Hoi An; The best by far

Day 7

Nhi Trung Hotel

This was a great hotel with comfy beds. Accommodation was approx. £8 per night, including a delightful breakfast! I think this is the best breakfast we had in terms of quality and portions and I loved the milkshakes too.

Kimmy’s Custom Tailor
If you’ve heard the rumours, then I’m telling you they’re true. Hoi An is great for custom tailoring. After putting our heads down for a couple of hour’s shut eye, we headed directly to Kimmy’s Custom Tailor, which was only about 60 seconds away from our hotel.
I would recommend heading there as soon as you arrive as although there is a speedy turnaround of about 24 hours, you do need to go back for fittings. The service is excellent! I showed Anna, the lady serving me, images of the dress and skirt I wanted, and she was able to make excellent replicas. The staff are welcoming, friendly and enjoy a laugh! I only wish I could have bought more!

Hoi An Centre
Hoi An is without a doubt my favourite place in Vietnam. Full of vibrant colours and beaming with life, I felt pure happiness on the evening that we arrived at the centre. Lights reflecting and candles floating on the river, this place is flooded with culture. Although it was very busy, I felt somewhat peaceful in this setting.
We were originally heading for the Mermaid restaurant, but one of the guys suggested we ate along the river instead. I’m sure this is just a one off, but please take note of the next review.

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For You Bar and Restaurant
Terrible food, terrible service – tourist trap!
We were attracted to the balcony as we wanted to have the beautiful view. As soon as we had sat down and ordered, my friend looked up reviews on Trip Advisor. Perhaps we should have done this in reverse order, but you live and you learn! Despite the reviews being particularly negative, we tried our hardest to keep a positive mind because you know, there is always the odd ‘impossible to please’ reviewer. Our happy hour cocktails arrived – not the happiest hour of drinking that I’ve ever had. The cocktails were clearly watered down and the food was just as bland. Between us we ordered a duck curry, 2 x beef pho, a vegetable pho (which genuinely looked like a Cuppa Soup) and I chose the egg fried noodles. Not one of us were happy with our meals, mine wasn’t too bad but considering the state of the other meals, I tried my hardest not to think of the terrible conditions that our food was probably cooked in. Not only were the food and drinks appalling, but the service was terrible too. Rude staff who kept asking my friend why she had chosen not to eat her Cuppa Soup looking vegetable pho, and then to top it all off, they tried to short change us! We begrudgingly paid and then left immediately. Do not visit this restaurant. Worst meal of the entire trip!

For you

 

Nightlife
After our meal we went to a reggae bar called ‘Moe’s Tavern’. This bar had a great atmosphere, the drinks were flowing, and after our terrible meal, the mood lightened!
We went to TigerTiger bar, ha! Not sure if they have just tried to make us British Tourists feel more at home, but it did the job as we ended up going there after all!
Why Not bar was the place that everyone seemed to be heading to so we thought we’d jump on the bandwagon! A pretty small club/ bar, with a good travellers atmosphere and also a few snooker tables.

Day 8

Hoi An
We used our first full day in Hoi An to get up early and head to the main town. We were on a tight schedule, but if you do have the time, then I would recommend staying for about 4 days in total. 

We bought an entry ticket for 120,000 VD (can be bought at the ticket booths at every entrance) so we could visit different attractions in the “Hoi An Ancient Town”.

Japanese Covered Bridge
A small yet historic bridge built by the Japanese in the 1590s so they could be connected to the Chinese communities. Although it may look frail, the structure had to be particularly solid due to high risk of of earthquakes. There’s a small temple on the bridge, which isn’t out of this world, so feel free to save your tokens on this one. Opposite the bridge is a small viewing point which is a great place to take a few snaps!

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Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation
Dating from 1975, this was originally an Assembly Hall and was later transformed into a temple. There are various statues and images of gods with incense burning and colourful decoration. I can assure that the people stroking the white wooden horse are not crazy, the horse allegedly brings you luck, so don’t be fooled as I was and think they are petting it!
Be sure not to miss out on the almost hidden gardens. If you go to the left hand side, there is a path that welcomes you to a beautiful garden full of flowers, dragons and bridges.

 


Hai Café
This lovely restaurant has a star in the Lonely Planet book, so it’s no surprise that we left satisfied. I didn’t have much of an appetite to begin with but by the end I just wanted more. I’ve never been much of a ‘broth’ person myself, but as we were in Vietnam, I thought it was only right that I gave one of their soups a go. I went with the Wonton soup, ‘wonton’ meaning dumpling. As I already said, I didn’t have much of an appetite, but as soon as the food arrived, my mouth was just watering from the sensational aromas. The wontons, prawns and vegetables were cooked to perfection – tender and full of rich flavours. I couldn’t have asked for a better meal after walking around in the heat. I would have this broth again any time!

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After a long day of walking around in the heat, we headed back to our hotel to nap and relax before going out in the evening.

Mermaid Restaurant
Simply outstanding. One week in to being in Vietnam and this is the first time we’d been asked if we had reserved a table. I knew right away we were in for a treat. I started with the dumplings, filled with prawns and topped with crab. As a pescatarian, it was so easy to find good fish in Vietnam that was cooked well and full of flavour. The dumplings were followed shortly by the coconut prawns with vegetable fried rice. This meal was bursting with sweet coconut flavours. The prawns were actually served in a coconut and there was a generous helping of rice. The service in Mermaid  restaurant added to the delightful atmosphere and meant that we left with a sweet taste in our mouths!

The Night Market
We headed to the night market in the evening, where we bought plenty of gifts and memoirs of our trip. The night markets are full of everything from post cards to wine bottle holders, all unique in their own way and made in various colours and  styles. A great place to get a few bits to take home with you, and below is a bit of guidance for whilst you’re there.

Tips & Tricks of the Hoi An Night Markets:
– Don’t go for the first thing you see
– Always haggle
– Walk away if they don’t give you the price you want, they’ll always give you a better one
– Search high and low
– Look out for good and bad quality
– If you don’t get the price you want, you’ll probably get it at another stool

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