My first impression of this town was cheesy. In one direction were tourists, in the other were the hawkers selling trinkets or sugary donuts. I heard the gentle, instrumental muzak version of “My Way” playing. Strangely, I kept hearing it as I continued walking. There are actually posted loudspeakers dedicated to playing contemporary easy listening hits as if to encourage the mall atmosphere this town as acquired. It’s not wholly without charm. There are fascinating old houses, a lovely Japanese bridge, swinging, glowing lanterns across the street and a friendly, but completely commercial vibe. There are 400 custom tailor shops and perhaps just as many restaurants. With so many tourists, that much competition is possible. But, it is totally overwhelming. There are signs posted outside many stores and restaurants proclaiming wonderful reviews on TripAdvisor. And they are probably all correct. The tailors are probably all talented, and the restaurants are probably all tasty; but how do you choose? Continue reading “Hoi An ~ A Place to Shop and Eat.”
I had searched a few times for this place, and couldn’t find it. Then, as always, when wandering lost on my last night, I found it. Lonely Planet recommended it, and with good cause. It’s an outdoor seating, BBQ/family style gem. They offer a SET (as in, only thing you can order) menu for 125,000 dong (6$). It includes a large salad, marinated vegetables, fried spring rolls, two kinds of pork, fried pancakes, rice paper for wrapping and the special sauce. The nice ladies who work the place will help you build a few of your wraps until you can try. Basically, you just put a splash of all the ingredients on the table into the little, clear rice paper wraps, roll, dip and eat. I had been underwhelmed with the amount of street/authentic local food in this tourist haven. This was a place where everyone comes. Your fingers are greasy, beer is condensating, stomach is full and then they bring you a little chocolate or mango mousse with a dollop of whipped cream. The chairs aren’t comfortable enough to make this a place to chill for a long time and hang, but it serves a delicious purpose.
Best restaurant in Hoi An. (51 Tran Hung Dao)
They were happy to take a picture because they thought I would buy a candle. The little girl ran up to me after I turned around and pulled my pants to offer her cute face as a selling point. You just can’t buy every time someone shouts, “Buy something!” And for me, if it’s not edible, I don’t usually buy anything.