We arrived in Hoi An around 3ish to Loc Phat Homestay. It was quaint and beautiful. From our bus ride into town, we knew this town was gonna be awesome. We settled in and headed out for lunch / dinner at Pho Xua. BEST.FOOD.YET. It was absolutely amazing. We got a bunch of spring rolls for the table (standRd), and I ordered fried wontons. They had pork and some other herbs nnnnd spices in them, then had this delicious marinara type sauce on top. After scarfing that down I was still hungry so I got beef pho which was delicious. One of the women who worked there said it tastes so good because they use the actual bones to make the broth instead of just the powder. 🍲
we then headed into town to do some exploring. SO much shopping. And the thing about here is that is was much more organized and clean. It had clearly been touristified … but I didn’t mind. It definitely still had it’s traditional charm.
We found a couple cute things then happened upon a tailor that we liked (they were everywhere). DH said this would be a good place to get a custom suit or dress made, and the shop we found had beautiful patterns, so how could we say no? In addition to this, the woman offered us a deal because Tet (lunar new year) was coming up and she said since we were her first customers of the day, it would be lucky for her to give us a discount. Kristine got a dress made, and I got a blazer made. It’s perfect. We walked around a little longer in the various markets, and it really struck me how different the marketing techniques were of the vendors here. Obviously they wanted us to buy from them, but I distinctly remember one woman telling me to look and enjoy myself but not to feel pressured to buy anything. It was polar opposite from Sa Pa……..
After this, we headed to a bar to get some drinks, then to another called infinity where I played pool almost all night with two girls from holland. I was terrible at it but found a new love for it anyway. We also met a bunch of cool girls from Australia who we would end up hanging out with for the next two nights in Hoi An.
The next day, Laura, Melissa, Brian, John, Jake, and I headed to the beach for a good part of the day. It was SO nice to just lay and relax. After the beach, Laura and I decided to get massages at NQ Spa. It was the most amaZing massage I’ve ever had. I haven’t had many … but honestly I usually hate massages. And this one was unreal. I was so relaxed after. Dinner after was amazing as well. We went to a restaurant Kristine’s mom recommended so we knew it would be great, then out to a bar called Backpackers. It was fun. Lots of foreigners to meet. Travelers from all over the world. I worked on my pool skillllllz here again too and got a mini lesson from guy named Tom who was hanging out with our group that weekend. He was from England and had been traveling alone for a while and was just passing through Hoi An. He had previously been teaching in Hong Kong.
Our final day in Hoi An we walked around and just soaked it up as much as we could. We went to a coffee shop I had heard about from one of the boutiques I bought a bunch of stuff in. It was adorable and delicious. The cashier from one of the boutiques I had shopped in (YEES) suggested I go, and offered me a free coffee if I brought friends because it was just starting up. It took us a while to find it because it was in some random back alleyway, but once we got there it was totally worth it. The girl remembered my name and was very happy to see us. The coffee was delicious and the shop itself was elegantly simplistic and effortlessly beautiful. They transformed business cards into decorations for Tet, and had beautiful artwork up on the walls. I loved it. And on top of that the coffee was delicious.
That night, we went back to infinity, had a couple beers, and I played pool …… Again. It was also a ton of fun because it was Australia Day, so we got to celebrate it with our new Australian friends.
The next morning we got up early to catch our 12hr train to Nha Trang. The train was relatively comfortable, and didn’t seem nearly 12hrs long, but I will say the end was brutal. And they kept playing these Vietnamese music vids that for some reason creeped me out so much. Or maybe they annoyed me. Idk. They haunted me either way. And i would be hearing them the next three days blasting on repeat in Nha Trang because of Tet…..