Today I travelled from Danang to Hoi An-an ancient Vietnamese town eclectically comprised of French colonial architecture, ancient temples and wooden Chinese boathouses. Narrow roads strung together by vibrant paper latterns and interrupted by small canals.
I arrive at my hotel which rests tranquilly alongside the river.
As much as I would like to relax by the water I have myself a doozer sunburn and my crocheted bathing suit has left me looking like a skinned cheeta. Not so sexy now huh princess.
So I wait inside for my room to be ready. I have been advised that they have upgraded me to the honeymoon suite.
Really? Didn’t they catch it was only me? Pretty sure I have ‘recently divorced’ etched somewhere between my cheeta print. But nonetheless I will enjoy it! Me and my steamy love affair with food will not let this magnificant room go to waste.
Within minutes of dropping my bags I scurry out to explore this little town. And what better way to explore than on a bicycle.
I cycle around this delightful colourful little town and know immediately that I am falling in adoration..it’s the San Sebastion of my European trip.
I find a cafe to eat some lunch. I start with Cao lau, one of Hoi An’s famous dishes-thick homemade rice noodles or lau noodles with tender marinated pork, fresh herbs in a broth nuanced with a sweetness akin to the taste of butterscotch.
Then..chao tom- shrimp mousse fried on sugar cane served with delicate rice paper, rice noodles, fresh herbs and sweet and sour dipping sauce.
Oh my gastronomical god! And there under these colourful latterns, in the privacy of my thoughts I had myself a notable little foodgasm. Ahh. Sigh. It’s times like this I wished I smoked. I’ll settle for a beer. On the inside of the menu it reads..’the wonderful thing about Vietnamese food is that the combinations create balance~ a harmony of ying and yang. Created by combining taste and texture, fresh and fried, sweet and sour and the inclusion of fresh herbs-without fresh herbs a meal is incomplete’. I couldn’t have described it better myself.
So with a nice little beer buzz (only takes one in this heat) I hop back on my bicycle. Over the bridge and through the ally’s..I feel like Dora the Explorer.
Passing by the many artisan stands I stop at a tailors shop. I was told that in 24hrs one can have a dress made. So after choosing a simple design, the lovely Vietnamese ladies spin me and twirl me..levering my arms up and down..yelling what I assume to be measurements. I am advised to come back tomorrow for my special dress.
Back on my bike I cycle for hours smiling like a child until the sun finally sets. The town prismatically illuminated by the hanging latterns and candles erect in the handheld paper nests of people walking by. This delightful town may very well be my favourite thus far.
Time to blow out the candle on this magical day.