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Unread 20 Jan 20, 04:46 PM  
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DisneyDaffodil
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An Bang Beach and Hoi An Ancient Town ~ Day Four ~ Vietnam July 2019

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Mums notes for this day start: wake around 7:15. Very comfy big bed, slept well. Lets just say I dont agree at all. I got about an hour of sleep all night, so although today was a good day, it was completely exhausting for me as Im someone who likes 8 hours of sleep to function.
Moving on from Georgias complaints, well tell you a little more of the hotel and our room as we didnt write much about it in yesterdays report (as we didnt explore it much ourselves after the long journey) Hoi An Beach resort has the river on one side and a small beach (that they were renovating during our stay) on the other side. It has two swimming pools, a restaurant and bar area and is quite a small, quiet resort. The rooms were very luxuriously furnished but, as weve said, didnt completely work for us. Our room had a very large balcony, with a partial river view if you looked to the right. Heres some photos of the room.




That morning, we all got up, showered and went down to breakfast. Breakfast in this hotel was really good again. It had more choice than the first hotels breakfast and was all really nice. Breakfast was served in the restaurant with views over the river. It was the most beautiful place Ive ever eaten breakfast at and we loved watching the river as we ate.


Our plan for the day was to head to An Bang beach, where Ian would meet us (Claudia was mountain climbing this morning as it is a regular hobby of hers) The hotel offers free shuttle buses to and from An Bang beach and to the Old Town of Hoi An. We always used the shuttle buses to take us to these places but chose to pay for Grab taxis to go back, as the shuttle buses had to be pre-booked and we didnt want to be tied to any times.
After breakfast we headed straight to the lobby to book ourselves onto the next shuttle bus, which was leaving in about five minutes. Even though the shuttle buses were small, they were never too full. It was only around a five to ten minute drive to the beach. The bus dropped us off at the Shore Club, which is a private part of the beach owned by another hotel but guests at our hotel were able to use it, due to the renovations at Hoi An Beach Resorts beach. We had free use of the sun loungers and umbrellas here.
Ian joined us about 20 minutes later. The weather was gorgeous this day, although it was even hotter here than Ho Chi Minh. An Bang Beachs sand was white (and sometimes too hot to walk on) and the water was bath-water warm, which Rob loved as he usually wont go in the sea as its too cold for him. We spent the morning swimming, reading, relaxing and having a few drinks on the beach.



Around 1:30pm, Claudia joined us on the beach and we all headed to the restaurant attached to the Shore Club. Claudia chatted about her climbing and how much shed enjoyed it, while we all looked at the menus. We ordered drinks first. Ian and Claudia had a beer each, Rob and I had Pina Coladas (which were really well presented and tasted great)


and I had an oreo milkshake.


Claudia had a salad. Rob had the club sandwich, which contained chicken and cheese with fries.

I had the tuna which was served with a mango sauce and vegetables which was very unusual. The mango flavour was slightly overpowering at times but the tuna was amazing.

And Ian and I had the double bacon cheeseburger with fries (which was an amazing burger and really, really filling)

All of the food tasted delicious. Overall, for five of us, the food and drink cost around 70, which was a little more expensive but there were no other restaurants nearby so we were paying for the convenience as well as the good Western food.
We stayed on the beach until 3pm when it started to get a little darker and we wanted to leave before it started to rain (plus we wanted to go back to our hotel so we could shower and get ready to go out that evening to Hoi An Ancient Town). Ian and Claudia stayed at the beach, as Claudia hadnt been there long, and we easily caught a Grab back to our hotel from outside the Shore Club.
When we arrived back at our hotel, it started to rain. It was really heavy and Ian messaged to say that they were having to leave the beach because of the rain, but it was more difficult for them to get a Grab due to the high demand. We spent some time in our room; showering, getting ready and relaxing while it rained heavily outside. We took some photos of the rain from the balcony when the rain was at its heaviest. Even then it was warm outside and the rain water was actually hot to touch.

When we thought the rain had stopped, Mum and I went to go for a walk, to discover that the rain had not stopped. We walked to the end of our line of rooms, which was undercover but we could see out to the river. I took photos of the rain bouncing off the river and the sky, which was cloudy but still bright.

