Hoi An was about a 50 min ride away and I fell in love with this small historic town. I knew my two days here would be awesome. While I waited for my dorm to get ready, I kept wondering if I made the right decision of booking a hostel, my social anxiety was killing me. I was sharing the dorm with three other girls(2 of them from Australia, 1 from Germany), decided to break the ice and indulged in conversations. Who knew we’d hit off instantly? We made a plan to explore the night market together in the evening. I got ready and was out and about. Hoi An was stunning and so captivating! Nothing like any country I’d visited before. It was small, rustic, traditional and beautiful! A river running by and pretty lanterns decorating the streets, I strolled through the Old Town, saw the stunning Japanese Covered Bridge amongst other sites, enjoyed local delicacies and lots of street food; Bahn Mi & Pho in particular. With rains on and off, I was much rather having a great time. Language can get a bit of an issue, sometimes the locals really do get annoyed with you but that’s alright and quite understandable. Having read about the history of Vietnam in college I felt grateful to be actually seeing everything for real. I kept sharing pictures back home and my mother was finally okay after the whole flight ramshackle.
In the evening, I grabbed a beer( dirt cheap) at the night market and joined my roomies. It was fun walking, chattering and going about in the market together. Once we returned to our hostel, we joined other hostellers in the common area and played several rounds of Flip The Cup- a typical American drinking game. That was me, someone who was so averse to the idea of a hostel. I had a fabulous time, and it was just Day 1!
Day 2 started with an early morning walk with my roomie from Germany, discussing everything from culture, politics, travel and all of that. We got along really well and since she was leaving in a few hours we exchanged numbers and promised to stay in touch. Oh did I mention, the breakfast in my hostel(Tribee Bana Hostel) was super sumptuous! Very simple but so tasty! Loved the small cute little pancakes with fried banana and peanut butter drizzle.
Post the yummies, I jetted off to the beach and the beach bum in me was happy. I visited Ang Bang Beach, about 4 kms from the Old Town. It was quite a breezy day and the winds were rather strong. After spending some time on sand, I grabbed some lunch at one of the beach shacks; a lovely Pina Colada along with with local fried rice and crab rolls. I got back to the Old Town by early evening and did some souvenir shopping along with just strolling, speaking to locals, taking pictures.
Being a solo traveler, it is not easy getting pictures of yourself but I really enjoyed making conversation with random people from different parts of the world, clicking photos for them and asking them to click me, I even helped a young Brazilian couple figure out the perfect aesthetic poses. The tradition of man-driven tuks-tuks still exist in Hoi An, and they use it mostly for tourists now. Watch out, the streets are full of that post sundown!
I retired early since I had an early morning flight to catch to Hanoi.
Upon waking up I realized the breeze at the beach hadn’t done me good; a blocked nose and running fever. I wasn't going to let that stop me from enjoying the little time I had in this beautiful country. Da Nang airport was about 45 mins away and this time I decided to book myself the shuttle service from my hostel rather than using a Grab Bike Taxi. While Hoi An is a quaint pretty town, Da Nang is more of a metro city with tall glass skyscrapers(beautiful beaches too) and that was one of the main reasons I didn’t want to spend time there. The Dragon Bridge which you can easily spot on your way to the airport is very impressive- remember to keep your camera ready :)