We flew from Hanoi to Danang and took an hour taxi to our hotel, which was situated on the beach in Hoi An. While it was probably a place more suitable for honeymooners, we definitely lived it up for the three following nights. They graciously upgraded us to a ocean-front villa! I was pretty happy to be in a place where the sun was shining and I didn't have to wear two coats just to keep warm. Since it was already pretty late in the day, we kept ourselves busy at the hotel for the rest of the night with the pool, gym, and room service. I know, its a tough life(!). The next morning we rented bikes and headed into town. Since there aren't really any rules when it comes to driving, I was a bit apprehensive, but it turned out to be a really nice ride without any incidents. We tooled around looking at clothing shops before deciding to have a couple of things made, and than headed to a cafe for lunch. This particular cafe had air conditioning, and make your own sandwiches! Score! We ended the day by taking the shuttle into the old part of town and walking around. It was so beautiful and I wish I had taken my camera, but the pictures wouldn't have done it justice. The town was lit up and along the river people had released floating candles. There were vendors and live music, and art galleries and clothing shops. I highly, highly recommend checking out Hoi An if you are ever in Vietnam. It is an incredible place.
The next day we had scheduled a photo tour with a local photographer through tripadvisor. I was looking forward to this because I wanted to get some pointers on how to work my camera a bit better. We met up in town with the other people who were taking the tour, and our guide, Etienne Bossot, went over the major camera functions and how to change your settings to account for shutter speed and aperture and stuff like that. We then headed out on a boat along the river to a quieter part of Hoi An, farther from town. There were rice paddies and small villages and a variety of different wildlife. I took a lot more away from the experience than a few good pictures. I was able to explore the local's world a little bit with my best friend and my mom and had an amazing time. If you are ever in the area and feel like doing something a bit out of the ordinary vacation experience, consider doing a photo tour with Etienne!