Pardise Found: Hoi An, Vietnam

Imagine waking up to the sound of a small bustling village; kids playing, women sweeping the sidewalks, neighbors calling out to each other.  In the background there is a soft echo of waves crashing into each other.

Imagine you wake up in a clean soft bed in a bamboo cabin tastefully decorated with splashes of tropical colors.

You walk out your door and find a huge day bed with pillows.  You lounge around for a few minutes until a smiling face brings you an amazing local noodle dish full of fresh leafy green vegetables, a lime wedge, perfectly seasoned pork slices, and a few crunchy noodles on top, accompanied by a fresh mango smoothie and a plate of fresh fruit.

Imagine waking up to the sound of a small bustling village; kids playing, women sweeping the sidewalks, neighbors calling out to each other.  In the background there is a soft echo of waves crashing into each other.

Imagine while you sit here that it is a wonderful 79 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you get board just sitting and watching the birds and butterflies don’t worry there’s wi-fi!

After a while you want to stretch your legs so you get up and walk about 30 seconds and arrive at a nearly empty beach.  After a short swim, you’re not really hungry but the excitement of finding more delicious food leads you ten minutes down the beach to a selection of restaurants serving anything from spring rolls to pizza to curry to burgers.  Of course you order Vietnamese style coffee and sip it from your cozy lounge chair on the sand.

Imagine if the perfect tranquility of the beach becomes dull, you hop on some bicycles and ride through green rice paddy fields, to a small town full of shops and restaurants.  You spend the afternoon getting fitted for a tailor made suit or dress, getting a foot rub, manicure and pedicure, and then of course finding more delicious food to eat.

A ride back to your cozy cabin at night gives your heart a little exercise but you make it safe and sound and settle in for another night in paradise.

Hoi An Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Stay at An Bang Seaside Village Homestay.

Do: Get a manicure and pedicure at Palmerosa Spa.  It may be the most relaxing place in Asia.

Do: Get some custom clothes made.

Don’t: Bring a picture to the tailor and expect to walk away with an exact replica.  It’s better to point out something you see in the shop and ask them to make it for you.

Don’t: Spend loads of money on “local specialties” at fancy restaurants.  The food at the more modest affordable places is way better.

Do: Eat at White Sail Cafe and order Salt and Peppered Squid and Fried Wontons.  Best meal we had all week.  They also make delcious cau lau.

21 Ways to travel Vietnam: Trains, buses, boats, and more…

Our trip to Vietnam was made using various methods of transportation.  Hold on to your seats…

1.  We took a sleeper train from Nanchang to Nanning (a city in the south of China).

2.  Bus across the border to Hanoi (actually we took a bus to the boarder, got out walked across and then boarded the bus again for the trip to Hanoi).

3.  We taxied and walked around the crazy busy streets of Hanoi.

4.  Our trip to Catba Island included a taxi, a bus, a van, a boat, and another bus.

5.  We explored Catba town on a motorbike (first time driver, watch out!)

6.  We got on a bamboo motor boat…

7.   …then bikes to reach our bungalow in the forests of Catba.

8.  We hiked up a mountain.

9.  Kayaked through the bay.

10.  Small cruise ship back to the mainland, then taxi, bus, foot to the train station in Hanoi.

11.  Train along the coast from Hanoi to Danang (Wow!  Check out that scenery).

12.  A private car picked us up and delivered us to our perfect bamboo cabin by the sea.

13.  Bikes in and around Hoi An.

14.  Taxi to the travel agent’s office, motorbike taxi to the Hoi An bus station (Why the extra leg? I don’t know).

15.  Recliner bus (what?!) to Hue.

16.  Rickshaws around the old Citadel.

17.  Train back to Hanoi.

Armored helicopter to…haha!  Just joking.

18.  Walking, walking, walking, walking (Ay! my feet)

19.  Taxi to the wrong train station.

20.  Same taxi to the right train station (No, we’re not paying you again!)

21.  Train back to Nanning.

Skip to toolbar