As my bus traversed through the serpentine roads of Vietnam’s countryside, I realized we were driving up on an elevated path. Peeking out of my window, I noticed an adorable vista of spectacular ocean gleaming faintly under the afternoon sun, hidden behind clouds. The view played hide and seek with us as we went along the hilly road. The shores looked ravishing from this height as white edges of the turquoise waters created an incredulous necklace adorning the sandy shore. With the Sun sliding gradually towards the horizon, we approached the beautiful town of Hoi An. The ocean which we viewed from the elevated path, was now bordering our road.
Hoi An is a quaint little town in central Vietnam. Generally clubbed with the city of Da Nang, Hoi An will take you on a joy ride if you are a cultural enthusiast. The travelers come visit this cute town to experience the countryside flavor of Vietnam after spending some great time partying and frolicking in Hanoi or Ho Chin Minh (Saigon), the largest cities of Vietnam. The beach I saw in Hoi An while entering the city was not crowded. Very few folks wandered the sands. I guess that was because the slightly gray afternoon clouds had become darker and imposing now! There was a gaping contrast between the color of now turbulent ocean and the dominating clouds in the far horizon. Due to the probability of an impending shower, most locals might have decided to stay under the roof.
Hoi An was like a drop of rain in an otherwise hot afternoon for me. I had visited Hoi An after enjoying the Halong Bay cruise and spending some time in Hanoi, tasting delicious food. The Halong Bay Cruise had made me travel a considerable amount. Additionally, the activities, parties and alcohol during the cruise had taken a toll on me. If that was not enough, I had taken a 15-hour bus journey from Hanoi to Hoi An. I was only able to breathe in peace when I reached Hoi An and let the ocean breeze ruffle my hair.
I always make a point to try and include lesser visited destinations or attractions in my itinerary. Whenever you plan a trip, you are prepared to visit the most famous and well-known attractions. If you go to Paris, you would most certainly go to the Eiffel Tower. But, the true culture and vibe of any country are experienced by visiting the relatively lesser known destinations. It might be difficult for you to figure out the totally hidden spots while visiting a country for a short time. But, if you do a bit of extra research, you might just discover an amazing destination for yourself. In Vietnam, Hoi An was the comparatively offbeat destination for me.