We had an extra special treat planned in Hoi An. Some special guests were coming to celebrate someone’s birthday
We found mum and Mikey in the Airbnb we were staying in during our week together in a Hoi An. It had been a pretty straight forward journey for them except for the tight squeeze between Singapore and Da Nang airport. They just made their connecting flight, unfortunately their luggage didn’t! Luckily we had a lovely cool pool to chill in so we spent the first afternoon relaxing and catching up. Mikey and Siy nipped out for supplies and the luggage arrived just in time for us to head out into Hoi An for the first time.
We headed straight to one of Hoi Ans top food spots, Morning Glory. Morning glory is a dish of spinach like veg fired with garlic. What else did you think it was?
The food was super quality – local Vietnamese food done to an extremely high standard. The local red wine was delicious too, with local mulberry added for a sweet finish. By the time we finished jet lag was setting in so we jumped in a grab back to base.
The Airbnb was about 10 minutes out of town – an example of more for your money when you’re away from the crowds. It had a compact communal area at the front with a lovely pool. We honestly spent the majority of our time in that pool. The rooms were huge – wooden floors, comfy beds and air con. Every evening we had to order our breakfast then the following morning, two women would arrive on their scooters and prepare it for us!
The next day we relaxed and put a rough plan together for our time in Hoi An before heading down to explore the town properly. It didn’t disappoint. Beautiful colonial architecture, stalls everywhere, lights, sounds and the river. We headed for some cocktails then explored the market there wasn’t a huge variety but we managed to pick up some super cheap, super tasty street food.
Next day it was time to don our chef hats! We travelled via boat to an amazing cookery school. The chef took us to the local market where we collected fresh ingredients for the class.
We watched the master at work before going back to our own stations to have a go ourselves.
We made fresh spring rolls, put a stock on to boil and made an amazing Pho with it, we created a delicious beef salad and a crispy pancake called a Banh Xiao. An amazing chef and an amazing class!
That afternoon Emma and mum headed into Hoi An with a mission to find the best tailor in town whilst Mikey and Siy stayed in the pool all day catching up. With Emma’s insider textile knowledge it didn’t take them long to separate the wheat from the chaff and pick their tailor. There would be regular visits and a few stern words to make sure the clothes were just right. You’ll have to wait for the final result!
Feeling a need to engage with the local history, we hired a driver (god bless air con) and headed to My Son ruins. Around 45 minutes from Hoi An, these Champa ruins we’re built between the 4th and 14th century and were an impressive site. Golf buggies took us from the main entrance (Siy lost his water on a tight bend) to the start of the site which was a collection of 5 temples, all in varying states of decay. It was interesting yet sad to see that many of the temples had been damaged during the war, with large grass filled craters clearly visible throughout the site.
It was incredibly hot but we managed to see everything, head inside to check out an exhibit for further info and pick up an ice cream on the way back.
That evening we all headed for foot massages in a place Siy had visited prior to the new arrivals arrival.
It was birthday time! Mum and Mikey had sneaked a gluten free cake mix with them and abandoned their initial plan of trying to bake the cake in a camp oven (?!) and used the pizza parlours instead! The ladies who cooked breakfast every morning also made a cake which was very sweet of them. A morning of pampering laid ahead at Calm Spa. A coffee body srub and wrap followed by a full body massage and facial left us all feeling incredibly relaxed. A delicious salad a glass of crisp white wine in their tranquil garden finished the experience off perfectly.
We headed back to Morning Glory for the birthday meal and once again we were all blown away by the quality of the food. We can’t recommend it enough!
Before we knew it, it was time to head our separate ways. Siy and Emma were picked up first thing the following morning on motorbikes ready to conquer the Hi Van Pass on their way to Hue whilst Mikey and mum headed to Singapore. It was very special and incredibly surreal to have them join us on our amazing journey. It was wonderful that they were able to share in the journey with us.