Monday, October 8, 2012

Sweet Escape to Da Nang and Hoi An

After a long wait for our vacay, with lots of setbacks before, we finally made it to Da Nang-Hoi An, Vietnam. I'll just gonna summarize this whole post as I don't want it to be too lengthy to read.

Personally I think, Hoi An or the Ancient Town of Hoi An especially, I felt like I went back to China. Lots of temples, architectures and arts does looks like it was built by Chinese, which Vietnamese will say it's originally from Vietnamese or Vietnam architect. Their culture and some of their language does sound like Chinese dialect. In fact, the name Hoi An means 'peaceful sea' or 'peaceful meeting place' according to Wikipedia. No offense to the Vietnamese though, it's just what I felt when I'm there.

So anyways, go back to the trip. Well in short, Da Nang was pretty relax I would say, not much of entertainment but you gotta walk a lot. You can always take the cab but do check the map first before deciding as some attraction or places are actually quite near to walk. Best to use your smartphone or iphone GPS. Do get the local simcard in town, it's damn cheap for their 'Data Only' simcards and you can use it for a week unlimited, costs about less than USD$3.

Da Nang
Visits - We went to Cham Museum we arrived the first day. Unless you're a very big fan of sculptures, this will be the ideal place to be. Me and my boyfriend don't really enjoy it though.

Cham Museum
Us at Cham Museum
Food - We went to a local seafood restaurant in Da Nang town, we ordered a hot and spicy crab, spicy frog and a few cans of beer (Thanks to some local sitting next table who barely speaks English) and it only costs us less than USD$12. Communicating with them does gives us some hard time, especially when their Menu is all in Vietnamese even using the universal sign language-pointing here and there on other people's table to order what we saw its nice. It does looks rude but that's the only way we can deal with the communication problem.
Hoa Tu Seafood Restaurant
Spicy Frog
Hot and spicy crab
We went to a cafe nearby our hotel-less than 10 minutes walk. Its called Lu Cafe. We tried their yogurt coffee and it was great. Should give it a try.
At Lu Cafe

Traveling - The next day we took a cab from our Dai A Hotel in Da Nang to Hoi An. We asked the hotel to arranged it for us and it's only USD$15. If you get public cab will costs you around USD$20. Its a Toyota Vios and it's quite comfy.

Accommodation -  We stayed at Dai A Hotel as I mentioned earlier. Overall the hotel is not bad. Spacious room(we booked the family room with 2 queen-sized bed, supposed to go with another friend), it's actually some shop building turned hotel. Cleanliness was okay, old furnitures, free wifi and their breakfast was acceptable(for Asians). It just for a night so it doesn't really matter and the price are pretty reasonable as well.

Hoi An
Visits -  
Ancient Town of Hoi An, unless you never been to China or Malacca aka Melaka in Malaysia, it's probably worth visiting, lots of temples and museums to visit. For us Malaysian, it's like we're visiting Malacca Jonker Street. Entry fee : 90,000vnd (entry for 5 attractions).
Hoi An Fabric Market, where you can tailor-made all your suits or dresses. We went to a few stalls to make different things to try it out. Well we found out that they actually send it to the same group of tailors to do it, it all turns out to be the same, is just that you have to bargain the prices till you think it's worth it. I've made a pencil skirt for USD$12, a chiffon dinner dress for USD$30, cashmere high-waisted pants for USD$25 and a cotton white shirt for USD$15. My boyfriend made a pair of suit for only USD$75 which is less than RM250. The only stall I can remember the name is Miss-Forget-Me-Not, workmanship is good but they refused to listen to you when you want to alter something, maybe it just me, cos I studied fashion and I told her how the dress slit should be done, probably she felt offended, end up the slit doesn't goes the way I want it to. If not much of alteration to be done, you can get your suits or dresses in 24 hours.
My Son Tour- Overall it was okay but one advice though-never ever take the boat ride back to Hoi An town. I repeat NEVER!Yes, lunch is provided but the food they served is a plate of rice topped with some stir-fried vegetables with no meat or fish or whatever and that's it.

A bottle of mineral water and a slice of watermelon. I don't think its even worth that USD$3 we paid. They will stopped by a village for us to visit the carpentry. No explanation or information given by the tour guide, we just look around as they are selling souvenirs as well, probably they are just hoping that some of us will buy. Not good-waste of time.
Hoi An Free Bicycle Tour- Indeed it was a fruitful one and it's FREE!This free tour is organized by a group of university students who wished to practice and master their English. They are very friendly and helpful. They explained everything in detail, much more worth it compared to those tour that you paid for.

Food - We went to Hai Scout Cafe. Food was good, we ordered the seafood hot pot and Cao Lau. Service is excellent, their waiter and waitresses are very helpful and friendly. White Rose dish is a MUST TRY! Me and my boyfriend love it, you can get it nearly in all the restaurant or cafes in Hoi An. Our last night dinner was Cua Dai beach, restaurant no.3,food was cheap and nice.

Traveling - We rent the bicycles to go around. Be careful when you are crossing the road. The traffic lights only work in the evening. If you were to go to the beach, take a cab or rent a motorbike cos it could be a long ride for you to cycle.

Accommodation - We stayed at Thanh Binh 3 for 3 nights. Reasonable priced. Breakfast is the same every single day. There's a pool but it looks like they hardly maintain it. We decided to go a little luxurious on our last night of our trip so we choose Hoi An Beach Resort. We got our room facing the river and walking distant to their so-called private beach across the road. We love our stay and would probably come back again.
some wine by the river outside our villa
This come to the end of my post. Personally I think a 4days 3nights trip is more than enough (ours is 6days 5nights) but with the amount of time we spend we can actually make another short trip to Hue as well. Due to tight budget we stick with Da Nang and Hoi An only.


No comments:

Post a Comment