Published: December 25th 2011December 25th 2011
Hoi An Pacific hotel
An awesome pool but too cold to swim!
I had a window seat on the way to Hoi An and all I could see was cloud. It was lovely and sunny above the cloud and pissing down underneath it. I was all gloom and wet and chaos and almost dark. There seems to be no twilight here – from light to dark in almost an instant.
We made it to our hotel with a shuttle from Danang – it only takes about 40 minutes. We could see a whole lot of new development along the beach front big named hotels, gambling resorts and lots of villa style hotels obviously catering for families.
Our hotel was a little out of town but how the town had stretched out since the last time we were here 7 years ago, it was mind boggling. We got a really nice room so we were happy and luckily it was at the back of the hotel which is so much quieter. I then called up my cousin who was staying at a lovely hotel in town. We all met up for dinner Terry, Warren, his cousin Marc with whom he was travelling
Warren, Marc and Hai
and me. This was such a lucky meeting as we were not going to be in Hoi An as I really wanted to go to Phu Quoc Island but we could not find a hotel as it’s the holiday’s so we decided to come back here. I am not sorry one little bit as this has to one of the most beautiful towns in Asia. The old city is wonderful to walk around day or night or both. They have got it right here and no cars are allowed into the centre. There are only bikes and bicycles. It makes it much more pleasant.
Our dinner was great in this old place on the waterfront – we had fish, stir fried morning glory (my favorite) crispy wontons and hoi an roses which are a type of filled pasta. They are very famous in this town but I think they are quite tasteless.
The next day I hung out with Warren, Marc and his new friend Hai – Terry did his own thing. Warren and I looked to book a cooking class for the next day. Whilst wandering around looking we tasted every new and
some sort of food is being sold at all times anywhere. you only have to sit and wait if you want and it will come by
unusual thing we could like these crispy pancakes with a prawn and salad inside, pao buns oozing with stewed pork and whole boiled quails egg, sharing a bowl of vermicelli noodles with roasted meat and dipping sauce. We got to look in at Morning Glory Cooking school. Luckily for us it was full and we could only get a class for the 25th
which was' too late for Warren. Because of this we wandered around looking for another one and there are quite a few but all do the same old boring thing crispy spring rolls and some other very uninspiring dishes. We wanted something more challenging as both of us love to cook. The course found us I suppose as we got hooked into this restaurant that was busy with a course and the teacher spoke a good English. The students all has a small whole fish in front of them and it looked very hands on. We were hooked!!!! So we booked for the 9am class the next morning. When we arrived it was not the guy we saw the night before but, as it turned out, his sister Ly. She was tiny and feisty and we got
she had 8 pans going at the same time it was like playing a cooking xylophone
on well from the word go. Even better it was only Warren and I in the class!!!. We went through the menu and chose our dishes we wanted to make. Warren wanted to make the pancakes we had in the market for lunch the day before, I wanted the satays, then we chose a banana flower salad as we had talked so much in Cape Town about banana flowers ( I have banana trees so have access to them!) and cooking with them but not know how. We also chose a tofu salad and then stuffed fish cooked in banana leaves with lemon sauce. What a feast. We first went to the market and bought our ingredients and then came back to the restaurant and started making it all. I tried to write down the recipes as we went along Warren trying to get it all down on his iPhone. So between the two of us we should be having a Vietnam feast for our friends back in Cape Town. But what really made it was Ly she was such fun and a really good cook. The best bit is that at the end you get to eat it all
– well even Warren and I could not eat it all.
We went to the museums in the afternoon Warren picked up his ring he had made I pondered over one too. Then it was goodbye –he was off early the next morning and Terry and I had our Merry Christmas party to go to at the hotel. It was compulsory so of course we went. They went to so much effort and it was lots of fun especially from our western perspective of Christmas and in my case Jewish Western perspective! They had organized arrival photos which is great and something we should try and do. The usual welcome drink. But the main thing besides the food was the entertainment. They had the dancing girls in father Christmas outfits singing Jingle Bell Rock (which is the main Christmas song of Vietnam) and a few other happening Christmas songs. We were in fits it was so amusing. The compare for the evening was the hotel manager and he got the people up and limboing with a limbo stand that was good fun too and other games making fun of people or should I say people making fun of themselves it was all good fun and I really laughed a lot. The food was delicious –starters were spring rolls and sushi, crispy won tons all laid out really prettily, real prawns on the bbq cooked to order, satays and turkey with salads and stuff. Dessert was fresh fruits and green puddings that I had no idea what they were some were yum and some were yuck!!!
Today was a recovering day so I had some reflexology and a manicure and luckily it was raining all day. Perfect to do those things when the rain comes.
I really like Hoi An – maybe its from a travelers perspective but the people are friendly (yes they do want you to buy from their shop!) and the town seems very laid back its so beautiful and quaint. I have not regretted one bit coming back here. No memory has been spoilt only enhanced!
will add more pics tomorrow battery about to run out and i do not have my cable with me - wifi not working in our room today!!! dont want to loose this!!