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The New Wisdom




Hoi An

Hoi An is a quiet little town. It was weird being free of most of the horn-honking that’s a fixture in Hanoi, HuĂ© and other big cities. It’s known for its vast array of tailor shops, and I took advantage of these by having a suit, 2 dress shirts, and a corduroy jacket made. Usually the only places that carry my small sizes are expensive places like Banana Republic and Express. Here, my tailored dress shirts were $18 each. The suit was 1.4 million dong, or $80. Not bad!

The hotels are also the nicest in Vietnam, and ours (Hoi An Beach Resort) was no exception. It’s definitely one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed in anywhere in the world. That’s not saying much since I don’t splurge on luxury hotel rooms, but for less than a night in a mid-level Manhattan hotel, you can get pretty luxurious digs in Hoi An.

Hoi An was also the launching pad for a trip into My Son (pronounced “mee sun”). My Son is home to 1000+ year old Cham places of worship. Most have been bombed to hell by Americans, but the remaining structures are pretty cool to look at.

After that was a boat ride down the river back to Hoi An. This wasn’t pleasant at all. In fact, all the boat rides in Vietnam have been pretty awful. They all use really old and very loud motor boats that not only destroy the serenity, but also pollute the water with a sheen of fuel and clouds of exhaust. I was lucky enough last summer to zip around Cape Cod in a sailboat, and compared to that, these loud rumbly boats are terrible.


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