Tuesday, June 5

A Postcard from Hoi An

The second part of our adventure in Vietnam took us to Hoi An. The most picturesque little town in the south east of Vietnam. We flew from Hoi Chi Minh City to Da Nang and then a taxi ride to the Ally Beach Boutique Hotel and Spa. Our hotel room was bright and only a short distance from a privet beach which was perfect for a relaxing stay. 

Hoi An's ancient town was once a major port with grand architecture and beguiling riverside setting. The legacy of tottering Japanese merchant houses, Chinese temples and ancient tea warehouses is still clear when you wander round the streets free of traffic.

During the day the old town was much quieter than I expected. Bathed in beautiful sunshine, covered in flowers and roasting hot. Luckily the river gave a cooling breeze and a place to enjoy a beer while enjoying the view.

At night Hoi An is no less beautiful but a lot busier. Full of people browsing the tailor shops and colour lanterns line the streets. The river too is full of boats and lanterns as people drop them into the river. We got the shuttle bus into the town most nights to enjoy the atmosphere. 

Our hotel provided bikes so even though it was above 35 degrees most days we took full use of them getting out for a peddle in the countryside. The roads here are a lot less chaotic than Ho Chi Minh City so it was a great way to explore.

Scott and I also took the opportunity to go on the free bike tour the hotel offered. Son, our guide, was brilliant and funny as he took us to see water buffalo and where the locals grew all the fresh produce you see at the markets. A really worth while experience and one of the highlights of the trip. 

This was the part of the holiday for relaxing so although we did quite a few steps (and bike rides) we spent most of our afternoons at the pool or down at the beach drinking beer and playing cards. The food we eat in Hoi An was also some of the best we've had anywhere in the world. I'm thinking about another post dedicated to that because I have way more to say that I can fit in a paragraph.

On our trip we visited two different beaches. The first was Cua Dia which was only across the road from our hotel. Sadly they have a problem with erosion so huge sandbags line the beaches but this didn't spoil our enjoyment. The sea was warm so I was in swimming a few times and even had a go at snorkelling.

We also walked almost an hour along to An Bang beach because it is supposed to be the best in the area. We found it to be the most touristy but we still hired sun beds and enjoyed the heat. Annoyingly this was the day we both got sunburnt - I just didn't reapply suncream quick enough after coming out of the water and it was especially hot.

Before we left I was kindly gifted swimwear from Simply Swim and designer bikinis from Simply Beach to take on holiday with me. Firstly this popsicle parade criss cross two piece* caught my eye because of it's fun summer pattern. It is also designed more for swimming than lying beside the pool which is perfect for me. Hopefully it will come in handy back at home too for my regular trips down to the pool. I sized up because I am bigger on top and it was a good fit on the bottoms and top.

Secondly the gorgeous paradise halter longline bikini (top* & bottoms*) from Simply Beach attracted me straight away with the pattern and bright colours. The halter top is really flattering on my chunky arms. It is slightly more expensive than I would normally pay for a bikini but it is worth it for the quality and fit. I would say it is great for a special occasion too so if I ever get invited to a spa I know this one will be coming with me. Annoyed at myself for getting a little sunburnt at the beach and not being able to take the best pictures possible.

See more posts from our Vietnam Trip:

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