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