Hoi An, Vietnam

Returning to the Southeast Asia trip – the next stop while we worked our way down Vietnam was Hoi An. Hoi An is a small city and a lot more relaxed than other parts of Vietnam. I’m looking at you Ho Chi Minh. The old town is full of boutique shops and the walls are all a distinct yellow colour. Many of the shops are actually tailors, the city has a reputation for cheap(to Westerners anyway) clothing and it’s almost expected you buy some clothing here. I went for a cheaper option and bought a shirt that I had taken in to fit me better, shamefully I haven’t worn it too often. We also bought our dads ties for Christmas, can’t be sure if they’re worn more or less than my shirt though. You got the sense the shops had been owned by that family for generations, the kids would grow up to make ties and repeat. I hope they’ve always been there and haven’t cropped up due to tourism.

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In terms of places to visit and things to see I can’t give too many suggestions. Hoi An is one of those places you just like to wander around, taking it all in. It’s not the kind of place where you tell people you’ve been and they’re instantly in awe – unless they’re interested in Vietnam it’s likely they won’t even know it. I hope the few pictures included below give an idea of what it’s like though, we really liked it there.

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A lot of the time the markets and shops that are on popular backpacker routes stock tacky crap, to be brutally honest! Of course that’s a generalisation but arguably a fair one. Anyway, it’s not the case in Hoi An. The items on sale here were interesting, classy, pretty choose a nice adjective as you so wish. These lights were our favourites, we didn’t think they’d survive the travel so we didn’t buy one. Sadly.

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By this point we’d been traveling a while and I was in my ‘short hair’ stage. I had long hair before I backpacked SE Asia and have it again now but it was short back and sides at this point. Seems like I did it wrong, surely your stereotypical post-uni backpacker should have long hair! Anyway, I thought I’d get it neatened up in Hoi An by the gentleman pictured below. He also decided to give my ears a clean too, a new experience for yours truly. I’ll spare the details but I was ashamed by the amount he was pulling out (and wiping on my hands). Haircut, shave and clean ears/damaged eardrums = £4 or so.

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