Hoi An : The Mysterious Old Town
It is almost impossible to talk about Vietnam without a special mention to Hoi An. Selected #1 experience in the country by Lonely Planet, the port town is renowned for its historical architecture and magnificent lanterns show. Getting cheap tailored unique pieces will never get easier, and savouring the best Banh Mi in the world is just a daily thing to do. Not hard to say it has been indeed one of my top experiences in Vietnam, and I assure you – you do not want to skip it !
We stayed in a hotel that wasn’t good for mention, but that was located well enough to get to the old town by foot. We waited for the night to fall to take a long walk along the river. We’ve got AMAZED by the colorful lanterns, the cute souvenir shops and the delicious smell of the food stands. Restaurants on boats, live music, and big, massive puffy Samoyed dogs that wouldn’t stop licking our faces.
Do Not Run !!
We started our next day with a morning run. TERRIBLE, terrible idea. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the air in Vietnam is extremely polluted, to a point that most locals find necessary to wear masks walking in the street. As a result, this soft jog pretty much filled up our lungs with dust and gas to leave a weird taste in our throats. If you really want to keep running in Vietnam, wait till you get into the country side ! Or try it and see for yourself.
The Ultimate Bánh Mì Porn
After our weird workout experience, no need to say we were craving for a massive Banh Mi dish. Since there’s nothing worse than a disappointing meal, I trip-advisored the mission – which brought us to Banh Mi Phuong. What a delish move !! I can tell you without a doubt that this meal has been the best I had in my entire trip. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but just look at this babeyyyy. Another good one is its most renowned competitor: Mme Khanh the Banh Mì Queen. Your sandwich will be taken care of by an un-aged woman who has spent a lifetime to master the art. The vegetarian option at the first address remains unbeatable.
Avoid the scams: When you first arrive in the city by bus, run away from the cabs & evil motorbike taxis. The town is pretty small and most hotels will be reachable by foot. Francis and I got our bags grabbed by motorbike drivers who pretty much forced us to use their service. They ended up asking a total of 400 000 dongs (24CAD) for the 3 minutes ride. If you cannot walk from the bus station to your hotel, find yourself a Mai Linh Taxi – It is pretty much the only company relying on FUNCTIONAL counters. Uber is also always a good bet !
Oh annnnd, even though it didn’t happen to us personally, I heard stories of backpackers being asked for a payment to get inside of Hoi An old town. This is a total scam, the entrance is 100% free !
Hotel :Vihn Huy Hotel – O.K rooms with real hot showers. 5 minutes by foot from the Old town…Should not be too hard to find better.