Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hoi An

Hoi An is the next stop on the tourist route. Most backpackers buy open tickets from Saigon to Hanoi, where you can stop off at certain points. A bit insular, but cheap at around $20 for the whole bus ticket. Lots of shops offering suits and silks for various prices, probably depending on how rich they think you are. The central river had risen to the point of flooding. A bit more rain and I would be hailing boats to get about. Just a couple of nights here as I wanted to head to Hanoi for Chistmas. But being a small places not so much to do anyway. After a walk about town, I grabbed some of the local grub. Hoi An seems to have it's own special food. I popped into a restaurant with an empty stomach and looked at the menu. Six items on the whole menu, they most be specialists. I chose four from the six. Not really fond of prawns, but three from the six are prawn. The best one was Cau Lac, another noodle dish but a bit different from the omnipresent Pho Bo (Beef Noodles) which is eaten all day and night, all over Viet Nam.

After tucking that lot away, I went in search of the local brew. Again the beer is quite varied with different brands in different towns (well at least different labels!) After sampling a beer, I spotted a dart board in the corner. Time to test out the old throwing skills. Yep, as I suspected I was awful. But at least I mostly hit the dart board. I thought that a bit of practice I would get better, but after ten minutes that theory was disproved. I could hit the dart board, but that was about my overall control of these little flying javelins. Back to pool, at least I can play that! I met an Aussie, who fancied a game. After a while a few others joined in a little tournament. With the clear winner some Vietnamese pool wizard. I think he played a lot of billiards, which is popular here. I've seen a few tables without pockets. So either billiards, or Irish pool :) He was irratingly good, potting the black of four cushions. Must of been cheating somehow!

The next day I met up again with the Aussie (I'm awful rembering names, so I call him Bruce). Chatted with him about being in India, he was saying about staying in villages learning five languages. A bit different from my experience, but interesting to chat with. In Hoi An everything closes at 23:00, I was going to head off and get some kip as up early for the bus the next day. But everybody was heading off to an out of town bar which kept late hours (and variable locations!) so I was somewhat easily persuaded to come along. Late night drinking and early morning buses is the not the best mixture it most be admitted, but a good night nonetheless. Only four hours to Hue, so I just zoned out on the bus the next day.

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