Friday, January 26, 2007


We left Hue yesterday morning for Hoi An. We have these open bus tickets which we purchased in Hanoi. With them, you can travel to Saigon stopping at six places along the way. You can choose how long you want to stay in each place, and then jump back on the open bus when you're ready to leave. It's pretty convenient, I guess, but yesterday we wanted to leave from Hoi An in the afternoon (we arrived in the morning), but the open bus was already full so we were forced to stay over one night. It's not such a bad place to have to stay over, but we were ready to head further south to the Mui Ne beaches.

We haven't done much in Hoi An. Yesterday afternoon/evening we walked around town. It's so touristy and full of shops. I guess one problem with the open bus tickets is that every other tourist buys them as well so we end up seeing fellow travelers at every stop of the way. It's kind of strange, actually. Anyway, after dinner I walked around by myself and found a nice, quiet coffee shop to relax in. I'm not sure what the others did, but we retired early (which is abnormal for us).

Since I went to bed so early, I woke up pretty early and decided to go for a run in the opposite direction of all the tourist shops. I went quite a distance (walking, mostly) and went through a few nice villages. The sunrise was really nice over the fields, and it was such an enjoyable way to begin the day.

This afternoon we again rented bicycles and went to the nearby beach. We didn't stay long because it turned chilly and started raining a little bit. The beach was kind of nice, though, and I think it was Janice's first time to see it.

Our bus leaves tonight at 6 pm, and we've been finding it a little difficult to kill so much time here. I have a strange feeling about Hoi An. It's nice, and I feel comfortable here, but it seems really fake. It's pretty westernized, and I get the feeling the entire atmosphere (cafes, architecture, the laissez-faire attitude of the people) is wholly created for the western foreigners who come here and spend tons of money. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the feeling I get when I look around and feel more like I'm in Europe than Vietnam. But, like I said, it's nice. I am ready to move on, though.

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