An overnight train transported us to Hoi An, but it may as well have been another planet. In twelve hours we traded sunny skies for gray, dry for damp. Ouright, this seemed like a problem, but the mysterious weather worked only to enhance the charm of the crumbling shop houses, paper lantern lighting and constant flow of bicycle traffic.
It was amid this early spring scene that we made an important decision. As our northward climb would provide more such weather wouldn’t the purchase of a bespoke winter coat be prudent? Yes, of course, so the meager cost was tidily justified.
In fact the purchase of such a coat (or several) would be enough in of itself to justify a trip to Hoi An, but the town had more to offer. A beautiful Japanese covered bridge befitting Memoirs of a Geisha, a delightful local cuisine and did I mention that the coats are less than $50 dollars each?
After calculating how many days I could spend under budget in Hoi An in order to earn another coat and discovering that it wasn’t many, it was a great effort to board a bus to Hue. (And with the service we had at lunch we almost didn’t make the bus anyway).
Hue welcomed us with yet another blanket of grayness and the certainty that we had irreversibly entered another climate was a tough pill to swallow. But once again the weather seemed in sync with the scenery, this time of the royal compound of a fallen dynasty.
At the pace we’re going there is simply no staving off the last traces of winter. Will it be snowing in Beijing? Stay tuned to find out.