Pretty, Peaceful Hoi An
We've spent a lovely 4 days in Hoi An, a beautiful city on the central coast of Vietnam. We're staying on the edge of the Old Town, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The architecture is just gorgeous, with a number of the old buildings preserved. Yellow houses with colourful shutters line the winding streets, and women wearing Nón lá hats ride their bicycles or carry bananas and sweets on their shoulders. It is very picturesque.
It is also quite touristy, however this is not necessarily a terrible thing. The thriving tourist trade has allowed for much business for the locals, as well as building preservation and restoration. Tourists flock here (including lots of families with young children) for the beautiful architecture, the many tailors, great food and to get a user-friendly taste of Vietnam.
We were here long enough to really get to know the city. We moseyed along the streets, and took our time wandering through the market. The amount off fresh produce on offer every day is amazing. And the herbs, oh the fresh herbs! Herbs are used more as a vegetable here, not a garnish. Vietnamese mint, basil and more - the flavours are just beautiful! (except for one herb, that is very foreign to us and that we simply cannot stomach. I must investigate what it is exactly, for it keeps popping up everywhere and without knowing it you have a pungent mouthful!)
Here are some snapshots of the Hoi An market.
We relaxed with a beer by the river on our first night.
Fried banana from a street vendor. Amazing. Ooooh these are addictive.
Trying our first Cao lầu, from a street vendor. This one was quite delicious, however not our favourite version - more details of our culinary adventures will come once I am home.
Bo Luc Loc - Ben's favourite, he has to try it whenever he sees it on the menu.
Fish in banana leaf - we had had this quite a lot, whenever I see banana leaf my face lights up. Truth be told, however, whenever we get fish in banana leaf it is a little dry...
And there you have it - a brief look into our Hoi An visit. We were also lucky enough to meet up with some gorgeous friends from back home while we were here. And yesterday we went on a trip to visit My Son. Today we have a 6 hour cooking class, starting off in the market. Pho is on the menu, and I'm excited to see how they make it. I should tease you a little - we had our best ever pho while in Hoi An. I will provide more details all in due time :)
Tomorrow night we fly to Hanoi. I am excited to get back to a fast-paced city, and try even more incredible food.
p.s. I have caught up on the awful situation in Brisbane (and the rest of the state) - I hope you are all safe and well, my thoughts are with those affected.