A little while later the rain actually did stop, so we all went for a walk around the resort. The resort isnt very large but theres still quite a lot to look around (two pools, the river area, the beach on the other side of the road and a fish pond, which I loved.)
Firstly, we headed to the pool furthest from our room, which we hadnt seen yet. This one was actually larger than the one by the restaurant and less used it seemed.

After looking around this pool, we looked in the fish pond. It was filled with koi carp and I SWEAR I saw a snake amongst the grass but when I told Ian and Dad later neither of them believed me. It was only tiny but Im sure it was there. I believe Georgia as I think I saw it there too but I didnt hang around to find out

As we wandered towards the river, we stopped as we saw a huge snail in the path. This was a very pretty snail. Although I liked seeing the snail too, Mum now wont stop talking about it. There seemed to be quite a lot of wildlife around this resort which we loved watching (from bats, to geckos, to snakes, to snails)

We stopped at the river to take photos with the beautiful sky behind us. There were even more animals here and I kept getting distracted by fish swimming around under the pier/jetty thing.



We then headed across the road near reception to the beach. There was grass here and I was actually worried about walking over it after seeing that snake in the pond. I did it anyway though, as I wanted to see the beach. And I didnt get bitten by a snake, so that was successful. It was a shame that the beach was under renovation as it would have been beautiful to walk along. Even still it was nice to stop and take photos here, as the sky was unlike anything Id ever seen. I loved photographing it and I wished Id taken my camera out for our walk, not just my phone.


We headed back to our room and did the final bits of getting ready before heading to reception to catch the shuttle bus into Hoi An at 6pm, which we had booked that morning. The journey into Hoi An took about ten minutes and it dropped us off at the entrance to a hotel near the Ancient Town. Ian and Claudia were already waiting for us outside here, as they had caught a Grab from their hotel.
We walked the short distance to the start of the Ancient Town. It was incredibly busy here this evening, which we hadnt been expecting. We had all been a little nervous about the busy-ness of Ho Chi Minh before we arrived but had found it less overwhelming than we originally thought. However, Hoi An which we had expected to be our break from the busy city, actually seemed much much busier this evening. There were people everywhere and we were always walking amongst crowds of people, which often made it difficult to see anything.
Ian had been to Hoi An once before so he had a general idea of where to go and things that we would like to see there. He agreed that it was incredibly busy that evening, so we agreed to see what we could despite the crowds and that we would return the next evening and the day we were travelling home to see the main tourist sights.
The first thing that we saw in Hoi An was the Japanese Covered Bridge. Around here was probably the most crowded (and I found it really difficult to take any photos, due to the people and Ive never really used my camera at night before so couldnt figure out the settings. Excuse if my photos arent great this evening, we also have some of Mums from her phone too)
You had to pay to enter the bridge, which we decided we would do another day when it was hopefully quieter. We stopped to take photos of the outside, along with hundreds of other people.


We then strolled along the river, taking in all the lights and boats on the river. It was stunning but the crowds and people constantly asking if we wanted a boat ride or to buy a lantern was irritating and took away from the beauty of the river a little. Although it seems like were complaining about Hoi An here, this was not our overall opinion of Hoi An. This first night was the busiest and it was a little crazy to get around. I think Ian mentioned that there was a holiday in Vietnam at this time, which is why there were so many people there. However, after this first evening, we found Hoi An much quieter and fell in love with it the next evening.



We wandered along the river towards a courtyard area of a temple. It was very quiet and relaxing here and we spent some time taking photos and taking in the beautiful building and the lily pad pond. Ian and I joked about the circular shape on the building looking like the goals that they used on Soccer AM (which my brothers always used to watch when they were home when I was younger)




We then walked back the way wed came, back to one of the bigger bridges that was lit up with yellow and golden lights. We had great views out over the river, so we could watch the lanterns and boats travelling down the river. Again, I was annoyed at my camera because, although some of the photos are ok, they werent exactly what I wanted. Its really hard to take photos of lights when its so dark.


Even on this bridge it was really crowded and we had to stand close to the edge so that people could walk past while we stopped to take photos, plus there were lots of other people taking photos.
After taking photos here, we walked along the other side of the river for a while, taking yet more photos of lanterns and lights (including a Christmas tree despite it being July).

