Charming Hoi An
Being an old chinese port, the town is so fascinating you cannot imagine. Allthough so touristy, you still feel sometimes like off the beaten path. Beautiful old wooden houses and the market will bewith you.
Sad the fact that you have to buy this 5er tickets which give you the possibility to visit the spots and you have to make your decission ´which one is more interested for you.
For every further spot you have to pay 10.000 Dong, The tickets are avaible at places marked on the map you can have from every hotel or travel agencies and cost 50.000 Dong
No motorized vehicles allow
During certain time of the day on selected days, all motorized vehicles are not allowed into the old town area. Keeping the feel to the old days. Really nice and I appreciate what they did to keep the vehicles away.
Not for Animal Lovers
As you wander around Hoi An, you may come across some funny sights involving animals.
Some people may find it a little distressing seeing the Animals tied, hanging, or in very smalll cramped cages, if this is the case.........
then it would be best to avoid the Animal market area, located near Can Nam Bridge.
Uyen Motorcycle tour
If you’re looking for an opportunity to "MIX WITH THE LOCALS" this is the trip to take. You travel the local roads, mix with the local people, visit their workplaces, eat at the cafe's the local people eat at and say in the hotels the Vietnamese use when they travel.
Uyen offers an escorted/guided tour by motorcycle (ride one yourself) around the well-travelled "middle circuit" of Vietnam. I took a 3 day tour and have to say it was one of the best experiences. If you need to stop for any photo, view, information, for a chat with the local people or any other reason Uyen is happy to accommodate your needs and translate and advise you.
Day 1 we started at Hoi An and travelled to Da Nang, Hai Van Pass, Lang Co (Lunch), Hue: Visit to Ancient Citadel & Overnight stay.
Next day we visited Thien Mu Pagoda (a 'working' Buddhist Temple / School / Residence) and then onto the village of Bot Do for lunch. Afterwards we travelled on to A Dot, the "Corner" where main roads and the Lao border meet. It's the start of the Ho Chi Min Trail, which we travelled down to an overnight stay at Paro, stopping at several villages along the way.
Day 3 we travelled on through the towns of Ktu, A So, Thanh My and Dai Loc before eventually returning to Hoi An. The town of Dai Loc has an impressive War Memorial, in the style of a "Western" Memorial, which is well worth a visit. Most Vietnamese Memorials are what we 'westerners' would call SHRINES to the war dead, dedicated and venerated but relatively simple to our expectations, but this one is a Full-On Dedicated Memorial with extensive WALLS engraved with the names of the fallen. It 's in need of a bit of extra care now but is well worth visiting and remembering that 'westerners' aren't the only people who made enormous personal sacrifices in times of war.
The territory traversed was fascinating and beguiling and my guide Uyen was a font of local knowledge, both geographically and culturally. Travelling through the mountain areas was absolutely thrilling and during my trip the Ho Chi Min Trail (a 2 lane concrete road) was closed to almost all traffic due to landslides, with only motorcycles being able to travel it's whole length. The two of us truly were the KINGS OF THE ROAD for most of the trip.
Uyen's vehicles are a bit dated but reliable and in retrospect, I would have to say they are perfectly suited for a foreigner travelling in a land where the traffic regulations are very loosely adhered to. I asked Uyen to travel slowly and whilst it was frustrating in some instances, slow travelling on lightweight, low-powered motorcycles is THE BEST WAY for a 'westerner' to travel long distances in Vietnam.
THERE WILL BE OCCASIONS WHERE YOU WILL HAVE TO LEAVE THE PAVEMENT FOR THE ROAD SHOULDER AT VERY SHORT NOTICE!
In July 2010 the fee was US$65.00 per day (motorcycles & Fuel), plus your food and accommodation, which doesn't come to very much as they are all the things the Vietnamese use in their daily lives. Uyen secures the “local” price, not the “visitor” price.
Whilst I was visiting the "Citadel" in Hue, Uyen found my motorcycle had picked up a puncture in the rear tyre. When I returned it had been repaired and we continued on our way without interruption.
Uyen also provides Wet Weather Clothing (for the obligatory after-noon thunderstorms), Helmets, gloves and will provide, or advise, on your hydration needs whilst travelling. I recommend clothing that covers your arms and legs and sunscreen, plenty of water and vitamin or mineral supplements. Don’t travel without gloves, you’ll sun/wind burn your hands.
For meals: eat what the local people eat, you’ll enjoy it.
There are times when it's hard work. But the rewards are great.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, but you will need motorcycle skills and a moderate level of fitness.