We had arranged to get a sightseeing bus transfer from Hue to Hoi An. We were waiting for the bus in our hotel when the owner of the hotel ran in with a flower for me for International Women’s Day! In Vietnam women buy each other flowers to celebrate this, it was such a lovely gesture and was a great end to our stay in Hue. On our way to Hoi An we drove up into the mountains where we saw some amazing views. We also stopped at the Marble Mountains where we took a short walk up the mountain and were able to go into two big caves. Once we arrived in Hoi An we walked from our hotel to the river front through the walking street that were (supposed to be) closed to cars and bikes. The streets were filled with small gift shops and decorated with coloured lanterns. We were slightly taken aback by the amount of tourists there but there was still a great atmosphere and the river looked lovely with the rowing boats going up and down, each with their own coloured lantern.


We started the day by walking to the Pottery Village which is a small village made up of families who make different types of pottery. Some families open their houses up and invite tourists in to have a go making some pottery, which we both tried, Arran’s was much better than mine! We met a really nice old lady who showed us all of the pottery her and her family make and explained that they all live together in the house and the skills have been passed down through generations. On our walk back into Hoi An we went past a fish market which, after seeing how they prepare the fish it was enough to make anyone want to go vegetarian! We found a little café to have a Banh Mi, which is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich and it was the best one we tried in our whole time in Vietnam! We spent the rest of the day exploring the small streets of Hoi An and repeatedly telling everyone who approached us that we didn’t want a suit making, as Hoi An is famous for tailoring.


We were picked up from our hotel for a trip to the Coconut Village where we were going to take a boat trip and cooking class. On our way to the village our guide took us to a local market to buy ingredients for the class and explained about some traditional Vietnamese food. Once we arrived at the village we were taken in basket boats along the river which was less of a relaxing boat trip and more of a party on the river! There was loud music playing and big groups of tourists dancing in the boats and being spun around, it was a really fun experience but not quite what we expected! After, we had a cooking class where we were shown the traditional way of making rice flour, and used that to make rice paper which was very difficult and needed a lot of skill. We made fresh spring rolls and crispy pancakes which we wrapped in dry rice paper to eat. The teacher also made beef Pho for us to try and a dessert made using mung beans.


We took the short trip to An Bang Beach, which was a beautiful long white sandy beach close to Hoi An. There were some areas with sun loungers that we were able to sit on if we brought a drink from the café attached. Arran had a coconut coffee which we had seen a few times during our trip in Vietnam, particularly in Hoi An, which was a delicious mix of coffee, coconut, cream and condensed milk. We spent the day relaxing on the beach, swimming in the sea and accidentally getting sunburnt after we initially forgot to put sun cream on. In the evening we walked around the old town and found a small restaurant to try the local dish of Cao Lau, which is rice noodles with pork and White Rose dumplings. We then got taken on a trip down the river on one of the rowing boats which was amazing to see all the of beautiful lanterns, and I was able to light a candle and place it in the river.

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