Partying and laying about
in Hoi An, Vietnam on 18th March, 2012

The $4 bus ride I caught from Hue to Hoi An didn't have a lot of space underneath to place passenger's bags. The staff insisted on placing all our suitcases in the aisle effectively blocking us in. I thought they'd never stop picking up last-minute passengers before we finally set off.

Half way along the journey they dropped us off for a snack. The bus then drove off for 15 minutes with our bags. I was worried they were going to empty them of their contents and wanted some privacy while doing so.

We arrived in Hoi An and I walked from the bus stop to my hotel. The local street hustlers would probably want this convenience outlawed. If they had their way we'd always be dropped 20KM from our hotels.

I was keen to meet up with a Dutch girl named Ilja that I'd met in Hue. She sent me a message on facebook saying she was going to the beach. I thought it best to put on an orange shirt so she'd spot me.

Walking from my hotel to the beach I was in search of a taxi to get me the rest of the way. This must be the one black spot in all of Vietnam where there wasn't a single one available. Suddenly, two girls rode by on their bikes and one turned her head to look at me. It was Ilja with an English friend of hers named Susie. Ilja let me do the peddling the rest of the way to the beach while she sat on the back of the bike.

There were little old ladies coming by all the time trying to sell us stuff on the beach. They sounded like their dying words as they'd muster up "Peanut? Mango??". It was irritating how they'd interrupt our conversations. We ate dinner on the beach that evening. There was a little street food restaurant that put out small plastic tables and chairs on the sand. I had a noodle soup which tasted nice.

Afterword we biked back into town. The sunset was really something. After two months of great sunsets I hardly thought I'd be impressed by them anymore but they don't let up here.

The tire on Ilja's bike broke just as we got to their hostel. The bike rental guy didn't seem to mind. There was a pool and a bar around back of their hostel. Ilja and I had a swim there. The hostel offers out three free cocktails to each of it's guests. I wasn't staying there but nonetheless I enjoyed four free cocktails. We sat around the pool drinking and our company grew as the evening wore on.

Around 10:30pm we headed out to a bar nearby. The atmosphere was really amazing there. We could write in permanent marker on the walls, they had free pool and we met a lot of friendly fellow backpackers. We ended up writing in marker on one another and boozing away all evening. I was really drunk by 3:30am. A Finnish girl bought me a beer that I couldn't even finish. I stumbled back to my hotel room and crashing out in bed.

When I woke up the next morning my bedsheets were all blue. I had slept like the dead as I could just about read what was written on my body backwards on the bed itself. I spent 10 minutes just trying to scrub the blue marker off my front- and backsides to little avail. I put on a blue shirt and headed out for the day.

I rented a bike for a dollar and started peddling around Hoi An. This is a really pretty town and the roads are mostly flat. The traffic is a bit crazy, there aren't many traffic lights and the roundabouts resemble a death match arena and offer priority to whatever has the most metal. It was cool spotting all the backpackers from the bar the previous night cycling around.

Later on I ran into Ilja and Susie again outside their hostel. We ended up hitting the beach again and laying about all afternoon. People at the beach looked on as I took my shirt off to reveal "I wish I was inside a Dutch girl" written on my back. After dinner I wished the girls farewell and went to meet up with Sophie and Felix, two Germans I'd met in Hue, at a bar for some pool. We had most of the place to ourselves; for some reason Hoi An was very quiet on Saturday.

Sunday I again rented a bike and took most of the photos which ended up in this blog's gallery. I stopped off once more and Ilja and Sophie's hostel to wish them farewell on the rest of their trips.

I had an uneventful flight that evening up to Hanoi. The Hanoi taxi driver's insistence on ripping me off was no match for the GPS on my iPhone.

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