Our first week in our new locale – Hoi An

hoi-an-map

As we head into the latter part of 2 years in Vietnam, we decided to relocate to Hoi An for the winter – in reality we wanted to escape the Hanoi Winter (and the accompanying excessively high pollution levels).

I headed to South Africa to spend time with my Dad and have my own medical check-ups (which all went well) and left Ivan to handle the relocation – no mean feat as it involved having to coordinate the removal company moving our motorbike and, more importantly, our mountain bikes and a couple of bags of clothes. Unfortunately, this resulted in Ivan getting to Hoi An a full week before our goods – including any means on transport which resulted in a very long walk in a sudden downpour!

We chose a property which is slightly out of “town” in a relatively undeveloped area – so undeveloped that we actually don’t have a street address (the street has no name), on the edge of the paddy fields. There is a local pub that is the only reference point we have for deliveries. We are 3.5km from both the beach and the centre of town.

Walking distance from home

We have been lucky with the weather and have been able to head to the beach every afternoon for a swim and sundowner (no, not always alcoholic – the smoothies are amazing). We have got to know Ly at Beach Waves over our past few visits to Hoi An and it fantastic being made to feel so welcome.

During the course of the last few years we have noticed an increase in the facilities for expats especially the opening of numerous mini-marts stocking all the groceries that would normally have required a trip to Da Nang (25km) to the larger supermarkets.

We have found 3 large local markets where all manner of fresh produce and kitchen wares are available at unbelievable prices. We have even found a travelling kitchen goods man who is in our area a couple of times a week for knives, dishes etc.

The paddy fields around are cris-crossed with concrete paths that make it really safe and easy for cyclists (and motorcyclists and the odd truck!)

The great thing about being here is being able to get back on our bicycles and make full use of them as the pollution levels are not an issue and all our routes around town and to the beach are flat!

We are still finding our feet in terms of the “best of…” and we are really enjoying cycling up and down all the alleys discovering little treasures – be they shops, coffee shops or eateries.

I will do a further blog on all my picks of Hoi An – watch this space………

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