We are a bit in love with Hoi An. Yes, it is quite touristy, an obvious destination for backpackers and proper travellers like us, but this just seemed to me to make it more welcoming, accessible and friendly. Our first evening was punctuated by me having an interview, which was after dinner, and lisa went out to the night market.
After this, lisa came back to pull me towards town, where a big festival or some sort was happening, including big dance numbers where 20 identically dressed school children would do their thing, while hundred of parents and school mates videoed them on their phones. There were illuminated lanterns, sculptures lit up on the water, food stalls and the night market was also in full flow, so we had a look around, bought some (small) souvenirs and had a mango based cocktail.
Our next day was a cycling tour to the Me Sung temples. Just us and a guide, on three slightly ropy mountain bikes, squeaking into the countryside. We went through farmland, we saw a bull being carried on a trailer behind a scooter, we ate boiled peanuts, every schoolchild called "hello" as we went past, and one even raced us on his bike. I failed to try snails at the market, and it was a lovely way to see come more of the Vietnamese countryside.
We stopped for lunch at a roadside cafe. There were a few locals there, and the family of the owners (2 beautiful toddlers, 2 quiet girls, and 2 adorable boys, King and Bing, aged 8 and 7, but dressed alike and looking like twins, they were keen to practise their English conversing with lisa on favourite colours, pets, school, sports, and even singing Scarborough Fair (I sang, not Lisa.)
We ate Pho and made spring rolls, and drank chilled iced tea, and it was all lovely.
After lunch we got to the temple car park, left our bikes, and took a little shuttle to the temples themselves. Overgrown and fallen down over a thousand years, and then bombed by the Americans too, they've been restored or rebuilt to varying extents, but each cluster was interesting to walk around, cool to hide in, and fascinating to hear about.
The journey back was by minibus, our bikes stowed behind.
Our last full day in Hoi An was spent enjoying the old town. The ticket you buy gets you into five attractions, so we saw a very old house, the communal hall, and a temple in the morning, and a family chapel and the local museum in the afternoon. After this we had a massage (both of us in the same room, with the girls climbing all over us to sort out pretty much everything above the waste) my favourite moment was when I realised he plinky plonks musak in the room was actually playing a version of "little drummer boy."
Then it was time to pack up again and prepare for the city again in the morning...