We arrived in Hoi An about midday, after travelling on a sleeper bus that was a big downgrade from our previous buses (no toilet on board and not as modern). It was okay though because this journey was only about 4 hours. As soon as we hopped off the bus we were bombarded with creepy taxi drivers trying to take us to our homestay. But, as independent women, we walked there and found it ourselves. We’ve learnt to ignore the taxi drivers because they lie to try and get you to go in their taxi.
The homestay was more of a hostel, the owners just showed us our room and left us to it. But, our private room was massive AND had a fridge so I could chill my sexy chocolate milk (this is a really important point because these 25p cartons of goodness taste 10x better cold).
We headed out into Hoi An’s ancient town, it was nice and warm and buzzing with people. We went on the hunt for artwork, we wanted to buy all the pieces from the same place in order to barter down the price. We found 3 pieces (one for Kat and I, one for my mom and one for my dad). We also found some sexy flip flops to replace my worn out ones. There were many locals trying to offer us a boat ride and to get us into their restaurants but we found a local street vendor and tried the local dish of Cau Lau. They tried to serve us some pork (because the dish is traditionally made with pork and shrimp) but we said no no no (like Amy Winehouse). The thick noodle dish was very nice, sweet and spicy, rate it 7/10.
Afterwards, we went back to our hostel, got slightly lost on the way but stumbled across a cookery school that we took a business card for and later booked onto for our last day in Hoi An. We managed to find the homestay soon enough and I proceeded to fall asleep, much to Kat’s disappointment, 10 minutes into the film we put on.
The next day we got our breakfast from the hostel and headed out to try and post my purchases back to the UK. The woman at the post office was extremely unhelpful so we had to find a local shop to get an empty box from, to put the pictures in. Once we returned to the post office the unhelpful woman, who disapproved of our large box, then tried to find a smaller box (from a collection of boxes that she told us she didn’t have…). The original box was then sealed up and its now on its way by sea mail (ETA 1 month).
Packages posted, we walked (and I moaned) the 3km to the beach and had a nice relaxing afternoon by the sea, despite the droplets of rain. We caught a taxi back to the homestay and applied for our eVisas to Myanmar (which have now been approved, yey).
We enjoyed more local cuisine for dinner, a slight struggle to order with the language barrier but it turned out okay (tofu, okra and vegetable noodles) even though we did ask for rice not noodles.
On our last day in Hoi An we dropped off our backpacks at the bus station and went to the cookery school and started our 2 hour lesson. The women was very fun, singing to us throughout and she was a great teacher.
We learnt how to make delicious vegetable pho, including the stock base, and amazing spring rolls that were the best we’ve had so far in Vietnam.
We also learnt how to make aubergine in a clay pot, which much to my surprise was one of the best dishes I’ve tasted. The aubergine was cooked in a sticky sweet paprika and soy sauce. We used some fun ingredients including mushrooms you can’t get in the UK and a potato-like food called taro that they use here in everything from soups to ice cream.
After eating as much food as we could, and taking the rest away with us in polystyrene boxes, we went back to the ancient town and people watched in the rain. We saw some very peculiar (and upsetting) sites including a young girl rummaging through the bin for food to eat.
We found a little cafe run out of a Vietnamese woman’s home and had some fresh juice and green tea before heading to the bus station for our night bus to Nha Trang.
Dictated by Liv, written by Kat (because Olivia is too lazy)