It's a 40klm drive down to Hoi An by taxi & it's a good idea to get a fixed rate before leaving. Also if you can find any other traveller's heading that way it's even better if you can share the ride. We met an Aussie family from Hervey Bay in the taxi queue & pooled in with them so it only cost us $15. It was a fun drive down but the poor taxi driver was new and didn't know how to get there or find our hotels, we were glad we had negotiated the price beforehand or the meter would have been ticking away while asking directions & looking up maps.
We stayed at the very lovely Sunshine Hotel in a superior room with breakfast for only $30 a night. It has a gorgeous pool, large rooms with balconies, spa & free bikes. Every morning we would watch these two men fill a pot with soil, tip it upside down & trowel around it & then each afternoon after baking in the sun all day they would collect the pots.
We would cycle into town which was a little harrowing, I'm not used to riding on the wrong side of the road with traffic going in all directions around me but once we hit the town centre it was fine. No cars are allowed in town at all & only certain times of the day are motorcycles allowed in so it was nice & relaxing cycling around the ancient heritage town. Here is Mr Sprout in the thinnest shop we have ever seen...
And another store where I bought up big, at only $20 each for handpainted artwork I couldn't help myself!
One of the first things we did was to have some clothes made. Mr Sprout got measured up for a suit which was funny to watch, a 6 foot 6 man surrounded by not the tallest women all making jokes & laughing & squeezing his muscles etc. There was an incident in the change room where he was caught out & there was much talk about banana's & hysterical laughter from the ladies, they said it was an innocent mistake & apologised but he wasn't so sure...
It was a lucky coincidence that we had arrived at the time of the Full Moon Lantern Festival which happens every 14th day of the lunar month. All electrical lights are turned off & all the lanterns are lit.
Along the river and over the bridge you are able to purchase a paper lantern & candle which you make a wish upon & send floating down the river. It was a truly breathtaking night & we really felt like we were in the Vietnam of old.
We spent 3 nights at the Sunshine Hotel, cycling, eating, buying fabric, eating, Mr Sprout getting lost in the countryside on a lone cycle ride, eating, shopping, eating, being measured up for clothing, eating, needing to let out some seams.... probably from all the eating. We wanted to stay longer at Sunshine Hotel however they were booked out so we went online & got an absolute bargain at the stunning Sunrise Resort where we were to meet a wonderful local family who invited us into their home, stay tuned for Hoi An... Part 2.