As usual the sun plays a big part in waking you up in these countries so we were awake at 6am, packed and fed with the most amazing scrambled eggs with onion and tomato (I know it sounds so simple anyone can do it but these were the best I’ve ever had dammit) all paid up and checked out. The lovely lady of the hotel had a good old chuckle as our driver turner up to take us to our next hotel… we’d chosen a little bit of luxury for the next step in our journey but didn’t realise we were getting a private minivan to collect us!
It was a 20 minute drive along the beach to Hoi An, a gorgeous town on the river and beach and full of lively markets and shops and bicycles mixed in with the usual mopeds. We were left at the door of an exquisite hotel… I’m not sure I’ve ever used that word before and it is totally apt right now. The lobby is huge and tall and open with beautiful heavy wooden furniture everywhere and of course giant colourful lanterns over our heads that we already knew were the signature of the town. After a while of waiting (but not before a tour of the premises including the beautiful pool, the spa centre, the gym room, an grassy jungle area they called The Relaxing Pond as it had a pond, complete with ducklings, and wicker garden furniture and hanging beds! Oh god we have arrived in heaven, no joke.
After we checked into our room, huge and open and light and a massive rain shower thing and rose petals everywhere, (they even give you a wicker bag for god’s sake to go to the beach with) we immediately jumped in the pool and oh how lovely to be swimming in fresh water! Oh and I’m fully aware we’re spoiling ourselves but the price we are paying here for a five star hotel would get you a one star room with no extras in the middle of winter back home, so huh, we’re living it up haha.
We had lunch in the hotel restaurant and back relaxing by the pool. Early evening we had showers and went out to check out the town, also to see about tailors to get Javi a suit. We went to the one the hotel recommended and although it clearly wS one of the more expensive ones, they provided great service, had so many fabrics and colours to choose from, and were extremely fast and efficient yet didn’t make you feel like you were being rushed. We spent a good amount of time in there and came out with a ticket saying we had two 3 piece suits, one grey and one dark blue and blue pinstripes, and a white and purple dress being made. Ooo exciting. And so cheap.
Then we wound our way through the BEAUTIFUL enchanting Old Quarter to go meet the Dutch couple for dinner. I just kept gasping and ooing at everything because absolutely everything you could see was lit up and twinkling and covered in hanging coloured lanterns and was just so pretty! No engined vehicles are allowed in the Old Quarter so it was nice and quiet and full of people walking around, enjoying the sights and the millions of shops offering anything you can think of. We came out suddenly on the river which again was so breakthtaking with floating candles slowly bobbing downstream, an eye catching bridge with gorgeous patterns in the light blocks, and the two sides of the water full of restaurants. We found Sanne and Johan (not sure how as we just said meet by the bridge without knowing how many millions of people there’d be, but we just kind of bumped into them) and proceeded to have a really nice dinner on the waterfront. They are such a lovely pair of people, always joking and laughing and telling funny stories, we had a great time together exchanging experiences and talking about what we all did at home.
We got home at about 11pm which has been our latest night on this whole holiday, and went to sleep in the biggest, softest bed ever wondering if we’d all be on the same tour tomorrow to My Son temples…