I have now left the overcast Northern province of Vietnam and have made my way to the sunny and warm, central coastal town of Hoi An which is about 30Km away from Da Nang. Instead of slumming it down here on the bus, I decided to take the slightly more expensive sleeper train down. This was a good call, I later decided, as it was comfortable and the views were spectacular. Also I was lucky enough to be sharing a cabin with 2 other Londoners which made for some interesting conversation. It was a bit of a coincidence to be fair.
From Da Nang I was forced to take a cab to Hoi An, as the town itself doesn't have a station. However, this wasn't all bad as en-route I got a chance to see some of the old US Military bases (Da Nang was where the Americans first set up base in Vietnam in 1963).
Hoi An itself is a massive breath of fresh air compared to Hanoi. Firstly there is a lot less traffic compared to Hanoi. Also its a lot smaller and easier to explore, and doesn't feel quite as westernised, as far as building design is concerned. Unfortunately there is no getting round the fact that this humble little town is overrun by tourists. Not quite as badly as it could be, but you get the idea that at any time the floodgates will open and the tourist bars and clubs will open. At the moment Hoi An has kept some of it's small town feel. For instance the bars all shut at 10pm, as does the rest of the town.
What I am really here for despite the beauty, weather and sights, are the tailors. Hoi An has about 200 tailors shops who will custom make almost anything you want. So far I have ordered 2 shirts, a pair of shorts, a pair of shoes, and a pair of sunglasses. I don't think I've spent over 50 quid yet. I plan to buy a full suit also. I've been told to expect to pay about 30 - 40 pounds for this, which is cheap!
I've only got back one shirt so far, but it fitted perfectly, was really comfy - it was made from a cotton and silk mix - and was clearly well made. It was made in less than 24 hours also. I can see myself spending a fair bit of money here but to be fair it was always my intention to offload a lot of the clothes I brought with me here and replace them with better made, and better fitting attire.