Yellow streets of Hoi An

Falling in love with the charming and colourful Vietnamese riverside town.

The Ancient Town of Hoi An is nestled on the riverside and everything is walkable. The town itself is actually pedestrianised which is a welcomed break after the madness of Hanoi. There’s a complete fusion of architecture styles in Hoi An. Principally Chinese and Japanese (evident with the Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Halls, and the many museums and temples) — then later with the European influenced French-colonial houses and old canals.

The buildings are beautifully preserved and there’s lots of tailors, leather shops, restaurants and galleries. Each street lined with colourful lanterns, it’s very picturesque. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was a major Southeast Asian trading port but now the town is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. All the buildings are so pretty and really well preserved. They seem to share my love of yellow too…

The town has such a lovely atmosphere with lanterns crisscrossing the streets, it gives it so much colour, especially against the yellow buildings. When the sun goes down, they give off a warm glow and it’s so charming.

I do enjoy a town/city with a river. There’s something very pleasing about the water and open space it creates. A fond memory will always be our private sunset boat trip!

Hoi An is just a few km’s from the coast so we hired bikes one day and ventured to the beach but the wind was just incredibly strong! We couldn’t even stand on the beach as the sand attacked us like tiny little needles in the air. We got our glimpse of the blue waters though, yay. Bit nippy for a dip mind!

A trip to Vietnam wouldn’t be complete without a cookery class. We’ve had so much deliciously fresh and tasty food here and today we spent a whole day learning how to shop, farm, prepare and cook local style thanks to Tra Que Organic vegetable village…

Beginning our day at market, it’s full of local traders and is basic but so colourful. Our guide walks us round and shows us so many unusual vegetables, fruits and spices we’ve never seen before! She tells us lots of names and describes flavours, and gives us smells… I hope we can remember some of what we learnt. We select a few ingredients; fish, meats and fruits.

After the market, we cycle 20mins through the rice fields meeting water buffalos and local farmers. I gave it a go myself too…

We’ve tried all sorts of rice paper delicacies over the past few weeks so our lesson in paper making was really insightful. Unfortunately I’m not sure our day-to-day lives could allow the several hour process of washing the rice, soaking the rice and grinding the rice… then making the papers! With our new found skill we created some delicious spring rolls, followed by some marinaded prawn and pork bites and some Vietnamese rice flour pancakes (banh xeo). Unfortunately I wasn’t very good at the flipping! But I’m proud to say rice paper making is now a skill I have under my belt and it was so interesting (& tasty) to learn the craft.