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I finally made it to the adventure of a lifetime and now I'm a citizen of the World. Indy author, blogger, in love with being an author - Mom of two grown children and widow of the most wonderful man to ever live - Devon "Pete" Hall.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Low-key Hoi An – Just the thing!

Beautful An Bang beach

After a chaotic street scene in Ho Chi Minh City, spending seven days in the comparatively tiny beach town of Hoi An was a welcome change  It found it relaxing, funny and sweet.

My digs for the week were at Hoi An Life Homestay; a terrific, well-maintained and attractive guesthouse run by a lovely and welcoming family. When I got to my room, I felt myself relax immediately. A giant mental “Ahhh” came over me. 

Top priority was finding the beach and when I did I also found the cabanas my daughter, Vanessa, and I had been looking for at the beginning of this quest in the Philippines.  Again, “Ahhhh.” I was able to spend three days laying on the beach lounge, listening to the sound of the ocean, which generally drowned out the baying of the hawkers (except when they woke me up to ask if I wanted to buy a souvenir – really). Seriously, though, vendors aside, the beach hit the chill button for me. 

My Son ruins
I took a bus tour to the My Son temple ruins, about an hour and half each way, and could put together a pretty solid stand-up routine based on our tour guide, Blue, a tiny Vietnamese man of indeterminate age with a very thick accent to his broken English. He preceded every announcement or soliloquy with a chirpy “Ladies and …gentlemen” – right out of Barnum and Bailey. 

One of the Dutch passengers took a video of him giving us some information that no one could figure out. It was pretty funny watching all of us compare notes and eventually figure out what we were supposed to do.

He also had a fascination with all the phallic symbols spread around the ancient temple grounds. It was when he kept asking people if we knew what this giant-bullet-looking statue symbolized that a young Danish guy finally spit out, “penis”. When Blue shook his finger at the embarrassed Dane,  I walked away to do my own tour. 

Honestly, after Angkor, these much older ruins weren’t terribly impressive. I know, I feel bad about that.

Walking along the river
What I found sweet about Hoi An was the quaint streets and very kind people. The main landmark in town is the Japanese Friendship bridge which leads into a restaurant cluster. Nearby, I met a young woman who owned a little shop and I truly enjoyed working with her to find a few new tops. She wasn’t pushy and she was so thrilled when I said I’d put a review on TripAdvisor for her. The servers were also nice and I collected lots of smiles from the people I passed on the street. It almost felt like stepping back in time a bit.

Riverside market
There were two days of hard, loud rain and I even enjoyed that. Luckily, I had extended my stay by two days, but my plans for one last day at the beach ended up with me marathon-watching the survival shows on the Discovery Channel.

My time in Hoi An was very pleasant and I highly recommend making time in your schedule for at least a couple of days there.


  1. I could use a few days at the beach too!

    1. I've been a lazy girl about posting and now I'm back at the beach - Patong Beach in Thailand.