Mark and Mika Take on the WORLD!!! travel blog

Scenery on the way to Hoi An

Fishing nets strung over the waters

Fishing market in Hoi An

Sweet, refreshing Vietnamese desserts

Tieing up crablegs with banana stems

At the docks

Enjoying the beach in Hoi An

Conan, the Vietnamese Beach Vendor

Hoi An is a nice, compact little city near the beach. There are beautiful ruins nearby to see or you can have one of the numerous tailors make fitted clothing for you at a great price. Other than that, the only thing to do there are eat and walk around. As has been the theme of out trip recently, we decided to eat. We encountered many delicious meals from Mika's part because we are edging closer to her birth place, Saigon. Vietnamese tacos, noodle soup with beef, spring rolls with fresh caught shrimp and herbs, sandwiches of pate and herbs, as well as mouth watering deserts - coconut ice-cream over a bed of sweet rice with coconut shavings on top; beans mixed with jello, coconut, and corn mixed in a slight sweetened coconut milk; and avocado milkshakes. Yes, they are all wonderful and freshly made. They probably are 100% healthier too than the desserts we eat back at home. So far in Vietnam, we've only eaten at local restaurants where the food has been consistently fantastic. We found a place in Hoi An where they knocked down the price from 90 dong to 60 dong, all on the account that they consider Mika a local. The restaurant owner was curious about her background and sat down with us during the entire dinner. Our traditional meal included about 20 skewers of Vietnamese style BBQ meat on skewers that we could wrap with rice paper and tons of herbs, and veggies; 6 Vietnamese style crepes or tacos stuffed with bean sprouts, pork, and shrimp; and about 6 eggrolls. The meal was D E L I C I O U S - or "ngon lam". We couldn't have found a more local place than this. Give us the real fish sauce, not the soy sauce the typical tourist are accostumed to! Well, last night, we decided to try one of the fancy, on the river tourists eateries. Not only was the food bland and watered down for the western palate, but we paid about twice what we usually do. From now on, we are sticking to our guns.

We did ride our bikes out to the beach one day, which was really nice. The water was perfect, and we were the only ones there on account of a few sprinkles. While there, Mika talked with several bored vendors. At one point, she had about seven of them sitting in a half circle, asking her questions about her life in the States and wondering if life out there was better than in Vietnam. One of them spoke particularly good English, and she told Mark that it was a good thing there was no war right now, otherwise she would have to go "boom boom" to him.

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