Vietnam 07/2009-Day 8



Day 8
Hoi An, Vietnam

July 11, 2009

At breakfast, we again meet up with our new found friends, Colin and his wife Jeanne and their son Rowan, and Lara and Josh from Australia. Rowan and Josh have become fast friends, as only 10 year old boys can. Colin has written a book about golf and given a copy to David who is already deep into it. I'll let David speak more about that later. We have a nice, leisurely breakfast, chatting about the travel and the world, and try to enjoy our "vacation" time.

At 11am we take the shuttle into town to do a little sightseeing and pick up my coat and David's shirts. Near the shuttle stop is the tourist office where you can buy a ticket good for 4 of Hoi An's main sites.

The ticket allows you to pick one from each category; a museum, an Assembly Hall, an old House and a handicraft workshop. Each ticket is 75,000 VND and if you want to see two of the old houses for example, you would have to buy a second ticket. There are no tickets to individual sights.

Out of all the options, it's very difficult to decide which of the places to visit as both of my guidebooks had very limited information. Because it was so freakin' hot out, we end up choosing places based on proximity, rather than any specific interest. Looking back, I wish it had been cooler out, because I think I would have wanted to walk around more.

First we check on my coat and David's shirts. Everything is just fine and we decide we'll come back later to pick it up after we've done a little sightseeing and gone to the ATM.

About ATMs; there are a few near where the shuttle stops from the hotel. Closer inside the walking area of town there is supposed to be one, though we could never find it. We walked in circles more than once, and only could find the one at a bank near the shuttle stop. I'm sure this contributed to our general heat exhaustion.

Tan Ky Ancient House:

Close to the tailor shop is the old house of Tan Ky so we go there first.
It's an 18th century tube house similar to the one we visited in Hanoi, only in this one, they would not let us see the second floor.
Probably the most interesting thing in there is the markings on the walls showing the heights of previous floods. The house is right on the river and every year, most of the town is under water at some point. These houses are built to withstand this and everything is moved to the second floor through trap doors using ropes and pulleys.

Later, across the street from Citronella restaurant, we notice there is another old house, Phung Hung, and in this one it appears there is access to the second floor, though we did not go inside.



The top date, from 2007, is well over 8 feet!

The Cantonese Assembly Hall:

After the house, we visited the Cantonese Assembly Hall which is located right next to the Red Bridge. It was built in 1786 and was a place for local Chinese merchants to meet and worship. Inside are some incredibly colorful altars and statues. I was fascinated by the huge conical ins cense which was lit from the bottom and looked like a bird cage. Don't miss the garden out behind the building; it has a crazy multi-headed dragon fountain covered in blue mosaic tile.

We want to find a street vendor selling noodles the day before off an alley on Le Loi street but she's nowhere to be found today. We walk over to the Museum of Culture, peek inside, but opt not to go in. At this point, we go back to pick up our stuff from the tailor, completing a giant circle around the town in the hot sun. By now we are in desperate need of refreshment and head over to a place we'd seen the day before called Citronella.

Hoi An Cloth Shop:

Quyen was brave to pose with the big sweaty guy.

Citronella Restaurant:

Like the Mango Rooms, Citronella (5 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai) mentions in the front of their menu that they only use filtered water for ice and food preparation. For this reason, we felt safe ordering drinks with ice and I had yet another wonderful Vietnamese "lemon juice." I decided to give the local noodle dish, Cao Lai another try and we ordered another local specialty, the White Rose dumplings. Both were very good and while this version of the noodles was decidedly better, it's just not my favorite dish in Vietnam. Give me Bun Cha any day. Our meal was 108,000 VND.

"Primitive Vehicle Users?" Why do I envision a Flintstone's car with "foot" brakes here?

After lunch, we've missed the 2:30 shuttle back to the hotel. There's not another one until 6:30 and we're tired. We skip any more sightseeing for today and grab a cab back to the hotel. The drive turns on the stereo and out blasts the 80's dance song "What is Love?" It's so incongruous, I can't stop giggling and have to write it down so I don't forget.

Back at the hotel, we rest by the pool, which by the way is so warm it's almost uncomfortable to swim in (this from a woman who hates cold water). We make plans with Colin and family to meet them in town for dinner tonight at Morning Glory restaurant where we had checked out the menu earlier today.

Morning Glory Restaurant:

Morning Glory Restaurant bills itself as a "Street Food Restaurant and Cooking School." This is one of 4 restaurants and a hotel owned by the same woman, named Trinh Diem Vy, who grew up in Hoi An. The menu is quite lengthy with lots of choices and an emphasis on "street food style" and "healthy" food using herbs. Unfortunately, we were having such a good time talking with Colin and Jeanne, I did not take notes on the meal. I know from my photos we had a very good sauteed white eggplant dish, stir-fried morning glory greens with garlic (so good we ordered a second), tofu (very plain, the weakest dish), Banh Coun, a salad with beef, and something on a skewer which I cannot identify. Add to that numerous beers, sodas and a couple ice creams for dessert and dinner was 550,000 VND for 5 people.


I loved that chocolate chip cookies
were part of the offering at this
boat shaped altar.













Kristina's Food Blog

Contact us!

Back to top

Has this site helped you? Help support us by checking out our Amazon Page