Da Nang and Hoi An 6-12th November

Da Nang and Hoi An 6-12th November

I started this phase of my trip with 2 full days of rest. I hadn’t realised how much I needed it until I had booked myself into a private room and had no interest in doing anything except sleeping. It was also really nice to have my own space for a short while. I used my time in Da Nang to recharge, reset, and organise. I did my washing, mended some of my clothes, and organised all my things – all very exciting! I spent the majority of the rest of the time relaxing by reading, watching Netflix, and napping.

The one time I ventured out in Da Nang, it was a very overcast and windy day. I walked down to the beach but it was almost completely empty and as I walked through other parts of the town, I hardly came across any other people. It was a very strange experience having just come from the endlessly bustling Hanoi. Maybe because of the weather no one want to come out or perhaps its just because its the low season. Maybe there would have been more people in the city centre but I didn’t have the energy to venture over there as I just really needed the downtime!

Some of the areas were quite odd like this building – one side pristine and new while the other remained derelict
Much of the beachfront is built-up in a modern style but just one row back, a lot of the area is one giant building site, with next to no building going on and many shells of buildings just standing there.

On the third day, I headed to Hoi An, a quick 20 taxi ride away. I arrived a little too early to check-in straight away so I headed out for some lunch. I found a really nice vegan restaurant and ordered plenty of vegetables having eaten a lot of junk food over the past 2 days! After checking in, I headed out for a quick wander around the old town before coming back to the hostel for a spring roll making class and dinner. This was a really fun evening chatting with various people from the hostel, even if the class itself was rather basic.

I loved all the lanterns lit up at night along all of the streets
Lovely old style houses

The following day, I had breakfast with some of the people I had met the night before and we decided to head out to the various museums as it was tipping it down and not a day for wandering around the town. As we got to the Hoi An museum at about 11:30am, they said they were closing for the rest of the day….! I assume it’s because not very many people were coming because of the rain but it was also very frustrating for us as we had planned to go to everything inside because of the rain. Either way, we managed to find other places to go to stay out of the rain as much as possible. We went to the Japanese bridge, an old merchant’s house, and many temples/pagodas until eventually, despite having raincoats, we were all a bit sodden.

At least the rain made for nice reflections, if only my photographic skills were up to the challenge!
Japanese bridge

I loved the merchant’s house as although it was a small house in comparison to houses back in England, it was still very grand. It had amazing carved wood pillars and gold leaf patterns on the ceiling. It was almost completely open plan with 4 walls encompassing the house but hardly any walls on the inside, including an open roof courtyard in the middle, complete with a water well. I can imagine that if I lived somewhere where this sort of house was viable with the weather, I would love to live in a house like it (but perhaps a tad bigger)!

Inside the merchant’s house

After attempting to dry off back at the hostel (the humidity factor genuinely made some of my dry clothes damp…), we headed out for supper and some drinks. On the way, many parts of the roads were flooded which happens very often. This wasn’t the nicest experience given that I and other people had seen locals using the river to “do” their business… so it was rather unpleasant having to walk through this, almost waiting to see something bobbing along on the surface! Despite that, it was very enjoyable evening.

A street indistinguishable from the river

The rain let up a little the next day and after sending a postcard to my grandparents, I finally made it to the Hoi An museum. Some parts were reasonably interesting, however, a lot of it was a very basic show and tell. There were endless examples of cutlery, bowls, and cups used by various soldiers… not the most interesting things! After some more wanderings around the town, the rain came again so I headed back to the hostel. I attempted to dry my various clothes with a hairdryer to some success…

On my last morning, the weather had finally cleared up so I took the chance to have one final wander around the Old Town with blue skies and sun. It really is a very pretty place and I will definitely try to come back in the future.

A Russian doll of boats
Quaint streets through old town, lit with the lanterns at night