Central Vietnam (aka banana suits and stormy weather)

If our journey around Northern Vietnam was about landscapes and getting closer to our out-doorsy selves, Central Vietnam was always going to be a bit more sedate. A bit of history coupled with some nice photos, scattered with frequent stops for iced coconut coffees. We flew to Hue and were going to get the bus down across the Hai Van pass to Hoi An, followed by a few nights by the beach in An Bang.

Both in India and Vietnam so far, we had been very lucky with rain despite it being the rainy season in both. Unfortunately, that luck ran out in Central Vietnam: the Hai Van Pass (the most stunning drive in the world according to Top Gear) was like a downhill river with only grey clouds visible, and our “beach days” in An Bang were actually us stuck in a room getting through seasons of American Horror Story as thunderstorms flooded the quiet riverside road our homestay was located on. At this point, we decided to spend an unscheduled night in Danang.

Despite those days of non-stop rain, we enjoyed some great days in Hue and Hoi An, in both places staying in lovely homestays where we were treated to some of the most comfortable rooms and tastiest breakfasts (the best banana pancakes) in our travels so far. And when you get a hug from the waiter when you leave a bar, you know the people are very friendly!

And in terms of how pretty these cities are, I’ll the let the pictures speak for themselves.

One question we did ask in Hoi An is “what is it with the banana suits?”

Couples, full families, Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese, young and old – they all seemed to be wearing banana suits and shirts. I did try to get Giles to pay for a matching set for our Christmas pyjamas but he wasn’t keen.

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