Fri 5 Nov 2010 - Sun 21 Nov 2010
Walking down Hoi An's cobble-stone streets, eating at the many fantastic restaurants to sample local dishes, exploring Cham ruins in nearby My Son and escaping the rain in our comfortable hotel room made Hoi An one of our favourite places in Vietnam. We took a cooking course to teach us how to make Vietnamese specialties, visited temples on our Old Town Ticket, and ate at cafes, street stalls, local family-run places, you name it! The one thing we DIDN'T do, is take advantage of the many talented tailors in town and have custom-made clothing made for rock-bottom prices. We just can't fit anything else in our backpacks!
We visited Nha Trang in the wrong season. It was rainy, cool and the beach was all but deserted. Recent flooding had washed away some of the sidewalks at the beach. Nha Trang is the place to cruise the islands, snorkel, and party. We did none of the above, and left after one night. We walked the city streets and visited the giant Buddha, then took an early morning bus to Dalat the next day.
Dalat was home to the Easy Riders, a group of experienced motorcycle drivers who can give you the inside scoop on the area. We hired them for a day to see the sights closest to Dalat, then were convinced that this was the way we wanted to get to Mui Ne. We took 2 more days on the back of their bikes and really enjoyed the scenery, village tours, and personalized itinerary. While it was a budget buster, it was such a memorable experience that we would definitely recommend it.
In Mui Ne we thought we were settling for a hotel far from the centre of town, but in fact it was the perfect, private getaway. We had a pool and a beach to ourselves, and a great restaurant across the street, so that was where we could be found for a few days. We are not used to this kind of vacation, but I can get used to it pretty quickly!
Next stop was Saigon, now called Ho Chi Min City. In the backpacker ghetto we found our hotel and booked a tour of the Cao Dai Temple and Cu Chi tunnels. There was much to see in the city, and we took several days just exploring on our own. We booked a three day boat trip in the Mekong Delta to our next destination: Cambodia.