We've spent the last 4 days in a slight damp Hoi An, but it hasn't changed my love for the town.
The first day we spent the whole day wandering around the town, exploring all the little streets lined with tailors, shoe makers and gift shops. Photos of this place don't do it justice, at light all the old streets are lit by multicoloured lanterns and the riverside comes alive with so many restaurants serving mouthwatering food.
After a trying a few we researched some shoe shops for Tash to get those all important brogues from. We came across a well rated friendly shop. The first day the whole town was out of electricity thanks to maintenance work so we sat in a little shop looking through catalogues with handheld lanterns for light. After 20 mins the lights finally came back on and the all important colours were selected! After we spent the evening with a bottle of dalat (red wine vinegar.... But £2.30 a bottle...) and dinner on the waterfront.
Day 2 was spent much like day 1, and every other day, lots of wandering and soaking in the atmosphere, not forgetting to stop for multiple lunches and dinners. This day we found an amazing little cafe, forget me not, which gave Tash an actual vanilla latte, much needed after weeks of Vietnamese coffee. They also did a massive selection of cakes, an a chocolate and almond torte was slowly devoured. Getting in with the tailoring I went for my measurements for a pair of linen trousers.
In the evening we had dinner in the most quirky of places. Splashing out a whole £10, we got a bottle of vinegar (dalat), marinated pork skewers, banh xeo (rice pancakes with shrimp), spring rolls, salad, chilli sauce and rice paper. The waitress comes over and shows you how to put everything into the rice paper to make big spring rolls. Obviously she made it took simple, then tweedle De and tweedle dum here tried ourselves.... Turns out if you take the bamboo leaf securing the pork to the stick off it makes it a lot easier to make.... But even when she came over again to correct us we continued to make the most mashed up rolls. Probably up there with one of our favourite meals, but probably a little over indulged after the hotels breakfast, bha mi (Vietnamese baguettes) and cake earlier in the day. Like I said, Hoi An has not been kind to our waist lines.
yesterday I had my first trouser fitting, where they had made them a little bigger than me.... Impressive seeing the amount we've consumed this week. We thought we'd brave the seaside, which was a tad windy. After stopping at a cute roadside cafe on the way back and riding around the streets we headed back to the old town to see how tash's shoes were coming along. Wonky feet needed a small alteration to one pair of shoes, which they kindly did within the hour, giving us some time to soak atmosphere of the old town one last time before heading up to a little local restaurant and stuffing our faces again... This time trying stuffed squid. Our starter of prawn spring rolls came with quite a mild chilli sauce, I think asking for more chilli made them think we were a bit better with chilli than we are as following that my chilli and lemongrass chicken main came with a good 2/3 chilli's sliced up with the seeds stirred into the sauce....
So today is our last day here before we get the night bus to Nha Trang this evening. It's lashing it down with rain so we are cafe hopping, trying to get a few more meals in before we have to leave. Currently chilling in a cute little coffee shop with some seriously good, strong, coffee, and naturally a cake.
Ridiculously long blog suggests I should update more often, sorry I've been busy eating. Tash's very pretty brogues can be seen at the top of the page, the tailor has kept her measurements so now she can just send off for new ones whenever she wants or need, and I never have to take her shoe shopping again. See, Hoi An is the best place ever!