Hoi An Day 1

We arrived in Hoi An about 6am.  You get dumped with no idea which street you are on, surrounded by scooter touts.  I had no choice but to use one to go to an hotel simply to be someone on the map.  It was $1, although we turned out to be much closer to town than her had said.

I ended up checking in to a YHA-affiliated place (the first I have seen so far).  They had no single rooms so they put me in a double at no extra charge.

After a solid hour of watching the BBC to recover I set out for tailors.  There are 500.  The first was a very fancy place that sat me down with a laptop to look at designs, but they wanted $40 for a blouse.  No way!

Next I had my Douglas sandals customised.  The soles were wearing through so I took them to one of the many shoemakers.
“You want copied?”
“NO!  Just repaired”
They put on a cushioned midsole with a grippy outsole for $8.  Since it took several hours they lent me some jandals.  I have avoided them for a long time, and this experience confirmed my hatred.

I wandered about the old town.

They have closed the street to cars and pipe in classical music

It’s quite nice in the small area without scooter and cars, although you do have to compete with bicycles and cyclo taxis.

I looked at several more tailors, trying to explain a ruffle front.  One showed me a whole book of ruffle fronts to choose from.  After trying to describe several features at the neck most had what I can only assume was an in-dpeth conversation about collar construction in Vietnamese.  I decided against buying one, just in case.

The market

They have the usual market here, with a large fabric selection.  I was picked up by one woman who would find the fabric you want from the numerous merchants.  I wanted green Chinese silk but they didn’t have what I wanted.

These are all over the place, but not in the old town

I had to let the day cool down a bit before continuing to the beach, for fear of burning.

I told you they were everywhere!

I rented a bicycle for 3 hours ($1) for the 4km trip to the beach.  It was quite crowded with people floating in the surf.  I did a bit of swimming, but the water is slightly too rough for a lazy paddle.  However it is good for sitting in the waves.

On the way back there was a large crowd of cyclists with green flags on their bicycles – socialist conservationists?

I went out for the evening.  The old city is very pleasant when it is a bit cooler, and all the shops are open.  The river has several large paper lanterns on it, and it all looks very pretty.

I had some chicken and noodles for dinner, but the restaurant owner rubbed me up the wrong way-literally!  She kept rubbing my arms after I had paid.  Some sort of unsuccessful pickpocketing attempt on my pickpocket-proof purse??

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