Although the beautiful weather and friendly hostel owner of Da Lat could have kept me there for quite some time I wanted to make my way to the North of Vietnam. I booked myself an overnight bus ticket to Da Nang and crossed my fingers for the best. The bus ride wasn’t terrible despite the fact that I was the only foreigner and was stuck in the middle aisle between two very curious old men. After arriving in Da Nang my adventure was far from over. First, I had to fight off the motorbike drivers that literally were begging to drive me to the bus terminal, a destination I could see from where I was standing. Once there I had to negotiate my fare for the bus to Hoi An, a notorious ‘scam’ where foreigners are asked to pay 50,000 when the going rate is 15k ($.75). Apparently, I had a real cheeky driver as he first quoted me $10 but eventually walked away happy with 30k.
I was warned that I'd either love it or hate it. For some Vietnam is a food and adventure paradise while others just can't seem to find their grove. With a turbulent history and remains of division between north and south, it's an interesting place to say the least.