Hoi An

High Times In Hoi An

Captains Log 18/9/2018

We check out of the Vin Pearl and say goodbye to Hoi An tomorrow.
To be honest, I’m very ready to leave. I’m getting too used to people opening up doors for me to walk through and having my bed sheets turned down for me at night.
We’ve turned into fat bastards and are commandeering the electric buggy to walk from the restaurant to the villa after meals, and sometimes we nap after breakfast. If I don’t leave now I’ll never settle back into life in NZ!

Jake is driving me mental, he’s been lamenting about us going for days now
“Yep best place in the world mum”
“Can’t believe we leave in 3 days”
“We’ve been looking forward to this for so long and now it’s nearly over”
“I can’t believe this is coming to an end’
‘I guess all good things have to end don’t they mum”


The kids club is suited to 5 years old and under, and my children won’t have a bar of it. I’ve been hanging out in the state of the art gym a lot, it’s directly opposite our villa and kids under the age of 13 can’t go in….There’s an interactive setting on the treadmill that takes you on a lovely run through the streets of downtown Auckland and up One Tree Hill; I’ve never been up one tree hill before, so I can tick that one off my to-do list, nothing like killing two birds with one stone.

People have been giving us a few sideways glances, I finally understood why when it came to light that they think we’re polygamists.  They think my sister Rebecca is Dan’s wife too…As you’d expect Dan loves this and has been hamming it up every opportunity he can get.


We’ve certainly had some wild times, everything we’ve done has been an adventure.
Here’s a rundown of the unforgettable things we’ve experienced.

A cooking class where we could not understand a word the chef was saying, Selina spewed into her chef’s hat, Pearl ate the hottest pepper you can get after being told not to, and Daniel burst out of his gloves, hat and apron like the incredible hulk, he’s so not suited to the sizes here.

Vietnams’ answer to Disney land.
Which included a ‘lazy river’ safari ride that went at jetboat speed so you couldn’t get a look at the animals, we had to choose between looking at a bear on one side of the river and the white tigers on the other side, blink, and we missed!
We discovered that the authorities at the park were sticklers for health and safety when they made the kids warm up before jumping on the trampolines. They kitted them up with helmets, elbow pads and knee pads for the worlds slowest sack slide, Pearl’s sack stopped, and she had to move by shuffling forward like a caterpillar. Unfortunately, this gave her a false sense of confidence, and she demanded to try out the ‘helter-skelter’ ride…they stopped the ride early to let her off.
The authorities at Vin Pearl Land proved themselves a little contrary when they let Jake buy us alcohol; they even opened the fridge doors for him.

We hung out a local beach on deck chairs under the subumbrellas; the water was beautiful. There were flea infested stray dogs that the kids wanted to adopt, and a lovely dogfight under our deck chairs. I think the dogs were fighting over who gets to come home with us.

We took a sunset boat ride along the Thu Bon River; this gave us a decent view of the markets and streets riverside, the little lady rowing us did such a good job pushing 8 of us along. Other boat rowers on the river were laughing at her. Dan pretended to smack his head on a bridge when we floated underneath, and she nearly had a heart attack. The lanterns on the boats along the river are a beautiful sight.

sunset river ride
A mighty fine way to spend an evening

We strolled through the extremely crowded night markets; A banana crepe man charged us double the price and Daniel got really really mad.

Hoi An is renowned for tailors, knowing this I bought three of my favourite dresses over and had them replicated. They did a fantastic job, super quick too. I highly highly recommend this.
I’ve had tailors make a dress for me in Bangkok, and the tailors in Hoi An are far superior.

The Vietnamese love Karaoke so we decided to get in on the action and asked the resort staff where the best Karaoke bar in town was. The karaoke bar people were stunned and shocked to find 8 Westerners pull up in a taxi. We thought that we’d join a bar full of Vietnamese people but turns out you have to hire a private room…Jake was horrified at being trapped with us and our appalling noise, but it was lots of fun singing to Celine Dion at the top of our lungs

Jake captured this well in his youtube vlog the karaoke bit kicks in at 11mins37secs…if you’re not partial to watching all 20minutes of the clip).

