In which we hit the beach, fall in love with a town and drink copious amounts of iced coffee
16.12.2012 - 22.12.2012 28 °C
After the craziness of Saigon, we were quite glad to escape to the beach, and Nha Trang didn't disappoint. A really beautiful 8km beach covered in white sand and surrounded by palm trees. Nha Trang itself isn't a big place, just a few streets of shops and restaurants, lots of big hotels and a lots and lots of Russian tourists (apparently Nha Trang is a really popular holiday destination in Russia - who knew?) We spent a couple of days just chilling out on the beach.
Aside from spending time on the beach, we have also fallen in love with Vietnamese coffee, which is either served hot with it's own mini filter on the cup, or over ice with condensed milk. I can't get enough of the iced coffee, and we found a favourite roadside stall to buy it from.
There are also really amazing baguettes here - our favourite place served them wrapped in what looked like someone's maths homework (we think it was actually the stall's accounts but there you go!) Filled with pork, chicken and veg... tasty!
So after a couple of really relaxing days in Nha Trang, we got another night bus to Hoi An. After a long and uncomfortable 13 hour journey, it took all of about 20 minutes for us to fall in love with Hoi An - I have totally lost my heart to it. A small town of narrow streets filled with original merchants houses and craft shops. In days gone by Hoi An was an important trading port, but today it is a historic town, world heritage site... and beautiful place to spend a few days. I couldn't take enough photos, but here are just a few.
Hoi An is not only beautiful, but it's a great place for shopping - so as well as seeing some cultural sites like merchant houses, Chinese assembly halls and the symbol of Hoi An - the Japanese Bridge - we also did a bit of shopping, including getting ourselves some custom made clothes from one of Hoi An's favourite tailors. Fancy. More like we realised we can't turn up in the bars of Sydney wearing the same falling apart shorts and t-shirts we've been living in for the last few weeks!
After a couple of days wandering the streets of Hoi An, today we rented bikes and rode out along the coast to another lovely beach - after a beach drought since we arrived in Asia we're being a bit spoilt with two amazing beaches in a week!
The ride out was almost as lovely as the beach - seeing a bit more of rural Vietnam.
And to top it all off, we then rode out to an island just across the bridge from Hoi An to a bar called the Sleepy Gecko we'd heard about. As you can see though - after a long day's cycling Marcus just couldn't stay awake long enough to drink his shot!
We could easily have spent a lot longer here, but tomorrow we're moving onto another world heritage site - the city of Hue - via Elephant Springs and Marble Mountain - on motorbikes (don't worry - we're not driving!)