Saturday, 1 October 2016

After an exhausting overnight train journey from Hanoi to Da Nang, we made our way to the beautiful Hoi An. Hoi An is a costal town in the Quang Nam province which is predominantly (well, Hoi An Old Town) known for being a well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port from the 15th to 19th century - and trust us - it is breathtaking.

We stayed at the Bamboo Garden Homestay which we found on Air BnB - if you aren't fussed on sharing accommodation (which we were at first being the private people we are), then I highly recommend staying here. The family are absolutely lovely, welcoming, and they also made us breakfast every morning. Our room was lovely, it was all we needed - air con, a fan, comfortable bed, and beer.

Dylan and I are big Anthony Bourdain fans, so obviously we had to make our way to Banh My Phuong which he pretty much made famous and claimed it had the best Banh Mi in the world - man, oh man was he right. We ate here every day that we were in Hoi An because it was SO GOOD and SO CHEAP. Number 9 is absolutely delicious, highly recommend.

Watching the sun set from our room was one of my favourite things. Hoi An would turn into this beautiful silhouette with a burning orange and blue sky, and then the sky would fill up with these tiny, tiny bats.

As I said earlier, Hoi An is beautiful.. but it's even more so at night. It's just got this incredible atmosphere with the night markets, street hawkers, restaurants, and lights.

We ended up eating at Miss Ly's which is absolutely amazing! The food is insane and the service was brilliant. Definitely go for the Set Menu if you do head there, you get to taste all the delicacies of the region such as Cao Lau, Hoi An Fried Wonton and White Rose. Also, get a ginger tea - it's insanely refreshing.

Silk worms at a scarf shop in the market place - the woman who owns the shop is incredibly helpful and we ended up with some beautiful scarves for gifts for our families back home.

We spent the next day wandering around Hoi An, we went through the market place during the day and made a "friend" who was insistent on us getting some clothes made from her store (like, really insistent.. she followed us around THE WHOLE DAY), stopped by the Hoi An Roastery who do an insane Vietnamese coffee as well as the most refreshing iced tea, more Banh Mi at our favourite spot, and then we biked to the beach where we chilled out for the rest of the afternoon.

We woke up super early the next morning and hopped on a tour shuttle to the wonder that is My Son. My Son is a site of abandoned and ruined Hindu temples that were constructed between the 4th and 14th century by the kings of Champa. The temples were dedicated to the worship of Shiva. They are trying to reconstruct a lot of the temples after they were bombed during the Vietnam War - although you will never be able to escape that eerie feeling of what happened, the place is covered in craters from bombs.

Hoi An was definitely one of our favourite places to visit in Vietnam. The people were incredible - so warm and welcoming, our hosts at our homestay were the most wonderful people that we had met and they also created us some incredible garments (I ended up with four dresses after telling myself I didn't need any more), the food was INCREDIBLE - everything we ate was sensational, and the whole place was just magic.

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