Danang and Hoi An – 21st April

Danang and Hoi An – 21st April

Wednesday 21st April, as it fell this year, was an important day in Vietnam and is considered a holiday day. However with the risks of another wave of Corona there was likely to be more restrictions being put in place than usual. Read more info here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20210420/vietnamese-flock-to-festival-shrug-off-outbreak-risk/60474.html
Our last breakfast together was at Pho Thin again because we all enjoyed the pho there so much and it would be the last meal with Tatas. She had a pick up car coming at 11.30am to shuttle her to the bus to Phong Nha which should get her home for about 6pm that night. We all said how much of a good time we had coming to visit and we hoped to do it again as soon as we could all get dates that would allow it. I also decided I would get a Grab car at the same time as I had plans to go to Hoi An for a couple of days. When the car arrived, Tatas said her goodbyes and got in, only to find it was actually my car – I would have been so annoyed to have been sent back to Phong Nha instead of Tatas! I said farewell until the weekend and off I went to Hoi An to meet a friend for lunch.

I arrived at Veggie Hut in Hoi An at 12.15pm and ordered a pot of jasmine tea while I waited for Melissa and her family to arrive. I decided to have fresh spring rolls and some sweet potatoes, Aaliyah ordered the veggie moussaka with the intention of saving half for dinner and Melissa had the chocolate cherry cake. All the family were looking tanned and healthy and were enjoying living in Hoi An. They were our neighbours back at Elements Collection when they lived in Phong Nha (they even moved in with us during the floods in October 2020 for a couple of days) and they missed the Phong Nha Farmstay and all their friends there. When the food came mine was too spicy as it had something like kimchee in the rolls but Aaliyah ate all of her food because she really enjoyed it. Elijah and Rimaha shared a Snickers ice-cream dessert which looked really good. It was really good to see them and have a good chat about all the stuff they had been doing since moving here. The lunch meet up went quick and, because my Grab app no longer works, I asked for the staff to call me a taxi for my next appointment.

My taxi driver dropped me outside Citrus Spa in Hoi An where I had booked in for some waxing. I’d been to this salon before and knew they were good so had booked in for the works! I also fancied a bit of reflexology which I hoped to fit in at the end. I’d arranged to meet Caroline, who had kindly invited me to stay at her place in An Bang, Hoi An. When I came downstairs from having my waxing done, this time no need to bum shuffle, she was already in having a full body massage, which meant I had time for my foot massage. It was fantastic and I felt so relaxed after it that I could have had a snooze but there was not enough time. Caroline and I had a hug and paid our bills, I was surprised to get a big discount and paid less than 800,000vnd (£25) for everything.

Next we went to Hill Station in Hoi An for a cheeky prosecco and a selection of cheeses with some bread and gluten free crackers – it was delightful! After the Hill Station we decided to go to the wine shop to pick up a few bottles so we could go back to Caroline’s place and have a night in with the pets, who I was also looking forward to seeing, and a good natter. We got the prosecco open and had a really good chat, I was pleased I’d decided to stay at Caroline’s as we did have a good laugh and it was nice to just chill out and eat some gluten free crisps and salsa dip. We also reinvented beer koozies (insulated beer cooler holders) by fashioning them to fit our wine glasses so that we didn’t have to be philistines by putting ice in our wine!
My bedroom was really lovely and comfortable with an ensuite, balcony and a sliding door to the pool so I had a great sleep that night!

Danang & Hoi An – 20th April

Danang & Hoi An – 20th April

As Tatas was only here for a short time, we decided we should make the most of it on Tuesday 20th April and our friends had great recommendations for us. Captain Caveman had returned from Son Doong yesterday but gone back in today and I’d not had chance to speak to him before his next tour. Today the plan was to have a relaxing day at Hoi An Silk Beach Club with Tatas, who was also working while next to the pool. Transport is so much cheaper in Danang than in Phong Nha and was only 200,000vnd (£6.20) from Danang to Hoi An, about 45 minutes away. When we arrived we were the only people there and so we had the pool to ourselves. I was so hungover that I ordered a can of Fanta and some french fries for brunch and I’d forgotten my swimmers. As there was no one around I went swimming in my undies and was able to hoist myself out of the pool relatively ok, but not gracefully.

Once back at Bridges Danang Boutique Hotel we had a shower and change before we went off for a full body massage at Herbal Spa which Kendra had also recommended. The 90 minute aromatherapy full body massage was looking like the best deal for what I wanted and I asked them to concentrate more on my shoulders and feet and they also asked about injuries and pressure which was great as usually massages in Vietnam are brutally strong. There was a special offer on of 150,000vnd (£4.65) for 60 minutes or 240,000vnd (£7.44) for 90 minutes including hot stones if you wanted them (I opted for it without). It was very relaxing and so professional, one of the best massages I’ve ever had and we even got a cute outfit to wear to protect modesty – what a lovely treat!
After the massage we were given free soup, herbal tea and coconut crackers, which you could also buy and were gluten free. I was so relaxed that I felt like going back to the hotel to go to bed but we had plans for Tatas’ last night of her mini-break. I made a note to self that I definitely would be staying off the alcohol tonight though!

After the 3rd shower of the day at the hotel, we were off out for dinner. It was Tatas’ last night so she got to choose where she would like to eat. We arrived at The Nomad Kitchen in An Thuong and ordered some drinks while looking at the menu. It was a shame that I’d decided not to drink as they had some decent wine for a good price.
For my dinner I had the fish and chips with homemade tartare sauce for 110,000vnd (£3.40) and it was absolutely amazing. Tatas had a buffalo dinner, while the rest of the table had dishes which included a side order of buffalo, bacon croquettes, and falafel salad. The food was really good and Daniel, the chef, is incredibly skilled. When a couple of us ordered the white chocolate tart for dessert I asked if I could have an extra price of fish for my pudding instead, it was that good and even came with extra vinegar. I could only drink sparkling water as I was honestly begging for mercy, I needed to remember I am much older than all of these party animals! Tonight I remembered that the AC needs to be turned on again after taking out the key card and I settled down for a relatively early night about 11.30pm, while Tatas carried on her night at Oi bar, Emma’s and Shamerock. Tomorrow Tatas and I would be checking out of this lovely hotel but only she was off back to Phong Nha – I had more adventures planned!