked it 😀 and they gave us a fantastic deal which included a bottle of champagne and hors d’oeuvres on our first night and a six course “colonial dinner” on another:
Hue is a quiet but vibrant city, located on the Song Huong (Perfume River). The people are friendly, there are some good bars and restaurants and like everywhere in Vietnam the food is delicious.
We did a few river trips visiting some of the nearby pagodas and tombs:
But what we enjoyed most was seeing local life on the river:
Next stop was Hoi An. An interesting three hour car trip, taking in the Hai Van Pass just before Danang.
Hoi An is a beautiful town. The scenery and architecture make it a very popular tourist stop. Life moves a bit faster here, consequently people are a bit more stressed and don’t have the time to be as relaxed as they are in Hue. Still, the people are friendly, restaurants and bars abound and it’s a great place to spend a few days.
But Hoi An is also famous for its tailors and we were determined to renew our rather thread worn wardrobes here. After fifteen months our clothes were looking decidedly the worse for wear. There are a lot of styles to choose from😀
Neither of us are big shoppers but we actually had a great time: Picking the tailor, choosing materials and styles, returning for fittings and being persuaded to buy more than we’d intended😀
Provided the first fitting is successful (which it normally is) – from having measurements taken to picking up the finished garment takes 24 hours and a silk/cotton dress costs about €20!
In the end we settled on two tailors, B’lan and Yaly’s. We weren’t disappointed.
We took along pictures of what we had in mind (Surprise, surprise – I seem to have planned on more than Dave) 😀
After choosing colours and materials, the pictures were quickly transformed into the real thing and we both ended up with a whole new set of clothes! Marvellous!
In no time at all our 3 month visa was coming to an end so, via Danang we flew back to Ho Chi Minh City where we’re currently spending 3 days before flying via Kuala Lumpur (staying 5 days) to Indonesia.
Next post will be from Bali where we’re really looking forward to meeting up with friends.