Our flight from Hanoi to Da Nang was delayed for many many hours. Flexibility is a must when we travel because we’ve learned to expect many hiccups along the way. Regardless of how much planning or prep work we do, it’s inevitable that something will get delayed or canceled. In this case, the airline was saying that there was a problem with the plane and they were working quickly to fix it or get another plane to come to Hanoi. As much as I hated to lose out on half a day in Hoi An, I didn’t mind waiting for the plane to get fixed if it meant arriving safely-no matter how long it took.
When we did finally arrive in the city of Da Nang, we had to take a taxi to the beach town of Hoi An. The weather was no longer cool and cloudy like Hanoi. It was close to 19:00pm when we arrived at our hotel and it was steamy, humid and hot. Our hotel was ready for us when we arrived and they had glasses of ice cold “welcome juice.”
We unloaded our bags in our room, turned on the air conditioning and walked down the street to find some dinner. We discovered that the street vendors in Hoi An usually have a little cart out front that advertises the type of food being served. Behind the cart is a seating area that is covered by a palapa style structure and beyond the seating area is another small structure where the family lives. Almost all the other businesses in Hoi An are set up the same way-business our front and a home in the back.
Our hostess/chef served us her variation of chicken and rice. The rice looked and tasted like a variation of quinoa. It was shaped halfway like rice and half like quinoa. The meal filled our bellies and then we went back to our hotel bar for a night cap.
Our hotel had complementary computers for use as well as a pool table in the bar area. I took advantage of the computers to update my blog. Super Nel really wanted to play pool and when the bartender overheard, he offered to join him.
We learned from the locals in Hanoi that one of the best ways to learn English is to interact with people who already speak the language. It’s not uncommon to have someone approach you at the hotel, park, beach and engage in conversation. The people of Vietnam are very friendly (and brave!) to approach people and try out their English skills. The other option would be to pay for classes at a language school.
Arnel lost both games of pool to the bartender but I think it’s because he made our drinks extra strong. We decided to hit the sack early to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed in order to hit the beach and explore the ancient village the following day.