Last week my Brother in Law, Stuart from nomadicpaths asked me about my memories of Hội An and Huế in Vietnam, which I visited 2.5 years ago . It was not long after this that I realised, again, that finding some time to write a little about a strange or unfamiliar place you have visited, is time well spent. I told Stuart I would write something about it; good excuse to get back to blogging; it’ll be a cinch. Well, firstly, it aint a cinch and to a degree I am relying on my photographs for memories. Secondly, what’s the antonym of eloquence?Because Stuart is eloquent and I am unmoving. Well here goes.
We visited this region, in the the central coast of Vietnam, with the plan to spend 3 days in each city. This was barely a reconnaissance tour; made me hungry for more. We arrived from having spent 5 wet days in Hanoi and Ha Long (too short again) to beautiful sunny weather. It was late July early August and, weather-wise, this is a great time to visit. We flew from Hanoi to Da Nang. See below; quite a big city.We were picked up by our transfer and driven to Hội An; a short drive. This can be feasibly done by bus. Apart from the weather relief, I did notice the local architecture was different here to Hanoi. More Spanish. Gabe had organised our stay which he did not let us down. A nice big room next to a pool.
One thing I noticed fairly quickly was that Hội An is a tourist town. That being said, it was not horribly busy and the touting was not in anyway annoying.
What did we do there? Well there is great food there and not so great food. Research well. We were told of Cao lầu “is a regional Vietnamese dish made with noodles, pork, and local greens, that is found only in the town of Hội An, in the Quảng Nam Province of central Vietnam” Had to have this night one. The restaurant scene is a little over bearing; we picked a balcony table with views over Thu Bồn River (part thereof). This was lovely even without the food. Being a seaside town, the seafood options were numerous.On day 2 we hired the hotel bicycles for 10000 dong each and headed down to the beach.We bought some food at the beach side cafe, which owned the deck beds on the beach. We thought this was the condition of our short use. We misunderstood and walked away casually. This caused a little excitement. Apparently we were meant to buy a whole meal, silly us. If you are not hungry, or would prefer not to eat there, just pay the fee. They are comfortable, cheap and most importantly, in the shade.There are no waves, the water and beach were clean, and not cold. The deck beds were comfy.Fishing here is still conducted form these boats. These people are tough.We noticed there was an ancient town, called Mỹ Sơn and pronounced Mee sun, which was bombed in the Vietnam/American War that was worth a visit. I am not sure what the visit did for me. Gabe and I did an early morning tour, giving us the rest of the day to slug around Hội An.Mỹ Sơn is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa.Cooking class was on the agenda for that evening, where we had fantastic time, learning how to cook Bánh xèo amongst other things. We had a ball. This is my pathetic attempt. Tasted good. Hội An has markets and beautiful streets, food and coffee. I’d like to go back and spend a bit more time there.