TRAVEL DIARY VIETNAM: VOLUME 2

Vietnam l Paperbeau

It’s been a week since my last post about Vietnam. Five days ago I arrived in Hoi An and I am staying in a lovely family homestay called the Mai Hung Homestay.  The owner used to be a literature teacher for second-grade students until he had to retire. He is always a well known published author in Vietnam. He wrote a book full of poems specially written for students. 

Hoi An is definitely one of my favourite destination in Vietnam. I loved spending time by the river, watching the sunset and strolling through the Ancient Old Town of Vietnam. The town is packed with picturesque historical homes, pagodas and street-side cafes. It’s very popular for buying handmade clothing. There are so many tailors to choose from. You can get anything made here – from custom-made suits to gowns to sundresses to leather boots to sneakers. But even if you don’t want to shop, Hoi An makes for a relaxing destination. After all, a day at the beach is a fifteen-minute bike-ride out of town. I have created a list of the top 7 things to do in Hoi An.

Hire a bike

I hired a bike to cycle through the city. Hoi An is great to cycle through, especially at night. You get to see a different picture of Hoi An with all the lampions that are lighted at night.

7 things to do in Hoi An l PaperbeauGet some clothes made

There are many tailors in Hoi An that will make pretty much anything you want. They measure you up and they get busy. I got myself a custom-made dress in berry red. I was surprised at how fast it was done. In only a few hours it was done and ready to be picked up. Shop at the Central Market – Hoi An’s Central Market is probably one of the best in Vietnam.  The market sits on the riverside and is packed full of excellent food at rock-bottom prices. This is the place to pick up spices, souvenirs, try local food and have your tailoring done. There is also a great fish market worth visiting. Besides the Central Market, there is also a Night Market which is an absolute must-see.

 

7 things to do in Vietnam l Paperbeau

7 things to do in Vietnam l Paperbeau

7 things to do in Vietnam l Paperbeau
Eat. Everything.

Everything is good. EVERYTHING. I love their Pho Bo soup, fried spring rolls, Chicken rice, Coconut pastry and I can go on and on. The owner of the Home Stay I am staying in took me to a couple local food restaurant. I also took a cooking class from his wife. We went to the Central Market together to get a few ingredients. We made Pho Bo and Fried spring rolls ( my favourites 🙂 )

 

7 things to do in Vietnam l PaperbeauGo walking

The first days I went walking towards the beach and the Central Market. I love getting lost in a city I don’t know. It’s a good way to explore the city. But also great to do temple visits or visit museums. And on your way back you can take always take a foot massage ;). Spa and beauty salons are basically around every corner.

 

7 things to do in Vietnam l Paperbeau

7 things to do in Vietnam l PaperbeauGo coconut driving

A fun activity to do. You get to ride in these little round boat to fish and to drive towards the coconut plantation.  

 

 

7 things to do in Vietnam l Paperbeau

7 things to do in Vietnam l PaperbeauRelax on the beaches

An Bang and Cua Dai beaches are both within close proximity to Hoi An and are a great place to spend some time. Cua Dai is designated as one of Vietnam’s five UNESCO World Heritage sites but both beaches offer soft white sand and wonderful beach-side restaurants to get fresh Seafood.

 

7 things to do in Vietnam l Paperbeau

7 things to do in Vietnam l Paperbeau
Visit Pagoda and museums

A pagoda also is known as a temple. Local people usually visit them regularly to receive blessings, to pray or to organise charity events. The first time when I came to visit one and left, there was a lady screaming at me: “Excuse me, excuse me”. I turned around and said: “Yes, madame”. She put a coin in my hand and said: “Lucky coin for you”. On side of the coin had a bull and the other side Buddha. I was surprised because I knew that these coins were linked to your birth year. So how she knew I was a bull I will never know. I never asked – I like the mystery behind it :).

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