Thursday, April 21, 2016

5D4N Itinerary to Central Vietnam – Day 3: Hoi An

Xin chào or Hello in Vietnamese language :) Read about day 1 itinerary in Hue here

With a takeaway Iced Vietnamese coffee, we hopped into the hotel’s shuttle bus at 8 am. Today we were heading to Hội An, an ancient town recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was a well-preserved example of a South-east Asian trading port back in 15th to 19th century. The journey took us about two hours to reach.

Journey to Hoi An from Hue :)

On our way, I updated my travel journal, then after sometime, I looked at the beach and rows of beautiful houses out there. It faced directly to the sea, a dream place to live in for many people in the world. When my friend told me the salary that her local colleagues earn, it made me thinking that those houses must be purchased only by the richest or otherwise by foreigners who married local and wanted to move outside from their countries for good :D

It was a bit hazy that day and temperature shot up to 30 degree Celsius. We stopped once at the marble shop for a toilet break. Many similar shops could be found along the roadside. My friend said that the marble mountain was just located nearby. She also explained to me about the development plan around the integrated resort area where we stayed, in the very near future. In short word, this place would boom and develop. So, you will have more choice on where to stay and what to do ;)

Post cards - Hoi An, Vietnam 

We finally reached Hoi An. We started walking around and going into shop to purchase some post cards :) Just a reminder, don’t buy too fast without checking the price at other shops. The post card I bought was sold at VND 10,000 or USD 0.45 each, but I bargained and bought 8 pcs for VND 65,000 or USD 3. However, later on I found the shop that sold the same post cards at only VND 5,000 or USD 0.22 each!!! Alamak…. :P

The other side of the Japanese Bridge - Hoi An, Vietnam 

Fyi, visitor was asked to purchase the entrance ticket to enter the Hoi An Ancient Town at VND 120,000 or USD 5.50 per pax (for adults above 16 years old). However, for frequent visitor like my friend, she refused to buy the ticket and brought me to enter through another entrance where the staff was not that strict. And once entered, we could not go out from the area, unless we planned to go out for good to avoid the ticket checking at the rest of the gates.

Japanese Bridge - Hoi An, Central Vietnam :)

The first place we visited was the iconic Japanese covered bridge - Chùa cầu – a unique covered structure built by Japanese with Buddhist temple on it connecting Tran Phu and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street. It was believed to be created by Japanese who lived in Hoi An as a way to reach the Chinese quarter across the water. There were sculptures of dog and monkey at each end side of the bridge representing the Chinese years in which many Japanese Emperors were born and also the fact that the building of the bridge began in the year of dog and was completed in the year of monkey.

Hoi An Ancient Town

There were many cultural museums available at nearby area too, however, since we didn’t purchase the entrance ticket, we were not able to enter. Anyway, not very interested to visit those museums though. We spent most of our time relishing the scenic, old yellow building structures in the area, entering into various shops, buying some souvenirs, taking photos, and finally had our breakfast cum lunch at 2 pm.

Morning Glory - Hoi An, Vietnam

My friend brought me to the restaurant called Morning Glory. It was another recommended restaurant to visit by Trip Advisor. Oh, I was so hungry and tired!!! I ordered Bánh xèo (savory crispy pancake made of rice and mung bean flour, flavored with turmeric, folded and filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprout, and served with peanut sauce, fresh herbs, star fruits and green banana at VND 75,000 or USD 3.50 per portion) and a bowl of Cao lầu (Hoi An’s most famous dish – rice noodles with marinated pork, fresh herbs, and croutons in a light, delicious broth at VND 55,000 or USD 2.50 per bowl), while my friend was having Hoi An wonton noodle soup with crab meat at VND 85,000 or USD 4 per bowl.

