I recently updated my status on Facebook to this “Sometimes your heart isn’t longing for a person, but it’s homesick for places it’s never been… Hello Hoi An. My ❤️ is 🏡.”
Let’s start from the beginning. I took a bus from Mui Ne to NHA Trang, and transferred to another bus that would drive through the night to Hoi An. I’m not entirely sure the whole journeys timeline but it was about 16 hrs. Sleeper buses in Vietnam are pretty comfortable your in like a chair/pod that you lay down in and is separate from everyone, unless your put in the back where it’s like a big bed. I had requested my own and luckily it all worked out. It’s a bit unnerving travelling at night on the highways as I’m mentioned there’s very little rules on the road, or so it seems from my standpoint. Lots of honking seems to be the way vehicles and scooters communicate. But my stomach illness held up without causing problems and I slept surprisingly well through the night. I recommend some good ear plugs when travelling. It can make the difference of a night with no sleep or a restful sleep. I arrived in beautiful Hoi An around 630 am on the 13th. It was my favourite day so far!!!
I checked into the most beautiful homestay called golden bell homestay, that I’m sorry I only booked for one night. The hosts were incredibly gracious and brought me to have breakfast even though my check in wasn’t for hours. After breakfast I relaxed for a bit and updated my journal a bit. Then I took a walk around to explore my surroundings.
You can view then here: http://hoiangoldenbellhomestay.com
I headed back to check into my room. Take a look:
It was gorgeous and included a balcony overlooking homestay with open roof. And their dog Happy is pretty cute!
The homestay gives free bikes out to get around as there’s so much to see and do here.
I took a bike and headed to the beach! The day was hot, and the beach was loaded with people but sadly no cows 😉
I wasn’t in the mood to just lay down so I continued biking along as I wanted to get to the Tra Que Water wheel . I’m so glad I did.
Tra Que Water wheel is located just outside of Hoi An on the way to the beach. They farm their own herbs and vegetables, offer cooking classes, let you garden with farmers and offer many other hands on activities as well as have a great restaurant. I had one of the best meals I’ve had so far. Do yourself a favor and check out their website and go visit them if you are in Hoi An. http://traquewaterwheel.com/
Bunh Xeo and Papaya salad with a lemon ginger drink. First meal now that stomachs better and I indulged big time!
The food and staff were spectacular and I’ll be going again before I leave to partake in some of their activities.
From there I just enjoyed a bike ride and took in some sights like this
After returning back to homestay I showered and took a nap! It was well deserved. The homestay recommended another place for my next few nights in Hoi An so I biked over there and it looks perfect. The Iris Villa. And it even has a pool!!
Hoi An is famous for their good food, and a special dish called Cao Lau. It’s a pork and noodle dish that you can only get here! I was looking forward to enjoying it.
They are also famous for tailored clothing, French influenced architecture, and their night market. And my goodness it is spectacular. I had the best evening wandering the market, talking to locals, eating Cao Lau (so good!), and indulging in a coconut donut!
The market here has many desirable things compared to other markets, jewellery, artwork, clothing, and many trinkets etc. If you go here which I hope you all do, go visit Mr. Thanh at booth 34. He has a “no pressure/no bullshit policy” that was refreshing. Fair prices and fair negotiating. Plus he’s wickedly funny, and happy to speak for a long time. He also told me where the best Cao Lau is at the market! We took a selfie together and he gave me a bracelet when we parted ways telling me to visit him again tomorrow to let him know how I enjoyed my dinner.
The lanterns were spectacular at the market and the lights, and energy surrounding the place made it the most magical evening here.
My friend at stall 34!
Thao Nguyen you made some delicious Cao Lau
Me living the dream. Can’t express what a lovely night I had.
Get to Hoi An. You’ll be glad you did.
Sending love and light to family and friends back home 💜💙
Xo – Vanessa