Having done a lot of research and heard a lot of good things about Hoi An, we were both really looking forward to arriving. When driving through the city, we instantly knew that we would love it here! We clambered out of our air-conned car and walked into the Reception when we were greeted by a lovely lady from our hotel and a glass of refreshing passionfruit juice. The lady showed us various activities and attractions to see in the area and then took us round to our room.
Our room was perfect, it’s a little bungalow with our own little patio area.
For not even £10 a night for the both of us, we struck lucky and it was a glorious feeling, smiles all round! After settling into our room, we walked up the road and went into a restaurant for a Banh Mi
In every dish, they put this green vegetable/salad with the meat, and I’m not a fan – if anyone knows what this is, please comment below! So, besides the green stringy vegetable thing, it went down a treat. Whilst it was far too hot to just about breathe, we decided we would chill out in our hotel room until the hottest part of the day had passed.
It got to about 15:00 and it was still baking hot, so we took out a bicycle each which was free of charge from the hotel and cycled to the beach. After 15 minutes of cycling, we made it to the peaceful beach, we laid on sunbeds and got a coconut. This was the life…until we sipped on the monstrosity of a ‘fruit’ and tasted the warm coconut milk which, to be completely honest, tasted like a “sicky fruit smoothie” as James described it.
After relaxing for a while and watching the world go by, we headed back to the hotel. Our journey home was crazy! It was only a 15-minute bike journey but there was a huge traffic jam of bikes/mopeds and cars trying to get over the bridge.
It was crazy as I’m sure you can see from the photos, although we wouldn’t have been laughing if we were stuck like that on the Dartford Crossing back in England. That evening we decided we would go for a nice meal and some drinks as I was too unwell to celebrate our 2 years together when we were back in Da Nang. We went to a restaurant called Moon Night – and the food was unreal. We had 2 beers each, a shared starter and a main each and it still didn’t even cost us £10! I would definitely recommend visiting this restaurant if you are in the area, check out the reviews on TripAdvisor.
After some more drinks in a few different bars, we didn’t want to go overboard so headed home to get some sleep. The next day we got up reasonable time, had breakfast and got our bikes and rode into the old town again. It was so ridiculously hot I can’t even explain, I had a walking water fountain with me all the time (James) as he was constantly sweating. The temperature was only 34 degrees but the real feel was 47 degrees.
I would really advise anyone travelling in this sort of temperature if you are not used to the weather being that hot then go out when the sun has died down later in the afternoon. We sat in a bar and decided that we could not walk around when it was that hot as it would make us ill. So, we rode back to the hotel and stayed at the hotel for a while until the heat was more bearable.
At around 5 pm we went back out, stopping off for a pork baguette on the way we very intrigued by a sign at the restaurant advertising beers for 3,000VND (about 10p), we tried one and in the politest way possible it tasted (and looked) like a pee sample. Just take note, don’t get your hopes up for cheap beer unless vinegar tickles your taste buds!
We left the bar with a sour taste in our mouths and rode into the Ancient Town which was fantastic. It had so much character and culture, it was so enjoyable just taking a stroll.
There were street performers scattered along the riverside. We stopped off at a bar and had a soft drink whilst overlooking the market antics.
After wandering for a while, we rode back to the hotel and got some sleep. Unfortunately, the next day James was poorly so we were unable to go out but to be honest it was far too hot for us to go out and do anything anyway (I guess you could say he done us a favour). It got to about 4 pm and James was feeling better so we headed to the beach for an hour or two. (This gave James the opportunity to test his camera skills on his phone!)
We were back at the hotel and we got ready to go out for the evening, we went back to the Ancient Town and both ordered chicken and rice at a street food stall. It was served to us, looked fine but the chicken was stone cold and the rice was boiling hot, we obviously didn’t eat the chicken. For £1 each I wasn’t expecting a lot but I did expect it to at least be hot. Even if you are on the tightest budget, I would recommend NEVER touching cold meat, always make sure the food spot is busy and never risk eating food you aren’t sure about, it really is not worth it.
As we hadn’t eaten much, we grabbed some pork skewers from a street vendor and wandered the town before heading back.