Although the hotel promised a breakfast “buffet”, we still stuffed ourselves full from their menu of fried egg, bread, yogurt, and iced Vietnamese coffee. Since the actual city of Hoi An isn’t very big or exciting, we spent more time in the old quarter, which is the pride of the city. The market was in full swing with ladies shouting out to customers and people walking around with yokes tied to giant baskets full of goods. It was hectic and had an array of smells from fresh meat, flowers, and smokey grills. The road quieted down as we moved away from the market, but soon became jam packed with tourists gawking and snapping photos of the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge.
The streets all look incredibly similar, with the lanterns spanning the road overhead, historic buildings being used as storefronts for tailors, leather goods, and souvenir shops. It’s all beautiful, but after awhile it became a bit monotonous, so we headed back to the market for lunch and 18 cent beer.
Hoi An is almost on the ocean, so we hopped on the motorcycle and headed to An Bang Beach to spend the rest of the day lounging, reading, and swimming. Aside from the Vietnamese fishing boat floating across the horizon, I felt like this beach could be anywhere in the world and I wouldn’t know the difference.
Back at the hotel, we snacked on peanut butter, cheese, and crackers that we successfully found in a convenience store. I hadn’t tasted peanut butter since Australia, so I was a very happy girl.
After our western appetizers, we headed back to the old town to have dinner out on the river boats. It would have been quite a romantic setting, with the lanterns at each table, and the candles floating along the river, but a club down the street decided to ruin the mood for everyone by pumping out the loudest house music possible. We tried to ignore the aggressive beat, but eventually just left to finish dinner at the market. The lights were off and most of the stalls were empty, with a few people still cleaning and packing. Thankfully, the woman at the stall we had been to many times saw us and ushered us in as the only people in the whole market still eating food. I guess she really wanted the sale because she cooked up two delicious bowls of Cau Lau and seemed confused when we tried to tip her for her kindness.
We biked back to the hotel and watched the only English-language channels on TV before bed–Amazing Race, Top Chef, and Bear Grylls.