Cambodia & Vietnam Trip Report

Mar 15th, 2019, 08:08 AM
  #21  
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 167
March 14th - Hoi An, we are here for four days. Left Saigon for the airport about 9AM. Elizabeth had her second round of IVs yesterday and the Doc has signed off, but she’s still not feeling great, I am better and try to do as much damage to the Rex breakfast buffet as I can as I haven’t taken advantage of it for two days. ( this is before I read Crellston’s latest post, LOL). Cab gets us there in about a half hour, $7. Riding any vehicle here is interesting. Everyone is constantly hanking, if you haven’t been to Asia you will notice, it is a constant conversation between the multitude of vehicles. It’s not done in anger like in the US, it’s a strange Morse code saying I’m behind you, I’m passing you, I’m going to hit you! It really is unendingly and then lane changes are hilarious. Constant!

Flew Vietnam Airlines, just discovered VietJet, VA was fine. 50minute flight. Hotel sends a guy to pick us up. Guy is late picking us up, first time that has happened. He shows up though and proceeds to make up for being late by driving like a stunt driver for the French Connection.

The beach strip between Da Nang and Hoi An is home to every giant corporate hotel chain known to man kind and they are building more. It is super modern, so built up that it is a shock, even I think coming from Saigon. It will be like Miami Beach, where you won’t know there is a beach. Then you hit the marble statue stores. I’m not talking dashboard Jesus statues I’m talking 10 foot tall white Buddhas, Dragons, Pagodas, 1000’s of statues that must come from the Marble mountains

Finally Hoi An, only about 30 minutes away based on how Smokey and the Bandit drove. He drops us off at Ancient House Resort and Spa. I’m excited because there is an infinity pool where you can see water buffaloes from the pool. We get checked in, I walk around looking for the infinity pool. No infinity pool, no buffalo. Well I thought I booked us at Ancient House Village Resort and Spa. I check my confirmation, sure enough, my mistake, but it is a lovely room and the wife loves it.
All’s well. More about Hoi An tomorrow.
Tdiddy12 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 08:35 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Tdiddy12 View Post
March 14th - Hoi An, we are here for four days. Left Saigon for the airport about 9AM. Elizabeth had her second round of IVs yesterday and the Doc has signed off, but sheís still not feeling great, I am better and try to do as much damage to the Rex breakfast buffet as I can as I havenít taken advantage of it for two days. ( this is before I read Crellstonís latest post, LOL). Cab gets us there in about a half hour, $7. Riding any vehicle here is interesting. Everyone is constantly honking, if you havenít been to Asia you will notice, it is a constant conversation between the multitude of vehicles. Itís not done in anger like in the US, itís a strange Morse code saying Iím behind you, Iím passing you, Iím going to hit you! It really is unendingly and then lane changes are hilarious. Constant!

Flew Vietnam Airlines, just discovered VietJet, VA was fine. 50minute flight. Hotel sends a guy to pick us up. Guy is late picking us up, first time that has happened. He shows up though and proceeds to make up for being late by driving like a stunt driver for the French Connection.

The beach strip between Da Nang and Hoi An is home to every giant corporate hotel chain known to man kind and they are building more. It is super modern, so built up that it is a shock, even I think coming from Saigon. It will be like Miami Beach, where you wonít know there is a beach. Then you hit the marble statue stores. Iím not talking dashboard Jesus statues Iím talking 10 foot tall white Buddhas, Dragons, Pagodas, 1000ís of statues that must come from the Marble mountains

Finally Hoi An, only about 30 minutes away based on how Smokey and the Bandit drove. He drops us off at Ancient House Resort and Spa. Iím excited because there is an infinity pool where you can see water buffaloes from the pool. We get checked in, I walk around looking for the infinity pool. No infinity pool, no buffalo. Well I thought I booked us at Ancient House Village Resort and Spa. I check my confirmation, sure enough, my mistake, but it is a lovely room and the wife loves it.
Allís well. More about Hoi An tomorrow.
I'd love to go there. You're lucky
giorgiawilliams is offline  
Mar 16th, 2019, 03:06 AM
  #23  
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 167
Hoi An - March 15th - March 17th
There is a lot of talk about Hoi An on this forum. Is it a tourist trap? Oh God yes! Dozens of stores selling the same product, hundreds of people all trying to get pics of the Japanese Bridge. But is it authentic? My vote is yes. Given that there are what, four Disneylandís now with some kid in liederhosen saying his name is Horst and heís actually Todd from Orlando, then yes, Hoi An is authentic. The millions of people who buy t-shirts and banana pancakes, allow the fantastic temples and other historic buildings to remain open. You can find history here and it is pretty amazing in a very interesting setting in an un-authentic world. Donít like tourists? Bicycle through here around eight in the morning and it is very quiet. We have really enjoyed it, but there are other things to do here.

Took. the hotel shuttle to An Bang beach and chilled for most of the day on a really clean but busy beach, but after Hoi-an last night, it was quite relaxing. Started the morning riding bikes through the rice fields. Finally saw my water buffalos, lotís of them actually. They city is clean, great places to eat and yes itís a tourist trap, but then so is the Corn Palace in South Dakota. No Starbucks here, not sure if there is one yet at the Corn Palace?

One more day in Hoi An then off to Hue.
Tdiddy12 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2019, 03:31 AM
  #24  
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 167
March 18th - Trip to Hue. Took my early morning bike ride through the rice fields out toward the beach and back to the hotel. Driver picked us up at 10AM. Booked the driver through our hotel in Hue, Scarlett Boutique Hotel. Did a little checking around, the going rate for a private car is about $60- $65. It is advertised as a drive with stops at Marble Mountain, My Khe Beach, Hai Van Pass and Lap An Lagoon. Driver announces once in the car that it is 3 hours w/o stops or 4 with stops. It’s pretty evident he is pushing the no stop trip! Marble Mountain, too expensive you can see pagodas in Hue for free! He does stop long enough for me to get a couple of shots of the e
levator and some statues. No stop at the beach. I make the mistake of asking where China Beeac is and we get a brief lecture about how Vietnam hates China. Stop at the top of Hai Van pass, It is a crazy place. Traffic stops, tons of buses and trucks and motos! He does stop at Lap An for photos. Long of the short we end up in Hue in 3 hrs.

We are staying at Scarlett Boutique. Most of the places I have mentioned are not endorsements but this place is great. Small, compact rooms, we walked in and felt like we are in Paris. Went out for a walk around the neighborhood, a little late lunch and back for a nap. We are on the South Side of the river on Ben Nighe. This is a great place to stay, easy walking to food and drink. Longer to the Citadel. Taking a city tour tomorrow.
Tdiddy12 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2019, 04:15 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,645
I'm thoroughly enjoying your trip report and writing style! I hope both you and your wife are feeling good by now!

Vietnam is high on my "list" and find your experiences very helpful to think about a visit.
progol is online now  
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