Coco Bana - Hoi An, Vietnam 

Oh, it felt good after that because we were filled and topped up enough energy to walk again :) At first I wanted to have fresh coconut at the newly opened shop called Coco Bana, however, after going inside, they sold more fruit infused green tea rather than coconut. The shop was designed uniquely and the staff was friendly. He let me browsing inside their store and introduced me what they sold. There were bikes with rattan basket behind it. He said, the bike were for anyone to ride around the area – for free. However, there was one condition to fulfill, which was for the rider to collect any plastic material rubbish they saw along the road, which afterwards, they would pass it to a granny, who then sell it to earn some money, as part of the sharing to community cause initiated by the shop owner. Wonderful, wasn’t it?

Hoi An wet market

We browsed around the wet market and got our instant Vietnamese coffee sold by one granny. We purchased a pack of fresh mangoes and jackfruits at VND 20,000 or USD 0.90 each. Wow! I wish I stayed there so I could buy and eat them every day!!! :D I finally had fresh coconut from the roadside, also only cost VND 20,000 or USD 0.90 each!!! My friend had New Zealand ice cream from one restaurant along the riverside.

Along the Thu Bon River - Hoi An, Vietnam :)

We spent our time walking along the Thu Bồn River towards evening and watching beautiful sunset. The place started to get crowded. Many people ate along the river with its small stool and table. The view and the environment was so wonderful!!!

Send my wish to the river :)

At the bridge, I saw a granny with long stick, stack of small open box, with small candle inside. My friends said that I could make a wish by lighting the candle and put the open box into the flowing river. I took out the note and passed it to the granny. She immediately lighted up the candle and passed the long stick to me so that I could put it down into the river. I closed my eyes and passed my usual wish from the bottom of my heart :)

Our dinner at Seedlings - Hoi An, Vietnam :)

Once the sun had set, we proceed to a first restaurant launched by Laguna Lang Co under Banyan Tree’s group, called Seedlings that provided training and job opportunities for disadvantaged local youth, giving them the necessary life skills for their future career in hospitality industry. It was located very near to the bridge. We were actually still pretty full from our late lunch plus drink and ice cream we had but still, I did not want to miss trying Hoi An signature dish - white rose dumplings or Banh Bao Vac and Cao lầu or rice noodles with Cashew pork plus their refreshing cocktail called Summer Seedlings :) Hhhmmm…. Nyummy…. :)

Ice cream time! ^^

Done with dinner, we proceeded to the nearby Night market. We had a piece of traditional ice cream stick each as dessert.

Beautiful lantern at Hoi An, Vietnam :)

My friend insisted me to go to Hoi An until night time as you could find range of colorful Vietnamese lantern being sold. Many people took photos, including the newly wedding couple. They too used the lantern for their wedding photos’ background :)

Hoi An Night Market - Vietnam

We walked through the whole stretch of the road to see what they had in store. Majority was handicrafts, souvenirs, local snacks, and so on. Bargaining and comparing prices were a must!!!

The bus left at 9 pm and we reached Angsana two hours later. Both of us were soo… tired. After taking a bath and drying our hair, we went to sleep. That was how our second day passed :) Continue next on the day 3.


Tashi Chenzom said...

The day was for sure very tiring yet satisfying. I think the food items and the post card are quite expensive in Vietnam.

Waiting for the next day!!

Rima Reyka said...

Hi Tashi! Indeed la! Oh ya, in Hoi An things are pretty expensive as it is a famous area for tourists. Hue's food is much cheaper and taste more local and delicious ^^

Thank you for reading through! Wish you a wonderful weekend soon! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know how to address you, even than to be formal I feel it's appropriate to call you ma'am. And what I want to say is; your post are pretty awesome. I really like all your write ups and beautiful pictures. Sometimes I feel like am with!,so Keep up la.

Rima Reyka said...

Hi Tenzin! You can call me Ashim or Madam, whatever you feel like appropriate la :) Thank you so much for your time you read my blog posts la and for liking it! The places were just too beautiful and that's what made the post even better! You too, keep writing la! Take care! :)

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