A Slow Day in the Old Town

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hoi An, Vietnam

It was a slow start to the day and we all enjoyed a sleep in and a leisurely breakfast. Green Village Homestay surpassed expectations and the rooms were lovely and quiet and the beds the most comfortable yet.

After breakfast we headed in to the Old Town of Hoi An, a lovely walk along the river with almost no traffic. Once a major port, Hoi An has beautiful old buildings and a lovely riverside setting. There are old Japanese merchant houses, Chinese temples and ancient tea warehouses set amongst lots of tacky souvenir shops.

We meandered through the town, heading in the direction of the Japanese covered bridge which was first built in he 1590s by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream. We managed to cross it without buying a ticket, but when we returned an hour or so later, the way was barred by a ruthless ticket seller who wasn't letting anyone through without a ticket so we simply walked to the next bridge about 50m away .

We at lunch on the street, wrapping BBQ pork into rice paper rolls accompanied by cucumber, lettuce and herb with delicious dipping sauce to finish it all off. We also tried soft shell crab pancakes - but the shell wasn't quite soft enough for Jonno and Georgia. We finished lunch with freshly cooked banana fritters.

We checked out a few of the shops and wandered through the market, before returning to the Blue Dragon cafe for a drink and ice cream. This cafe supports the work done to help children by the not for profit Blue Dragon Group. Jonno's former English teacher, Kim Miller left mid last year to work for this Group in Hanoi, so it seemed fitting to stop there for a drink.

Having had our fill of shops and motorbike traffic, we headed back to the guesthouse, stopping to pick up my shorts on the way which I had dropped off to get the zippers replaced.

After some wi fi time and a cup of tea, we headed back to the river to scout out the restaurants we had passed earlier that day. Dinner included seafood with noodles, sweet chilli calamari, beef with lots of greens and little spring rolls. All very good and a nice ending to a 'recovery' day.