Vietnam: Hoi An (Part 2)

Hoi An’s main tourist attraction is the Old Town. The collection of parallel streets around the river feature a number of historical buildings, all reachable by bicycle.

Admission to these attractions is through an Old Town ticket, allowing entry to five places. For a measly 120 000 dong ($6.20 AUD), it’s a pretty good deal!

We chose Tan Ky house, the Hoi An Museum of History and Culture, Quan Tong Temple, Cantonese Assembly Hall and an unnamed temple near the Japanese Bridge. IMG_9775

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While they were beautiful and interesting, the historical sites wouldn’t be on the top of my list to do again. The bigger cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are more suited to learning about the history of the country.

On our way back to the hotel, we wandered through the ‘food court’ in the central market to check out how the locals do it.

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Our bike ride also took us along the river, giving an insight into the importance of the waterway in the locals’ lives.

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From there, we went hunting for apparently the best banh mi in the WORLD.

I’m a big fan of the Vietnamese pork roll, so I wasn’t saying no to trying the best of the best. Phuong Banh Mi was made famous by Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations. It’s since moved locations and is now on Phan Chau Trinh, but is easily found on the corner. Just look for the queues!

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The women behind the counter are masters at their work, churning out a roll every 30 seconds or so.

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The end result?

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Heaven on a plate.

The combination of pork, pate, mayo, coriander, spring onion and that beautiful sauce was brilliant. It was definitely the best I’d ever tasted.

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I washed everything down with a Vietnamese coffee – the perfect antidote to the chilli hit.

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After lunch, we ventured out of town to the water coconut palms, riding past local villages and rice paddies.

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The ride was a fair few kilometres, so by the time we made it back, a drink was definitely in order. Dad got a banana daiquiri…

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while I got a Pina Colada…

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and Mum ordered a gin cocktail.

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We washed it all down with a serving of rice paper rolls.

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After refuelling, we headed to our shoe fitting appointment. Mine were a little too small, so we arranged for me to come back tomorrow before our flight out.

We collected Mum and Dad’s 6 pairs before returning to the hotel to try and fit all our new things in our bags!

It was a colossal effort, despite only carrying 11 kilograms each, with a 20kg allowance.

By that point, a late dinner was on the cards, so we headed to Streets, a cafe/restaurant that supports disadvantaged youth by training them in hospitality.

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We started with a (complimentary) peanut dipping sauce and fried bread…

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…and some juices. Look at that carroty goodness!

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On our last night in Hoi An, we couldn’t go past our favourite, white rose.

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For the main, all three of us ordered the same thing: Cao Lau.

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It was a great way to cap off our time in the city.

However, it wasn’t over yet. The desserts were just too tempting to forgo, so I ordered coconut and pineapple sorbet, while the parents shared a bread and butter pudding.

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They were fantastic, capping off our last meal beautifully.

The next day would be another travel day, so we returned to the hotel to finish packing and get a good night’s rest – tomorrow would be our last full day in Vietnam!

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