After a long night of Vietnamese new year celebrations, my second day in Hội An was a very chilled out affair. After a long lie, I headed out for some lunch at Hội An Roastery. Hội An Roastery prides itself on both the quality of their coffee and the ethical sourcing of their Vietnamese coffee beans. It is a must for a good quality cup of coffee in Hội An.
For lunch I had a coconut milk, banana, peanut butter and passion fruit smoothie alongside a roast veg and Swiss cheese panini. I followed this up with one of their famous coffees which was just as delicious as promised.
I then headed back to the hotel to spend some time enjoying the sun reading on my hotel room’s balcony and at the swimming pool.
After getting a little restless, I ventured out for a walk along the river to see more of the city.
Being slightly obsessed with the lanterns, I once again just ended up taking far too many photos.
After consulting Tripadvisor to decide where to go for dinner, I narrowed down Hội An‘s huge selection of restaurants down to two. Unfortunately we were told at both that they were full and were not taking customers without a reservation. So top tip for anyone visiting Hội An: if there’s somewhere you fancy eating, book a table!
Eventually I managed to find space at Rice Drum, a Vietnamese restaurant in Hội An‘s ancient town. Despite being a runner up option, I had a delicious meal. To start, I had a speciality of Hội An: rice pancakes. Traditionally they are filled with pork. As a non-pork eater I went for a mushroom version.
It was a roll your own job where we were given a mushroom pancake and some leaves and veg to roll inside rice paper.
I was pretty happy with my attempt! It was very tasty, especially when dipped in soy sauce and chilli sauce.
For my main I had a duck with lemongrass and chilli stir fry with rice.
I must have been feeling particularly indulgent that day as I also went for a dessert! A Vietnamese style creme caramel.
The Vietnamese touch was added by dousing it in strong, black, Vietnamese coffee. I’ve become accustomed to the strength of the coffee in Vietnam since moving here so was a big fan of the Vietnamese creme caramel.
The next day we did something I was particularly excited to do: went to the beach! We rented bicycles and cycled about 3.5 miles to An Bang Beach. It’s a lovely route starting under Hội An‘s lanterns, passing rice fields and herds of buffalo and ending in the beach town at An Bang Beach. In exchange for buying a large bottle of water, you can park your bike in numerous locations a stone’s throw from the beach. Since a large bottle of water is essential for a day at the beach, it’s a win win!
On arrival we came across a Greek souvlaki place and just couldn’t resist popping in for some lunch.
I got chicken souvlaki and some pitta bread and humous for the table. Not very Vietnamese but amazingly delicious!
The pitta was soft and pillowy on the inside and had a satisfying crunch on the outside. The humous was wonderfully seasoned and doused in olive oil. The juicy chicken was beautifully accompanied by salad, fries and tzatiki and wrapped in another perfect pitta bread. If you ever find yourself at An Bang Beach, please go here!
The rest of the day was spent chilling out at the beach.
It was a beautiful day; the waters were calm, the sun was shining, the temperature was about 27°C. Ideal!
When the sun began setting we cycled back to Hội An before it got dark.
Having learnt from my mistake the previous evening, I made the effort to book a table at a restaurant called Morning Glory. Another Vietnamese restaurant that predominantly serves traditional food from Central Vietnam. Located in the ancient town, it is extremely busy and tends to be fully booked every evening.
For starters we got duck spring rolls and lemongrass beef skewers.
Next up we shared a Vietnamese beef stew with noodles and fish in a caramel sauce with rice.
It was some of the best Vietnamese food I’ve had so far! My favourite dish was definitely the lemongrass beef skewers. I love the juiciness and flavour added to the beef when using lemongrass as a skewer.
This was my final day in Hội An. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I found it incredibly relaxing and quaintly beautiful. Yes, it is very touristy and doesn’t really reflect real life Vietnam but I live in real life Vietnam and welcomed the idyllic town preserved in Hội An. I would definitely recommend a trip to Hội An and An Bang Beach to anyone visiting Vietnam.
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