Highlights of Hoi An
Hoi An is every bit as beautiful as everyone who has been their claims. Stunning architecture from France, Japan and China the heritage listed old town is a historian’s dream. The town is surrounded by rolling hills, lush green rice paddies and crystal clear beaches. Hoi An is a magical place.
Meeting and befriending local resident and Australian expat Neville Dean was a highlight for me in Hoi An. Neville moved to Hoi An 3 years ago to live and fell into the business of food tours. His has a wicked sense of humor and a big heart. He re-accounted his past lives from launching the first Mars Bar in Australia to travelling the world with his beautiful wife.
Neville believes in the authentic food and experience of Vietnam and that’s what his tour is about. He has personally eaten at each venue and learnt how the dishes are made and gotten to know the owners and their story. I hope that when you go to Hoi An you look up Neville and take a tour with him. My meeting with Neville was an inspirational moment for me.
You can find Neville here at his website www.tasteofhoian.com
I visited several restaurants in Hoi An during my stay which Neville had recommended to me and two restaurants that really stood out for me, Thuan Y and Son.
Thuan Y is located on the waterfront, just a stone’s throw away from the famous Japanese bridge. The family run restaurant is popular with the locals and tourists. With good reason too, their signature dish was fish in turmeric and lemongrass wrapped in banana leaf was soft, full of flavour and herbaceous punch. We came back a couple of days later to eat there again. We met another couple who had eaten there 3 days in a row because they loved the food so much.
Thuan Y, 94 Bach Dang Street (Ancient Town waterfront)
Son restaurant is set on the picturesque river with ducks swimming by. Lounge around in one of their comfortable arm chairs and watch the river life go by.
The food is equally as impressive as the view. We feasted on fresh crunchy lotus and cassava salads. The duck in orange sauce and exotic spices was spectacular. I think even the French would be impressed with this interpretation of their duck a l’orange dish.
Son, 177 Cua Dai Street – Hoi An
Another hightlight is the the organic farm just outside of town where they grow vast amounts of vegetables and herbs farmed using traditional methods. You can wander around by yourself or pay for a guided tour. The farm also has a restaurant and cooking school attached where you can cook and eat the fresh produce from the farm.
Tra Que Herb Village- Hai Ba Trung- Hoi An (0914 023 044)
Hoi An’s magic not only lies with the stunning views and buildings but also with its people. Everyone you meet is friendly and willing to share a part of their life with you. I hope that with the increase in popularity the tourists and commercialisation that we don’t lose that magic.
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