Hoi An: Cooking Classes and New Friends

Our trip to the quant little town of Hoi An was a pleasant one. We stayed at the Hoi An Ancient House Village Resort and Spa, which was beautiful. It is surrounded by rice paddies and our villa (we got upgraded on arrival) overlooked the fields. It was excellent.

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Trip advisor was a great resource all throughout our trip. If you haven’t used it for travel, you really should. A lot of the restaurants and group tours that we found throughout the month of traveling came off of TA.

One of the restaurants that was highly recommended on TA was Morning Glory. It man, did they get it right. We got Pork Stuffed Squid, a Seafood Curry, Crab Wontons and more. We also met a couple from Ireland (Brian and Neasa) at dinner and we went out for some drinks with them after. Theres a little waterway that runs around the town and on the other side, just over a short bridge, are some bars.

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I didn’t catch the name of the place that we went, but it was pretty cool and we ended up going there the next night also. Everyone was smoking hookah so we decided to get one. They had some good drink specials and we spent the rest of the night there, just chatting with our new friends, playing fooseball and smoking hookah.

Marina had signed us up for a cooking class the next morning and we got picked up around 8am by the bus. Green Bamboo cooking school and the instructor Van had our whole day laid out. We went to the market first thing and picked up all the ingredients that we would need to cook our meals.

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There were 5 couples and, conveniently enough, everyone had picked different dishes, so we would be able to sample 10 traditional Vietnamese meals. I dont remember all the meals, but me and marina did a whole steamed fish (I got to eat the cheeks and eyeballs of course), caramelized pork belly (yummmmm) and spring rolls which we all made together.

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Van really knew her stuff and her english was excellent. We cooked in her home and, other than it being a bit hot, it was a great day overall. We met some nice couples and made plans to hang out with one of them later that night.  We had an awesome time learning how to cook, trying awesome food and just hanging with all the couples from the class. The class ended around 4pm and we headed back to the hotel.vietnam-hoi-an-iphone-cooking-class-groupWe chilled around the pool for a bit and enjoyed the sunset overlooking the rice fields

We met up with Alex and Emma, a fun couple from our cooking class, for drinks and some food and Brian and Neasa joined us again also. We jumped around to a few bars and ended up back at the hookah spot from the night before. We ended the night at Why Not Bar, which was shit and quickly headed back to hotel.

The next morning we went into town to grab some breakfast. We wanted to go back to morning glory, but they werent going to be open for a couple more hours so we just found another place close by. It was only 10am and it was HOT! Like oppressively hot. Even the locals and the shop owners were noticeably bothered by it. They were sprawled out on the concrete floors of their shops just kinda passed out. It was too hot for me and I decided to grab a couple of tank tops for souvenirs and get back to the hotel and the pool.  The pool was glorious. It was empty ALL day and it was just me and the waitresses. Marina stayed in town and did some shopping for shoes and what not. I was thinking that I would buy a custom made suit (which is one of the main things Hoi An is known for), but it was simply too hot to do it.

Marina got back to the hotel around 4 and we went for some messages and pedicures from 4-6. The message was pretty generic and the pedicure was my first. It was a little weird for me and I likely won’t find myself getting one again any time soon.

We met up with Alex and Emma around 830 after picking up marina’s shoes. We met at a little whole in the wall vegetarian place that was over by their hotel. It was alright. We had arranged drivers for the night which cost us $30 for the whole night for 2 scooters. We had run into some problems with drivers the last 2 nights getting home after the bars, so we didn’t want to take any chances. I’m sure $30 is a hefty sum to pay for what we got, but we just didn’t want to deal with the hassle again.

It was alex’s first time on a scooter and for whatever reason the drivers put the 2 guys on one scooter and the two tiny girls on the other. Alex was a bit nervous and decided bear hugging me was the best way to get over his nerves. He was holding on pretty tight but also having a conversation with me so he chin was kinda on my shoulder. It was all pretty hilarious and the girls got a good laugh out of it. We hit a few bars and had another chance to hang out with Brian and Neasa (who I will likely visit in Ireland in september) again.

The next morning we headed out to the airport. One thing I wanted to note about Vietnam. We saw people peeing in public literally everywhere. At the airport waiting in line for security a mother pulled down her sons pants and had him pee into a water bottle. Mind you they had just gotten on line (which wasnt long) and the bathroom was about 20 feet away. People were peeing on the side of the street, and just about anywhere else you could imagine.

So that was Hoi An. A quaint little town. Very pretty at night. It’s a really cool place but just for a couple of days. After that you realize it’s really just a tourist spot with all the shops and tailors and stuff.

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