The second night train was easier than the first, and slightly less arctic, so arriving to sticky & humid Hoi An I was less tired than I thought. We checked in and started walking towards the old city, but stopped on the way to rent BIKES!! Yes, we each rented out very own cruisers for the bargain price of 20 000 VND a day ($1 USD/$1.30 CAD – yes, our dollar is that bad right now!). It was pure freedom. My bike had a bell and everything! The joy of being back on a bike, even one without gears, was indescribable. Finally I could get around quickly, covering lots of ground with only a few pushes of the pedals. It was awesome. Actually, biking around Hoi An was my favourite part of Hoi An.
The old city is beautiful and full of character. Stuffed with tailor shops and temples, riding around looking at the architecture, and trying to navigate the minute but bustling central market was an event in itself. I must have ridden up and down each street three times, just enjoying the view.
I must admit I did spend a considerable amount of time shopping . . . I had a few things made, including a pair of Birkenstock-esque sandals, and invested a considerable sum into the Vietnamese economy. The first night our tour leader organized a bike tour through the rice paddies and gardens just outside of town, and we ended up at the beach for dinner and a bonfire.