This side of the road had lots of restaurants on it, all selling different types of Vietnamese food. They all seemed really busy and we were starting to get hungry.
Ian had read about a restaurant on Tripadvisor that he wanted to try so we headed down some back alleys towards it. However, when we arrived, they said that they were closing, however there were still other customers in there so we were all a bit confused. Ian did a little more googling and eventually found a Vietnamese Barbecue place not too far away that seemed to have good reviews. We could not have ended up at a better place.
We have no idea how to advise anyone to find this place, as its completely off the main streets and in a non-touristy area. We would never have found it if we hadnt been with Ian, as we had to walk through some back alleys. We realised on the way back that it wasnt that far from the main roads really, it was just complicated to find.
The restaurant was open fronted with tables outside, with short benches along them. In the centre of each table was a open fire pit, with coals in and a grill on top where you cooked your own meat and fish that was brought to your table. This restaurant seemed very simple from first impressions, clean but not what we would usually imagine a good restaurant to look like but it was amazing.
We ordered plates of meat, that came marinated in sauce and spices that tasted delicious and we then had to cook on the grill. We ordered lemongrass chicken, spicy pork (which came to our table already cooked), garlic flavoured beef, prawns (already cooked) and morning glory (also cooked) Everything here tasted perfect. The prawns were enormous and full of flavour. I really liked the chicken, as Ive never tried anything lemongrass flavoured before but this was really delicious.


Throughout the meal, the four of us had many bottles of Tiger beer and I drank a whole large bottle of water to myself haha. The bottles of beer were left at the end under the table so they could be counted up at the end to see how many the table had had, which was usual in Vietnam. However, there was barely any room under the table by me to put my feet, as there were too many bottles. I was already struggling, as the benches were short and I was perched on the very edge of the one that Ian and Claudia were on. My other complaint was that I was sat in direct line with the way the smoke was blowing, so I was constantly struggling to breathe through the smoke from the fire pit. I loved the food here but wasnt very comfortable because of these things (I was also more easily affected by all these problems because I hadnt slept the night before and it was starting to catch up with me)
It was a very sociable evening and we spent a lot of time chatting to each other. Even though we were full, we ordered a plate of scallops as Rob and I mentioned wed never tried them. Ian tried to cook these on the fire pit but had no idea, so the owner of the restaurant (who had been our waiter that evening) came to show us how to do it properly and check that they were cooked thoroughly. The service here was really good and the owner and staff were very friendly.
Rob and I really liked the scallops, as did Ian and Claudia (although they already knew they liked them) Ian was impressed when I said Id try one (which isnt abnormal for me, as I like trying new foods, although he knew I wasnt a fan of seafood) I regretted trying it. They were disgusting. Im usually someone who even if I dont like the taste of a food, I can eat one mouthful but the flavour and texture of these was so bad that I had to spit it out. Im sure they were LOVELY just not to me. We all found this very, very funny especially as wed had a few beers and enjoyed laughing at Georgia.

