From Ninh Binh I took the night train to Da Nang, and from there a cab to Hoi An. First time for me to sleep in a bed in a train, I was really looking forward to it and it was fun I have to say. Better than the bus for sure, at least I could stretch my legs.
Hoi An was lovely and I wished I could have stayed longer than only for one day. Beautiful, empty beaches and a very cute downtown, especially at night when Chinese lanterns light up the town in all sorts of colours. Hoi An also is the right place to buy souvenirs and more – dozens of shoe and clothing shops that produce on your request and to your size for very few money. Although I had not intended to spend money on clothes, I couldn’t help but bought one Asian style shirt and two pairs of shoes.
This shopping trip taught me a lesson though. Since all the shops have so many competitors, it is quite common to negotiate prices. I was looking for sandals and talked to a couple of sellers to know about their prices.
Finally, I found one who went lower and lower with the price, she absolutely didn’t want me to leave without buying one pair. I negotiated with her without really wanting to and finally accepted her very low offer. I felt that I would have been rude to leave although she made me such a good offer.
However, after leaving the shop I realized that I had just negotiated for a couple of dollars, something less I would have spent on a coffee in Australia. I got so much used to Vietnamese prices that this amount of money seemed a lot to me. Later, when I went back to fetch my shoes, I paid her more than I had to and she offered me a big smile, which was more worth than those few bucks.