A Family game of tennis in the 37-degree heat turned sour with the meanest referee in Hoi An aka Honey Badger umpiring, she hurled abuse at us all. Pearl rage quit and threw her racket and I ended up running around as the ball girl. I’m sure Dan was firing shots straight at my butt on purpose.

We witnessed the All Blacks losing to SA in a sports bar called Pukus.
I took a video on my phone of the moment the All Blacks were supposed to win, but it turns out I captured the AFL on the screen next to the rugby match…whoops….we lost anyway so it’s all good.  While we were watching the match the locals were preparing for a wedding in the bar next door. We were embarrassed as shit when we had to walk up the aisle to leave just before the bride walked down.

The Experience that will go down as a lifetime memory happened at what we now call


We hired a taxi driver to take us off the beaten track up a mountain to see if we could find some monkeys. He took us off the beaten track alright.
The first hint that this was not going to be your usual touristy adventure was when we drove up a steep narrow mountain road. Google Maps had indicated we needed to turn around and the taxi driver performed a daring 3 point turn on the edge of the cliff. It ran through my mind that I was going to have to choose life, or death by a cliff with my family, I tried the door handle but it was locked so the choice wouldn’t have been mine anyway.
The road became treacherous, the car was not dealing well pulling the weight of us and there were many signs that we assumed to be trespassing signs warning us to turn back. Our taxi man instructed us to get out and walk, which we did (he stayed in the taxi) up the mountain path in the blazing hot sun. Dan and Jake in the lead. Pearl was uneasy, crying and begging us to turn back, we should have heeded her instincts. As we rounded the corner near the peak, a pack of wild rabid dogs charged, we had to flee for our lives picking up rocks and branches to hurl at them. TERRIFYING! I’ve never heard Dan scream at any of us to run away before, but yell at us he did, it was THAT scary. Turns out our wee taxi man took us to a restricted military base.

Things I’ve Learnt

That some Vietnamese people keep rabid dogs as guard dogs, the restaurant manager at the resort told us this, we thought she was an exaggerator, but now we believe her.

The language barrier is not a problem for Jake, unless you’re lost with a maniacal taxi driver

It’s more graceful if you get onto a lilo from the pool stairs, not by jumping up onto it in the deep end, picture loose bikini bottoms and a very white arse.

My children can have all the chocolate they want at a buffet and still argue over who gets the goodnight turn down chocs supplied by the resort

It doesn’t matter where you take your kids, you could’ve bought them all the way to Vietnam, have a pool and a playground and they’ll still tell you they’re bored and fight over who said what back when they were 3yrs old.

You can try and instil some culture and knowledge of history in your children, but when it comes down to it, they also want to know how to ‘pull the naughty finger in Vietnamese’, and laugh at a statue of a goats’ great big balls.


Steri-strips: Pearl locked herself away in the bathroom and shaved her legs dry with the shaving kit kindly supplied by the hotel

Sofradex ear drops: Kids have swimmers ears

Panadol and Neurofen: Handy for hangovers

Instant Ice Cooling Pack: Pearl ran smack bang into the glass sliding doors at the villa (same as Izzy).

Redipred: The twins have croupy coughs AGAIN

Flixotide and Ventolin Inhalers: See above…I’m not sure but I suspect they’ve caught a completely new cold.

Crepe bandages: Selina rolled her ankle at tennis.

resort hoi an
Resort staff so friendly

Next on our itinerary is Ho Chi Minh city for four days before the big flight home will keep you all posted…

1 thought on “High Times In Hoi An”

  1. Oh my Anna . Seriously Rabid dogs!!! I am so pleased you are on your way home . Please stay safe. Lovely writing enjoyed reading all your adventures!

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