Hoi An, Top 5 Lists & 13 Roast Potatoes

“I must find new ways of killing people”

…my friend says to me as we sit on the sleeper bus to Hanoi. It’s probably not the kind of thing you want to hear when eavesdropping on someone else’s conversation. But she is in fact talking about writing. Which reminds me that I must write a new blog post… And well here it is!

One thing I don’t get about sleeper buses is that no matter what the time (it is currently 7pm), as long as it is dark, everyone (well most people) go straight to sleep. Well ain’t nobody got time fo’ that! I’ve got a blog post to write! And as I said before…. Here it is! It’s here people! This is it! This is bloody it! This reminds me that I had tickets to Michael Jackson’s last concert in London. But then he went and spoiled it all by dying. No disrespect. RIP the King of Pop! Anyway, where was I? This is me right now!:

Pat on Sleeper Bus to Hanoi

Weird ain’t I? Yeah well if you’re not weird, you’re not normal!

So since my last post I have been in Hoi An and Hue and now I am on my way north from Hue to Hanoi. I have been working on a top secret project that I will hopefully unveil in the not too distant future. Mysterious!

Ok, so this blog lately has gotten way more serious than I had initially intended. I’m funny, honest! So let’s mix it up a bit as I list my:

Top 5 ‘Top 5 Lists’ I Would Like Someone Else To Write So That I Can Then Read

(Yeah get your head around that one!)

1. Top 5 Tips To Make Money Whilst Travelling

2. Top 5 Tips For Filmmakers On The Road

3. Top 5 Tips For Telling The Difference Between A Llama And An Alpaca

4. Top 5 Tips For Making More Time For People Other Than That Beautiful Man In The Mirror

5. Top 5 Travel Blogs Better Than This One

That last one is of course a joke…a travel blog better than this one? Pah! Ridiculous. What would your Top 5 ‘Top 5 Lists’ be!? Right, now what was I talking about again? I’m just gonna move swiftly on and make no reference to anything even slightly related to the above. Yeah well it’s my bloody blog and I’ll do what I like ok!?

So Hoi An. Let’s talk about that place. That’s why we are all here right!? Well apart from you Mum, you’re probably just here to make sure I haven’t written about any plans to get more tattoos (full story about that one here). So here is a title to help out with my SEO (a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!):

Hoi An – A Beautiful, Magical Place Or Just One Big Tourist Infested Stage Show?

Hoi An Old Bridge

The old bridge in Hoi An which was apparently donated by the Japanese.

I have been to Hoi An 4 times now and so I have decided that this makes me an expert on the place. I’m not even a massive fan if I’m honest. The first time I visited, my initial opinion was that the old town was rather cute and the lanterns on show in the night market really did make the place stand out with their multi-coloured glow. But then the banging dance music starts playing and all I can see around me is westerners. Hang on, aren’t I supposed to be in Vietnam!?

Lanterns in Shop Hoi An

Lanterns being sold at a shop in the night market.

Hoi An Lanterns Night Market

Hoi An at night!

Couple Cycling Through Hoi An

Cycling through Hoi An with the old town in the background. Nice, ain’t it!?

I think it is just a case of one of those places that heavily relies on tourism and has therefore kind of become a parody of itself. I’m not sure if that even makes sense but I’m sure you get what I mean. Are the cute ‘old style’ buildings in the old town authentic or have they been redeveloped for tourism? I’m just not sure at this point. Everything looks so ‘perfect’. Almost like a movie set. And this is kind of how I feel when I visit Hoi An – that I am in a movie set that has been built to represent an old town in Vietnam. Whether or not it is all authentic, I still can’t shake the feeling.

Kids Selling Candles Hoi An

Kids selling candles which you can float down the river and make a wish.

Hoi An River Candles Wishes

We’re only on a motherlfippin’ boat with our motherflippin’ candles about to float them downstream whilst we make wishes. One of my friend’s (not pictured here) candles ended up toppling over and setting on fire. I wonder what this means? Maybe he is doomed forever…?

Bamboo Bikes in Hoi An

A bamboo bicycle on sale in the old town. Taking the hipster bicycle to the next level! If only it was painted bright colours and a one speed eh?

Here is a random video of a friend of mine defeating a clay pot whilst blindfolded.

What a hero!

The main reason I keep returning is so that I can get a 7 course meal for $7. FOOD! The food here is pretty damn hard to beat and there is one restaurant that serves 7 courses of local food for $7, which you eat as you overlook the river that runs through the town. If I listed my Top 5 moments to re-live, this may well be one of them. Well probably not actually but I just love my food!

The Beaches!

Man Jumps For Joy An Bang Beach Hoi An

One of my friends jumping for joy because, well basically, he is full of joy!

Man On Beach Taking Photo Hoi An

Let’s take photos of each other taking photos of each other because that’s what cool people do.

Another reason why I return to Hoi An is because it has a couple of decent beaches. My favourite being An Bang. When I visited this time, the weather was rather choppy and the waves were out in full effect (body surfing time!)… All adding to the fun of swimming of course!

