I made it to Hoi An as you know but it wasn't easy. No, after visa issues, flight issues, and a lovely night Solent in the airport I was finally off. In two day old clothes and without showering for an equal amount of time I hopped on the shuttle to my plane.
You think I would be cranky or even nervous that I wouldn't make it to HCMC on time to catch my next plane but I had decided that everything happenes for a reason. With that in mind, I took off with a positive mind frame despite my cranky back and let's face it slightly smelly clothes.
On the shuttle the first of many good things occurred. The first friends I made on my travels, Taylor and Henry, were both from the states and had been living in Thailand for some time now. We chit chatted, but the shuttle was short and we were parting ways already.
Plane one was short and sweet. obtaining my visa went smoothly in the airport and exchanging money always fills me with a deep sense of paranoia since I never really know how much to expect. After a back and
forth walk across the terminal as I tried to calculate if I had been ripped off I realized my math skills are still as bad as they were in high school and I was I the clear.
I waited around for plane two and chatted with Randy, a filipino musician who had been living in Vietnam for some years now. He asked what I was doing and where I was going and the such and when I told him my intentions of sleeping in the airport for another night he was shocked. But after convincing him that I would not be spending money on a hotel room that night he agreed to show me where the bus station was and gave me his number in case I had any issues.
Once again we parted ways to early into our friendship. After taking off and nearly falling asleep on the plane it seemed like we were landing again. Here ththroug white people on the plane all seemed to find themselves together. Bina, the amazing woman I mentioned in my other post, approached me and asked if I was going to Hoi An and if I'd like to share a
cab. I told her I would love to except I had no plans in Hoi An since I had expected on arriving there in the am.
After my confessions of airport hopping and smelly clothes she offered to split her room. When I saw the price I literally laughed out loud and told her there was no way I could afford such a nice psecond half of a hot second later she grabbed my arm and said I was staying with her anyway.
Hopping in a taxi with another farang, we made out way to Hoi An and to her amazing room. The Little Boutique Hoi An is brand spanking new and absolutely gorgeous. We chatted it up a bit and then I had the most amazing shower evea and then sleep overtook us.
I joined her for breakfast but then had to make my move over to the Sunflower Hotel. Shme told me I could stay with her the whole time but I had already booked my place so after a w quick run in the gym, I moved over with the promise of at least joining her for breakfast and maybe moving back!
was nice but of course no where near as fabulous as Bina's place. I pretty much dropped my stuff off and headed into town to explore. The town is adorable, but seeing as my goal was to find food, off I went. After getting loss however there was no food to be eaten and when I asked for directions I was nearly recruited to teach English!
Running in the opposite direction I found myself at White Rosé whe all they sell is white rose. So I ordered it up n knowing it was a Hoi An treat and enjoyed. I didn't realize it at the time of ordering, but I had had the same thing that morning at breakfast. These however where much better and the peanut sauce was off the chain!
I decided to head into town just to wander around the Ancient Town and it I was really quite nice despite the overcast weather. I picked up a few snacks here and there, some dried ginger, peanuts and these delicious sweet potato pancakes. They were made with coconut water, sugar, green beans and well sweet potatos, so tasty.
Wandering for hours I slowly progressed to
White Lotus which was suppose to have a delicious buffet. Can you tell already that it wasn't delicious? But before the disappointing buffet I hit up a baguette stand and chow down on the most delicious baguette I had ever had.
Unfortunately this was paired with an awful buffet. I had met up with another American and we decided to try it out. First the burners weren't really working so the food that was suppose to be warm wasn't. The spring rolls were fried not fresh like advertised and the mixed salad was not that at all. Overall it was ridiculously expensive and not worth a quarter of it.
my new friend and I talked awhile and then we parted ways were I aimlessly searched for my hostel for far to long, having past the building multiple times without even realizing.
My second day in Hoi An started bright and early with a run to the beach. It was still overcast and a bit rainy but perfect running weather. This was followed by a surprisingly deliciouboeuf felt breakfast and me moving back into Bina's place were I ate more food.
The two of us spend the day together wandering around. We bumped into both a funeral and a wedding. Well the funeral was actually a ondaywear commemorative thing were they burn all the deceased possessions. While doing this she was also promoting her restaurant. Which we later found ourselves at.
Beforehand however we found a small building making rice crackers which was really quite interesting. We got to see the whole process and even got to try one out. From the we took a tittle boat ride along the river and then made our way to the Red Gecko.
We chatted with the family while drinking sugarcane water which was delicious and snacking on some type of seeds. When we were ready to move on we headed back into the ancient city we we checked out the Japanese Bridge but more importantly we tried the Sup. Sup
Is just another amazing street food dish which was delicious. It had tapioca, shrimp, veggies and a perfectly cooked quail egg. At first we didn't have any quail egg since wforgot to e ladies selling the a bit late, but somewhere two were scrounged up and Bina and I devoured it. W dropping only 10,000 dong (50 cents) we actually went back for more but she was already out!
Shopping followed eating and before we knew it the roads were clearing out and the sun had disappeared. We meandered a bit but Bina wasn't feeling well so she decided to turn back. I, on the other hands, ventured forward with no real destination in site except perhaps sofor ore food.
I didn't go more than a few feet, however, before i bumped into Hpantry and Taylor. Only when I bumped into them I realized I didn't know their names. So after a quick double take I back tracked and just waved a bit in hopes they would recognize me. They did, as luck would have it, because if they didn't they may have thought I was a totoal weirdo.
After a brief exchange of names they invited me to dinner and drinks and off we went. We found a bumping little place and ordered the Fresh Beer and a bunch of food, strangely enough including pizza.
I got to check off Cao Lau
, which is another noodle dish that is a bit like pho but has a texture a bit closer to pasta. Apparently, if you have authentic cao lau, the water comes from a very specific well within the city. Herbs, veggies, dough fritters and roasted pork and all thrown on the noodles making it a tasty dish although not spicy enough in the least. Fresh beer
may be thgenerate st invention ever. For adjust 4,000 dong (less than .25 cents) you get a nice glass of some rather tasty beer. So what do you thing happened when it is that cheap? You keep the beer flowing!
By 11 most things shut down so we made out way back to our respective hotels with promises of seeing each other in morning.
After another run and huge breakfast I met up with the group and we biked over to the beach Cua Dai, about 6k from where we were. The days had been overcast but duo day the sun peaked its head through here and there.
It wasn't crowded probably because the weather wasn't great but that made it better. We relaxed and chatted it up. Eventually we all went for a dip in the ocean...which was freezing in my opinion. Then we had a seafood buffet that makes my mouth water. Calamari, fish with turmeric, veggies, prawns and of course a beer or two.
After a bit of relaxation wheart the roads and headed back. Ngy and I hit up a vegan restaurant that was so far off the beaten path and we ate some delicious food but honestly I have no clue what any of it was outside of an eggplant dish.
We all parted ways to freshen up, and the guys fetched me a bit later to celebrate my last night in Hoi An. We headed back to the same restaurant as the night before and enjoyed chips, bahn keo, chicken and veggies, som dtam and beer.
Whiskey followed beer which then lead to sleep because yours truly was hoping on a bus brig and early the next day.
Hoi An was amazing. The town is adorable, and just walking around is so pleasant. Street food is always tasty but really what made it was the people I met. They were all fabulous and generous and all around amazing. I know I have made some real friends and hope to visit them some time, any time!
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