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Trip report Hoi Ann

Perth
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680 posts
8 reviews
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Trip report Hoi Ann

After 5 nights in Nha Trang it was time to move on to Hoi Ann. We didn’t have a transfer to the airport for our flight to Danang, so I booked and paid for a taxi at the hotel reception. The taxi was right on time at 6.00am & we just gave him the receipt with no problems the other end. Just as we left the hotel the taxi driver turned to me & said “passport” & I thought there is no way I’m giving you our passports buddy & then he said “Passports, Ma’m you get” & it was then I realised the poor bugger was only making sure I had got our passports before leaving!

On our last night in Nha Trang we grabbed a taxi to Lac Canh Restaurant as it had been recommended to us as a great place to have a meal. Well, the taxi dropped us there & it really looked a bit ordinary & very smokey, but it was full of locals, so we went in anyway. We knew the food was cooked at your table, actually you cook it yourself, so we ordered a beer & some prawns, beef, squid & vegetables. This turned out to be one of the best meals we had & together with a bottle of Dalat white wine, served in an ice bucket to our table, the total cost was ridiculously cheap!!

We arrived in Danang on time & their was our driver & also a guide, holding up our names ready to drive us to Hoi Ann. This was all arranged with the wonderful Hau at Vexplore Travel, and as usual no problems at all. We traveled through the Marble Mountains, stopping at the marble carving centre to see the wonderful carvers at work. We also stopped at the famous China Beach, what a beautiful stretch of coastline this is. It was hard to imagine standing there, that this was the first place the Americans landed in the “war”. There is an incredible amount of construction going on there, with huge resorts & golf courses being built.

We arrived at the Ha An Hotel too early for check in as our flight was so early, so we left our bags & went to the Brothers Café just up the road for a cold drink. It was really hot so we went back to the hotel restaurant & had an early lunch as we had not had breakfast. The staff at the Ha An Hotel are just gorgeous, & the food was lovely. The girls in the restaurant informed us that our room was ready, so off we went & when the door was opened I said to my husband, “this is gorgeous”. A beautiful room with rose petals on the bed & sprinkled in the bathroom, fresh roses, we were sorry to leave this hotel & the staff, just a lovely hotel all round.

We had some clothes made at Hoi An Cloth Shop 154 Tran Phu st & we were really pleased with the results.

We did the My Son trip in a private car that we organized with the guy who picked us up from the airport. I felt so sad that such ancient places like My Son, that go back centuries, were bombed to the point of destruction during the war & mostly only ruins remain.

My husband & I both did the Red Bridge Cooking School which is well worth the money. It is an extremely well run hands on school. There were about 20 people in our class & it was great to meet so many people from all over the world & we all agreed it was a great experience.

We loved Hoi Ann & we wished that we could have stayed more than 5 nights there. It is the most beautiful sight at night along the waterfront, with all the lantern shops lit up. We bought six big red lanterns to use as part of our xmas decorations for our outdoor area by the pool at home.

There is a great variety of restaurants & we found it hard to choose where to eat each night!! We met some great people over different nights & exchanged email address’s yet again.

We have found as always, nothing but smiles from the Vietnamese, always willing to help, the beautiful little kids waving & calling out “hallo” , we have loved every minute!!

I hope I haven’t raved on too much, so until next time….

Cheers - Wayvan

Miranda, Sydney
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3,347 posts
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1. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

It's great following your travels - so glad we will be staying a week in HoiAn - it sounds fabulous.

Cheers,

Sandy

Perth
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680 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

Thanks Sandy. As you can imagine, I have left out heaps of what we have done, I should have kept notes!! It's so easy to travel here & everyone is so eager to help. Our Lonely Planet has become our "bible", it doesn't matter how many notes you take, there is so much more. You will love Hoi Ann, the beach at Ca Dao has great seafood restaurants on the beach. We intended having dinner there on our last night, but that afternoon we were walking down the street & someone came running down the street after us. We had met a young Aussie couple the night before while we were having dinner & they had spotted us while they were having a beer & wanted us to join them, so that was the afternoon gone!! We are in our 50's & they thought we were so "cool" they told us they had talked about us all night & wanted to be like us after 35 years of marriage, still having fun & travelling together.