Old Ruins? Sign Me Up!

I also visited a place called My Son (about 25km south west of Hoi An. We rented motorbikes to get there), which is a site of ancient ruins that was used as a Hindu worship place in dedication to the God Shiva.

My Son Ancient Ruins Vietnam_02

Rocks!

My Son Ancient Ruins Vietnam_01

More rocks!

I could say something like:

“If you’ve been to Angkor Wat, don’t even bother visiting”

…but that would be rude so I won’t. It has its own place in history, and even kings used to use the complex as a worship site.

Tailor Me Something That Makes Me Look Like James Bond!

If you want a suit tailored then Hoi An is the place to be it seems. Well a suit, dress, shoes, whatever. There are a ton of clothes shops here and someone is always trying to coax you into their shop to look at what they have on offer. Well I say ‘coax’ but what I really want to say is ‘hassle’. Maybe I will return one day when I actually have use for a suit. But until then I will continue to look like a hobo.

Ok well I’ve had enough of talking about Hoi An. And I’m sure you lot have had enough of reading about it! Let’s finish with another ‘Top 5 List’. Gotta love those lists. The readers go crazy for them I tells ya!

Patrick’s Top 5 Childhood Foods!

1. Roast potatoes. 13 of them. Yep.

One time I ate 13 roast potatoes and there were none left for my Dad when he got home from a hard day’s work. Whoops! Sorry Dad! Yeah I used to be a right little fatty!

2. Chicken in breadcrumbs with baby new potatoes and gravy

I forced my mother to peel each potato individually because I didn’t like the skins. She did it AFTER they had been cooked, probably burning her fingers. I wonder if she even has any fingerprints left? Hmmm, maybe she would make a good criminal. Well anyway it appears that not only was I a little fatty, but also a mean little dictator. Hitler eat your heart out! (There’s a sentence I didn’t think I would be writing today)

3. Peanut butter AND butter on toast

I’m sorry but this is MUCH better than just peanut butter on toast and I am NOT weird for thinking so.

4. Purple Willy Wonka bars with green NERDS in them

Purple Willy Wonka Bar with Green Nerds

I once remember buying 7 of these from a shop in one go. Most people haven’t even heard of them and they discontinued them in the end. Probably because the production couldn’t keep up with my demand. Either that or I ate them all. I was a fatty after all!

5. McDonald’s

Isn’t is every kid’s favourite food?!

Ok kids well that’s enough. It’s 9:21pm now (I fell asleep on the sleeper bus halfway through writing this. It is inevitable when there are no lights!). I will leave you with some bloody lovely photographs of some bloody lovely stuff!

iPhone Overheated

Beware! Leaving your iPhone in the sun in Hoi An may leave you with an overheated lump of metal!
Hoi An Communist Leaders PaintingCOMMUNISM! Can you name all of the communist leaders?

Dirt Cake

Dirt Cake you say? Sounds delicious! I’ll have 3 and then an extra one to take away!

Shrimp Ball CokeAnd I think I will take a shrimp ball coke to go with my dirt cake please.

Patrick out…

5 Responses

  1. Alexander Watkins 5th December 2014 / 12:18 am

    Hi Patrick,

    Your alter ego here. Your Dr Jekyll to your Mr Hyde, because clearly you are the evil one. While I wholeheartedly agree that peanut butter tastes better with butter I think you could have expanded on the peanut butter. You could have written a whole blog about it! You failed to mention the amazing invention of peanut butter meat rolls…. And don’t start by replying.. This is a top 5 “childhood” food thing. You’re still a child! Anyway happy travels and all that. But before I forget can you let me know what kind of peanut butter and butter as its a bit vague. Also you cannot select McDonalds as a whole because I’m sure you didn’t love everything in the shop. But while we are on the topic of love a McDonalds, did you know that JT write da feem toon, sing da feem toon for the I’m lovin it advert.

    Anyway I’m going on a bit, wonder where I get that from. Peace out.

    • Patrick 5th December 2014 / 7:26 am

      No I think that you are clearly the evil one and I am the angel! It is true about the peanut butter, but then I wouldn’t want to give away the secret of our amazing peanut butter meat rolls! What if we want to start up a business in the future? Our plans could be ruined! Personal preference dictates that it must be some decent slightly salted (or unsalted, whatever!) butter…none of that Flora nonsense! And crunchy peanut butter. From Tesco’s. Yep.

      And as long as it was a burger, chips and drink I wasn’t too fussy! Although, a fish burger was strictly off the cards…because who goes to McDonald’s to buy a fish burger? Well, my mum actually. And my ex-girlfriend. Hmmmm, mainly women then. Fish burgers are clearly women’s burgers it seems.

      I also heard that Mr. write da deem toon, sing da deem toon also withdrew all of his albums at that time to then re-release it with the McDonald’s song on it. All for a decent amount of dollars of course!

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