These 6 days in Hoï An are quickly past. Especially since I mainly devoted to work.
This is one of the constraints of the nomadic digital lifestyle. You have to be ready at all times to get busy at work even if it was not planned. At least that’s true for a large majority of freelancers, at least those who give themselves the means to perform. It is therefore without regret that I immediately installed an office in the Guest house when I arrived. I started working in the common area and continued on my terrace. I never directly book long stays on Airbnb. I prefer to check if the place pleases me before committing myself for several days. With the work in the background I zapped to renew and so I had to change room on the 3rd day and Guest house on the 4th.
The Old Town of Hoï An
The first few days I made a short visit to the historic city. It is a charming place, a city steeped in history that has been miraculously spared by the destruction of war. As a merchant port, Hoï An has long welcomed migrants who settled for several months in the city when the season was not suitable for navigation. Many Japanese have left architectural traces such as the covered bridge which marks somehow the entrance to the old city, classified UNESCO, packed with tourist shops, tourists and pretty lanterns. Despite the crowd we can only be admiring the charm of the place.
Place that makes me think, by the way, to the old town of Rhodes where I stayed from July 2018 to March 2019. The difference and that in Rhodes there is a touristless off season and the morning hours for visit the medieval town fresh. Here the morning walk should be nice but it would be a shame to miss the magic effect of night lighting by hundreds of colorful lanterns.
A beach of fine white sand and other treasures
Another great attraction of the region: the beach. I was traveling exclusively by bicycle and the drive to the beach was challenging on the last few kilometers when I had to leave the peaceful rice fields to reach the main traffic route to the beach.
I arrived at the beach of An Bang Beach shortly before sunset. The colors and the scenery were superb. White sand, islands a little off the coast, small traditional round boats laid beachside. And hundreds of tourists, as far as the eye can see. I am rather fond of deserted beaches, conditions were not optimal for a swim. On the other hand, I promised to explore the island of Cù Lao Chàm. I also promised to come back to visit a set of stupas adjoining a time and which are among the oldest in Vietnam.
When history joins my near past
The second day flipping through the Guide du Routard 2018 Vietnam I came across the story of Hoï An where it refers to Alexandre de Rhodes who was the inventor of Vietnamese stick writing that we know today , aesthetically close to modern Greek and its accented characters. During my travels and in life in general, I am sensitive to these signs of fate.
End of the stay
I ended my stay in a particularly nice Guest House, the CIC Boutique Hotel. A perfect room with a superior bed, a big screen, a large desk, a large bath and a small pool that I could observe from my balcony. In total i spent exactly 15 minutes in this pool, the last day in 1 session, aware that I will never complete my mission before my return to Chiang Mai.
By the way internet was good everywhere because i was in small stuctures. I also bought à 4G unlimited card for 9USD at the airport. I didn’t change, thinking it would be easy in Hoï An or that Vietnamese will may be accept thaï Baths. No way, i had to change in a jewelery.
The taste of a return there
During all the stay I ate in local popular restaurants, carefully avoiding any address for tourists. Everything was good, I have tasted many times the Phö, the traditional Vietnamese soup with beef. I also had the pleasure of discovering the local beer “Larue” and the delicious cookies “Goodie Chips”.
The last day, under pressure with my work deadline I stayed for lunch and dinner at the hotel. I went to diner late thus i told the woman : “Cook what you want, i trust you!”
I particularly appreciated the setting and the welcome of this establishment a little apart, at the end of the road facing rice fields. When I left, I asked them for their monthly rate. Living here would cost me three times more than what I spend in Chiang Mai. While standing is a notch above but I hope to negotiate a more suitable rate. I also more or less plan to return to Hoï An and make a tour of all the pleasant Airbnb I spotted. A night in each with for those who are worth a negotiation for the long term. Vietnam has a welcoming Visa policy that allows you to stay in the country for several months easily and legally. I think this is one of the options I will use for post-Thailand.
Good bye Vietnam !
Sunday morning I went back to Thailand, my host country of the moment, without any certainty to cross the immigration barrier, the brain focused on my mission of the moment but more than satisfied with this small “rural” stay in Vietnam . I think globally this country must be pretty hellish to live. I’ve already had echoes of megacities where crossing a street becomes an adventure because you have to sneak into a tide of scooters, all I hate. On the other hand there are rare pearls, places a little away and preserved, spots that deserve and I hope to find a few!