17 November 2016

FALLING IN LOVE WITH HOI AN

Hoi An | Travel Journal
Vietnam is a place bursting with culture, beauty and wonderful food and it won't take you long to fall in love. We'd spent less than a week travelling up the country and Hoi An was one of the stops on our route. We arrived in the morning, so immediately, head for breakfast, where I tried a banana fritter-like dish served with honey and I knew straight away, I was going to like it here. The crunchy fritter was warm, with gooey banana running through and the drizzle of honey sweetened it up. Yum! 


We stayed at the Bach Dang Hotel, which was such a great place to stay. It had spacious rooms and a lovely pool, plus it was a short walk to the beach and the Ancient Town. Me and a friend decided to explore the town, picking up a map and seeing the temples and other points of interest but you really don't need a map or an actual destination. Wandering the streets is addictive here - everything is beautiful, from the yellow buildings, the stunning temples tucked away to the flowers and lanterns hanging everywhere. 


We stopped to enjoy an authentic Pho - I'm such a noodle lover! Since I booked my trip through G Adventures, we had a lunch organised at a place called Oodles of Noodles - a project developed to help support poor youth in Vietnam by developing their skills within the restaurant, tourism and hotel industry. We spent an afternoon learning about the different types of noodles used in Vietnamese cooking, watched how they made them and got a chance to make them ourselves, all before being served a delicious, generous bowl of Mi Quang noodles. We then dined at the partnering restaurant of the project, Streets, in the evening for another equally tasty meal! 


There is an array of temples to see, that aren't shrouded by tourists - we managed to enjoy each temple peacefully, lighting incense and wandering around, often with just the two of us in sight. I highly recommend just exploring the town by foot, even when you aren't looking for a specific sight, you are guaranteed to come across something to see and once the sun sets and all those lanterns are glowing across the town, the town transforms into something magical. 


The streets are lit up and their reflections glimmer off of the river, where boats float past with couples enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of Hoi An. We visited the night market that lines the streets from 6pm onwards trying delicious food and buying lanterns to help bring home a slice of Hoi An.


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