July 2, 2007
In Hoi An accommodation is plentiful, good quality and cheap. We arrived here after our Central Highlands trip from Dalat and were struck by the number of western faces we saw in contrast to spending six days off the beaten track.
Hoi An is certainly a popular tourist stop with good tourism facilities. But the thing that is most obvious that this place is a shopping town.
We lost count the number of woman tourists with bags of clothing. If you ever wanted to buy a suit or shoes, you would come here. I heard that you could bring in magazine clippings of stars’ outfits, and the tailors would happily copy them for you.
We wandered around the streets as per the Lonely Planet walking tour, and we could have been out within a couple of days. But we ended up staying in Hoi An for nearly a week.
The one major excursion from Hoi An is to My Son, an ancient Champa Kingdom. We took one of the many tour bus excursions here for a mere $5 US plus 60,000 VN (= $4 US) entrance fee. Unfortunately, in this case you only get what you pay for.
We were collected people from several hotels starting at 8am until there were 50 people on board before proceeding to the car park at My Son.The bus was so full that I had to sit next to the bus driver on a kiddies plastic chair.
I had the best view though.Then were driven by minivan 2km to the ruins, many of which were destroyed during the American War and others which were badly damaged. Sam and I were very underwhelmed when we saw ‘yet another temple.’ It was nothing compared to the temples in Cambodia.
After a few late nights out at a beach bar, we decided to break the cycle and go to Da Nang. We took a bus and headed north.