Cheers - Wayvan

Australia
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534 posts
60 reviews
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3. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

Good to read of your travels Wayvan. A great read. Brings back some wonderful memories of dinners in HoiAn on the riverbank. Want to go back and try the ones we missed out on. Make sure you have dinner over the other side of the river as well.

Cheers and happy travelling.

Dave

Perth
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680 posts
8 reviews
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4. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

Stewie you must have missed this one!

Cheers Wayvan

hervey bay australia
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89 posts
15 reviews
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5. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

hi Wayvan, sounds like you really enjoyed Hoi An! We are staying 6 nights there in Feb - is this too many? The red bridge cooking school I have just been reading about in my lonely planet and have been thinking of doing too.

what was the rest of your itinerary (how many days at each place?) and would you change anything?

How did you find v'explore travel as we are just getting quotes now? How and when did you pay them?

sorry for all the questions but as you have just returned seems like you would be the person to ask.

look forward to your reply.

Cheers Vicki

Perth
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680 posts
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6. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

Hi Vicki

To begin, hau @ Vexplore travel booked all our hotels, internal flights, airport pickups & transfers from Danang to Hoi Ann & then Hoi Ann to Hue. Hau emailed me all our hotel vouchers which I printed out, and he gave us our etickets for our flights when we met up with him. We paid $150 USD deposit by credit card when we booked via xoom.com, a very safe payment service. The balance we paid in cash to Hau the second night after we arrived in HCMC, (then he took us for a drink & also to lunch the next day). To be honest, the service was faultless & I wouldn't consider using anyone else. You can pay the balance by credit card if you wish. We never had a single problem with any of our bookings & I can't recommend him enough.

We stayed 5 nights in Hoi Ann & could have stayed at least a week, as we loved it, & The Red Bridge Cooking School was great, it was $19 USD each & well worth the money as it is very well run & the other "students" were great company too!!

Our itinerary was 3 nights HCMC, 5 nights Nha Trang, 5 nights Hoi Ann, 2 nights Hue & 5 nights Hanoi.

In hindsight, we would have spent 1 less night in Nha Trang & added it to HCMC, as by the time we did the Mekong, we didn't have enough time there as we really loved HCMC. Hanoi is pretty crazy but unique it it's own way, & maybe 4 nights there & 3 nights Hue would have been better. We did a very extensive tour of the DMZ/Khe Sahn from Hue which was a whole day & didn't leave much time to sight see. This tour was a highlight for us as the tour guide we had was amazing. However, if you have no real interest in the history of the "war", then it probably wouldn't be of interest.

We didn't find travelling in Vietnam a problem at all & having our flights, hotels etc already booked really took any stress out of our trip.

Hope this helps - cheers wayvan

Australia
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7. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

I love raving when it's relevant, and interesting and your report is Wayvan. Thanks heaps, I'm getting mighty excited about my trip next month.

Perth
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1,955 posts
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8. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

Hi Wayvan,

Yes I must have missed your report, but it was worth the read , very enjoyable.

I think my wife would be interested in The Red Bridge Cooking School, how did you organise that?

Cheers,

Stewie.

nsw
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784 posts
25 reviews
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9. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

Hey Wayvan

Would you spend time in Nha Trang again? It would be the pplace i would leave out next time & use the extra for Hoian. I think i could have spent 2 weeks there!

Sydney, Australia
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183 posts
108 reviews
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10. Re: Trip report Hoi Ann

Hi Wayvan,

It was great to be able to put a face to someone you had dealt with on the TA forum, we arrived back last Wednesday.

For those reading this Wayvan, myself & our husbands stayed at the Ha An hotel at the same time.

I have read all your forums you have posted & all I can say is ditto!!!

We especially loved Hoian ... the restaurants, people, & the Ha An hotel...we also stayed at The Victoria which is a beautiful beach resort.

Shall be writing some posts myself soon.

We shall definitely return to Vietnam.

Also shall book with Le at vexplore again.

After being avid Bali & Thailand people in the past, I shall put Vietnam up there with them even though they are all different countries & cultures.

Pleased you enjoyed the rest of your trip....

Deb