Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Home stay at HoiAn January 30, 31and February 1st

On January 29th we left Hanoi with mixed feelings. It was cold and rainy out whole stay and given we are traveling light and had expected it to be warmer, warm clothing was not part of our supplies. We are looking forward to some warmth, but it also seems like we are leaving before we are done. Kurtis and I were taking more pictures this early morning as we didn't want to miss anything. I've added a separate blog entry for ancient city pictures.
Flights from Hanoi to Danang were very inexpensive.  $40 for a 1 1/2 hr flight. Taxi to the airport for the 3 of us was $10 u.s.

The process through the airport was very quick. We had lunch at the airport and found prices the same as in the Old Town of Hanoi - $40,000 vnd for chicken or beef soup - about $3.00 Canadian.
The home stay staff arranged for a taxi to meet us at the airport. Cost 300,000dong or $21 can,  for a 45 min ride to the community of HoiAn. We stayed at Ngan Phu Villa.
We were warmly greeted by two very petite young ladies who showed us to our rooms, explained everything and invited us to a family New Year supper. It appears New Years meals can occur anytime close to New years.
The villa has only 6 rooms and we heard about it from travelers at out hotel in Hanoi who had just can from HoiAn. Cost is $18us a night.

The family prepared the area with ceremonies, incense and prayers. New Years red and gold decorations were burned prior to the supper. This was done to send the decorations and festivities to family members who are deceased.
Supper consisted of about 10 different types of food. Two different spring rolls, two types of rice, a lemon chicken item, beef stir fry,  beef soup, whole dried fish, shrimp noodle dish. Dessert was fresh watermelon and longan fruit. The owner of the house cooked all items. The owner, her children, the villa staff and guests were included in this meal.
As our stay continued we enjoyed the extra treats the Ngan Phu Villa had. They had full travel tour services, scooters for rent, laundry service and extras like; fruit at breakfast, cookies for evening snack and when we left we were sent off with a goodie bag.

The first morning we walked to the beach. It was much farther than expected and the first beach we saw was protected with sand bags. We stopped and had an excellent lunch. Had to taxi it back.
We then attended the Ancient Village. This consisted of tourist attractions. You could see historic houses, communal homes, small museums and some other interesting sites. As well, the area had shops and restaurants. No cars were allowed and very few motorcycles were present. It is a wonderful area to walk and people watch. In the evening the area is lit up with paper lantern displays.
The following day we intended on going on a day trip to a local island, but the waves were to great. So we rented scooters and toured around the community. We got the scooters from the local Mini-mart. No names were exchanged, no proof of license - nothing. We handed over money - they handed over keys 

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