Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's raining, it's pouring!

It rained in Hoi an today. Not just a shower or a cloud burst but torrential, tropical, tumultuous rain that fell from the sky in giant, splashing drops (please forgive all the alliteration- the rain was seriously intense!)

After a truly amazing breakfast we had planned to walk into Hoi an to check out the shopping but because of the rain we relented and took the shuttle. Luckily we also borrowed umbrellas because by the time we reached the first stop the rain had intensified, the road was flooded and the usual dodge the motorbike game had levelled up to become dodge the traffic while wading through ankle deep water!
The downpour certainly didn't stop the main business of Hoi an which is to sell the tourists lots of things that the tourists didn't previously know they needed. Like plastic ponchos. Out of nowhere appeared an army of poncho sellers- on foot, on push bikes, on motos, out of alley ways. Even once Geoff and Taine had relented and bought one, we were constantly 'encouraged' to upgrade to another colour or better quality. It was pretty funny, especially since the head openings weren't designed for big Kiwi heads and wearing the full length plastic actually turned you into a mobile sauna. At least Geoff had had the sense to wear his jandals, I don't think my new Sketchers will ever dry.

Our first shop stop was the tailors to get Geoff a suit. 10 minutes of consultation and measuring and a couple of million dong (Viet currency) later and we were assured that the suit will be ready to try on tomorrow. There are literally hundreds of tailors in Hoi an, making any item of clothing you desire.

I was out voted on the flowers
We waded our way up and down the streets, bartered for and bought T shirts and jewellery and leather belts, all the while politely shaking our heads at the constant stream of ladies who ask, "Where you going?", "What you looking for?", "What you want to see?"
Mostly, the street vendors and their lookouts, while insistent are not threatening like some we've encountered in places like New Orleans or Paris. We did end up paying an exorbitant amount for a bag of soggy bananas after I was foolish enough to ask one of the fruit sellers if I could take her photo. Next thing I knew Geoff and I both had fruit poles slung over our shoulders (for the record they are very heavy), the fruit lady had my iPhone in her hand and other sellers were appearing from everywhere to get in the photo and to then be paid 100,000 Dng for the bananas - EACH! Those bananas cost more than our dinner last night. Well played ladies!

By the time we sloshed home through the puddles, the rain had stopped and we took advantage of the empty pool at the hotel for a swim.

For dinner we took Trip Advisor's tip and made the short walk to Tam Phuc's where we pigged out on spring rolls, baked chicken in bamboo leaves and other delicacies, accompanied by 2 for the price of 1 cocktails.
Won tons

Afterwards we were too full to do anything but sleep.


  1. Fantastic report, will be in Hoi An next week and so looking forward to it.

  2. Thanks for this post! I will be in Hoi An in November (rainy season) and am very nervous about it. But it looks like you still managed to have a great time! Do you have nay tips to share? Or looking back is there anything you would have done different because of the rain? Also, I was planning to stay in the Hoi An River Town Hotel on the small island, is that a bad idea during rainy season? Thanks so much!