My tiredness was really catching up with me now but I didnt want to stop anyone else from spending time together as I knew Mum and Dad were enjoying spending time with Ian and Claudia. Ian asked if we wanted to go somewhere else for more drinks or have another drink there or if we wanted to go back as wed told him earlier that I hadnt slept all night. I didnt want to decide this myself, as I didnt want to force Mum and Dad to go back if they werent ready but I was really tired. It was difficult to decide what to do, but we eventually decided that wed go back to our hotel, Mum and Dad would have another drink in the hotel bar and Id relax in the hotel room as I was tired. Ian and Claudia decided to stay in Hoi An.
I could see Georgia was very tired so we had no problem with going back to the hotel and Ian understood completely. We finished up and asked for bill for the meal. All of the drinks and food came to around 25, which was incredibly good value and possibly one of the cheapest meals weve ever had and definitely one of the best wed had.
As we were about to leave, on e of the women who worked there came up to ask us if wed be interested in seeing the performance that was happening in the main theatre of Hoi An the next night. The performance was called Teh Dar and was by Lune Production Company, who often perform a different show in the Opera House in Ho Chi Minh. Ian had mentioned this earlier in the trip, as wed arrived in Ho Chi Minh a few days after theyd left there. Ian had been disappointed, as he knew it was something that we would enjoy. We were all enthusiastic to see this so we spent some time discussing tickets and times and seating for the next nights performance. The waitress booked us our seats, which we had to pay for the next night at the theatre. We all were excited about this and looking forward to seeing it. Tickets for the show were about 24 each, which we thought was good as we pay a lot more to go to the theatre in the UK.
Ian walked us to the taxi pick-up spot and as it was a busy time of the day, Ian suggested that we get a taxi instead of ordering a Grab. It was a bit chaotic here but we did manage to get a taxi reasonably quickly that took us straight back to our hotel. This taxi driver, however, drove really crazily and as it was very busy that evening we were all a little concerned. It was fine though and we made it back to our hotel in one piece. We paid a couple of pound for the taxi, around the same price as the Grab would have cost.
We walked with Georgia back to the room and checked she was ok before heading back out to the nearby pool bar. I got into my pyjamas and sat around, read and listened to music for a while to relax, hoping it would help me get to sleep that night (Spoiler alert: it didnt)
Rob and I had a final drink here and chatted about how much we were enjoying the trip before we went back to our room around midnight and went straight to sleep. Well, some people did.
The next day we spent time at the pool, watched Teh Dar by Lune Production Company and explored more of Hoi An at night, including the night market.
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Unread 20 Jan 20, 05:16 PM  
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stockport1965
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Fabulous photos! You are really getting me very excited, I can't wait for Hoi An...and now I am off to try find the name of the BBQ place
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Unread 20 Jan 20, 05:44 PM  
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Originally Posted by stockport1965 View Post
Fabulous photos! You are really getting me very excited, I can't wait for Hoi An...and now I am off to try find the name of the BBQ place
I do wish we had more details of the bbq restaurant but I dont really think it had a sign with the name on. Like so many restaurants there, it was simply a open fronted building with tables and chairs in it and outside it. There were a lot of locals eating there, we were the only Westerners. We chatted to a young couple from South Korea at the next table (as Ian taught in South Korea previously) The staff at the restaurant made us very welcome and were very helpful

I do hope we manage to get some more of the report finished before you go as Georgia returns to uni this week. She isnt home until her reading week at the end of February then though so you may be there by then. If you want to know anything though, let me know. I hope you have a wonderful time xx
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Unread 20 Jan 20, 07:58 PM  
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What a glorious day - the beach looks amazing as does the hotel.

The BBQ restaurant sounds fabulous!

I hope the lack of sleep didnt cause too many yawns for Georgia.
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Unread 20 Jan 20, 08:34 PM  
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The beach looks idyllic in the photos and then you had the lovely looking pina coladas. Perfection!

The rain sounds incredible, a shame Georgia didn't sleep and so it meant an earlier night, plus it sounds like she didn't sleep any better the next night. Oh dear.
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Unread 20 Jan 20, 08:50 PM  
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
What a glorious day - the beach looks amazing as does the hotel.

The BBQ restaurant sounds fabulous!

I hope the lack of sleep didnt cause too many yawns for Georgia.
The beach was possibly the best weve ever been to, the sand was soft and not at all gritty and the water temperature was perfect.

We loved the bbq restaurant, it just seemed so relaxing sitting there chatting whilst cooking the food. The marinades were so tasty and really added to the flavour of the meats/fish.

The hotel was beautiful but if we stayed there again and had Georgia with us, we would book two rooms. I think Georgia struggled with tiredness for the whole stay in Hoi An, this wasnt helped by the heat as it was even hotter in Hoi An than Ho Chi Minh

Edited at 08:57 PM.
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Unread 20 Jan 20, 08:55 PM  
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
The beach looks idyllic in the photos and then you had the lovely looking pina coladas. Perfection!

The rain sounds incredible, a shame Georgia didn't sleep and so it meant an earlier night, plus it sounds like she didn't sleep any better the next night. Oh dear.
They were very good Pina Coladas too 😀

The rain was similar to Florida in that there were huge showers that came very quickly and thankfully dried up quickly too. July is actually rainy season but we were quite lucky as we didnt get rain every day or for too long. Ian said the week after we left the weather was terrible and it didnt stop raining all day.
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Unread 20 Jan 20, 09:07 PM  
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Any chance it was
Anh Boa BBQ and Hot Pot
I can't post pics but reviews on TA
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