Riding pushbikes around Hoi An is the best.  It’s 100% fun and only unsafe if you’re a bit of an idiot.  They don’t legislate against stupidity in Vietnam so common sense is pretty much all you need for successful safety.

I didn’t ride this Gilligan’s Island-inspired wooden bike.  But the seat does look oddly comfortable.  I think.  Maybe not.


But on the water, these round canoes with lids are wonderful.  They have a very small turning circle – almost spinning on an axis, get your balance much like on a surfboard, grab an oar which doubles as a rudder and it’s that easy.  Except it’s not.  It takes a bit of skill to master.  Come night time, put the lid on and nap.


Seafood is the thing to eat.  Fresh, wild and around 25% of Australian prices. 

It’s hard to stop taking photos of water because there are so many moments of beauty to capture as the light changes.

I love the super-casual shopping and dining.


Hoi An floods fairly regularly and it suffered effects of the recent typhoon that smashed the Philippines.

The beach reclamation is understated to the extreme and hopeful at best.

But nature heals itself and in a short amount of time, the beach lifestyle is already blissful and peaceful.

Hoi An is famous for tailoring and they make it fast.  I flicked through a lookbook, surfed an ipad and brought a dress I wanted copied.  They do it all with a vast selection of fabrics.  Hands with tape measures swarmed my body measuring every centimeter.

A few hours later, I was back to be fitted with what they had knocked together – 4 dresses and a coat.  Then I picked up all items the next day.  Fast service and almost perfect fits with high grade fabrics.  Australia would never cope with customer demands like that and wouldn’t be able to provide that kind of service.  Instead of measuring tape, we tend to bury small business in red tape hampering workflow.  Not in Vietnam.  Refreshing business attitudes and no bullshit workflows.  The so-called 1st World has a lot to unlearn about getting some basic processes right.


A visit to the old village and French Quarter was a highlight.  Thousands of lanterns light up the streets and bridges.


I went nuts for their door and entrance designs and would love to get them back to Sydney!

Loved this sign.


If you can find a flood-proof home, property prices in Hoi An are affordable.  I found a gorgeous 2 storey, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom place with what was termed a ‘western’ kitchen.  Asking price – USD$140k.  That also bought a fancy turning circle for a car, a garage and some pretty gates that were decoratively welcoming instead of screaming ‘stay out’.

Another day, I hopped a cable car for a 5km drag up a steep mountainside with waterfalls and it ended above the clouds.

And I met a monkey with a massive ball sack.

I enjoyed a spiritual experience as I meditated on what the giant Buddha was quietly contemplating above the clouds.  And a sense of Nirvana settled within me.  Divine.  You can’t buy that shit at K-Mart.

I left my shadow in Hoi An and I can’t wait to return and find it again.