Keeping it local in Hoi An

Why does a whirring fan sound like rain ?

We planned a trip to the beach and when I woke I thought it was raining. But no, it was the fan spinning trying to handle the heat. It’s hot here and is getting hotter each day.

Trinh made us coffee and then a taxi arrived for the ten minute drive to An Bang Beach. I’d had a swim yesterday and convinced the girls an early morning dip would be refreshing .

It couldn’t have looked more different to yesterday afternoon when I had my swim. Yesterday people everywhere – on deck chairs , walking, eating, swimming , playing games. Today the beach was deserted. A lone fisherman was making his way back to the beach in his round coconut style boat and a lady was wiping down the deck chairs. A few others started to appear but we were the only ones who dived in.

We wondered if we could use the deck chairs for a short while. We didn’t plan on a long stay and a  lady helped us set up but didn’t ask for any money so set off for our swim.

It was delicious. Cool, clear and refreshing. We returned to find the old lady wanting money to sit!

Steve would love the lifesaving tower.

Fish dinner!

We didn’t stay long as Trinh was preparing breakfast and we wanted to visit the local area before the heat of the day started.

Breakfast once again was wonderful and Trinh made herself very useful as usual and plaited Marilyn ‘s hair. Is there nothing this woman can’t do!

We planned on the markets. So off we went armed with umbrellas not for rain but for shade. We walked in the streets behind the homestay and found it so calm compared to the busy centre  and of course the other big cities like Hanoi.

We found the local produce market and chatted to a few people and made one man happy when some of the girls bought a vegetable peeler and a few hand towels to mope our now very sweaty brows!

Cool iced coffee was called for and again we made the cafe owners very happy by choosing their cafe. It’s really quiet this time of year in Hoi An. After all the rain, the streets are now clean and everything looks rather fresh. I’m really liking this lovely small city. It’s got a lot of charm and is definitely cleaner than many other Asian cities.

They are gradually paving all the sidewalks. The team were out the gate at our home stay today and a Trinh was not too happy. She was keeping a very close eye on them.

Observing the locals going about their business is great fun. We’ve decided that it’s the women who do most of the work here.  There were groups of men sitting around while the women swept and cooked and minded the children at the same time.

After more walking in the heat we came across this great sign. We stopped to read it ( note point 4) and the owner came over. He was friendly and spoke very good English and was quite the salesman. We had a few laughs and decided to go in and have cool beer – that’s how hot it was. All of us drinking beer!

We eventually got back to Trinh’s where she had another great lunch prepared. She says she likes to make it for us but doesn’t want any payment. Of course we’ll sort something out and give her some money because it’s so very good. Today we had ‘delicious banh xeo It’s a rice pancake stuffed with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts. Yum. Then we had skewers of pork which you pulled off and wrapped in rice paper and stuffed with greenery including lots of herbs before dipping it in a gooey peanut sauce. Then we had mixed vegetables with chilli and a pumpkin dish. And my favourite ‘white rose’ . All delicious and dessert – another smoothie. This one coconut.

Oh the food is so good.

We had to take to our beds to 1. Sleep off the lunch and 2. Get out of the heat.

After our siesta we went walking again in the local area. This time to a spa. The girls there looked positively thrilled we’d chosen their spa! We got the good friendly service that the locals love to  give and for a few dollars we had a foot massage,  a manicure and pedicure.

By now it was wine o’clock and we went to our Mr Friendlys bar for some wine and a bowl of Pho.

Last excitement of the day was definitely settling up our payment to Trinh. It averaged $35 a night for our rooms and  breakfast and lunch. The bill for our clothes. $8 for pants and $8 for tops. $15 for dresses. $8 for a kimono. We paid separately for the fabric but it was so reasonable. Thank you Linda for bringing me to this lovely homestay. What fun.

Tomorrow an early start. A train to Hue.

Pho. A favourite in Vietnam and a favourite of daughter in law Elena.

3 thoughts on “Keeping it local in Hoi An

  1. Love the pics Fran, glad you’re having such fun. Vietnamese is still my fav cuisine, loved the coffee too. I amazed myself too by drinking beer. Hoi An so peaceful after Hanoi and Other cities. Do they still ban scooters till after 4pm?


  2. Another great read, Fran. Makes me wsnt to go thete right now… except for the heat! You are such a good traveller, embracing all experiences. Bx😇


  3. Yet another great read Fran and terrific photos too of the scenery around Hoi-An. Especially loved the amusing ‘Ad’ outside the Restaurant and Café !


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