Day 6 was the first day we didn’t set an alarm and just slept in considering breakfast at Orchid Garden is served until 10am. They have a great selection for breakfast ranging from muesli, yoghurt etc, to popular egg dishes and some Vietnamese dishes. We both quite fancied a bit of something that’s closer to home and enjoyed omelette and fried eggs served with a fresh baguette, freshly pressed juice and an additional fruit platter. The juices are very tasty and a lot sweeter than back home because the fruits get a great amount of sunlight and only get picked when they are ripe enough. Therefore, the natural sugars get a lot more time to proper develop the natural sugars adding to the flavour of the fruit. The passion fruits were just delivered when I ordered my juice. So everything is super fresh.
We weren’t sure whether to get an Old Town ticket for 120, 000 dong so decided to cycle back into town (which takes about 10 minutes) and see what we fancy doing whilst we’re there. Turns out that when it’s 40 degrees outside you don’t fancy doing anything apart from eating ice cream or sorbets. We were roasting and melting away in the sun. Make sure that you keep hydrated at all times. Most people carry big bottles of water with them which are available in local kiosks for around 10, 000 dong.
In the end, we didn’t buy the old down ticket and instead went for a stroll around the shops, saw some interesting and inspirational photography by Rehahn, a French photographer who has been living in Hoi An for a couple of years, in the ASIAN gallery on Nguyen Phuc Chu, followed by delicious tangerine and mango sorbets available in the front part of the small gallery.
For lunch we went to Madam Khanh who is famous for her Banh Mi. According tonthe reviews on TA she is the “queen of Banh Mi”. Her little eatery is located on 115 Tran Cao Van and relatively easy to find. As we cycled by the ladies in front of the shop heard us talking of Madam Khanh and waved at us to signal that we’re at the right place. We were sat down at one of the metal tables and at the time had the place to ourselves. There is no menu so all you have to do is order your drinks. During the wait for your Banh Mi you will very likely be approached by two other ladies trying to sell you first tailoring and then the pop up postcards thst are popular across the whole country. A friendly but determined no should be enough to make them leave. The whole sales ploy is a bit annoying and ruins the whole experience of simply enjoying some lovely “fast food”. Madam Khanh herself is lovely and serves her Banh Mi with a smile. When she realised how much we enjoyed her food the smile on her face grew even bigger. At the time we were the baguettes were 20, 000 dong which is less than £1 and to be honest I’d rather have the Banh Mi over a Kebab or chips any time. The flavours are amazing and it is simply delicious. It is very well spiced and just the right amount of food for lunch. Well depending how big your appetite is. I can’t imagine it being huge when it’s 40 degrees outside.
After lunch we we went almost straight back to the hotel; just stopping for a couple of fresh beers for 3, 000 dong on Cua Dai and stocking up on drinks for the fridge to have by the pool. We spent the whole afternoon in the pool which is an excellent place to socialise and have a chat with fellow travellers.
Once the sun went down we headed back into town for dinner. This time round we chose Cargo on Nguyen Thai Hoc which is featured in the Lonely Planet as well. Luckily we got a seat on the terrace overlooking the river – a gorgeous atmospheric view which would be borderline romantic if the place wasn’t that busy. I would suggest you book a table beforehand and ask for the ones closest to the river for a bit of a breeze and great photo opportunities. I had duck breast for dinner and my SO went for a prawn dish. Both were equally delicious. Try and resist to order a lot of things from the extensive menu to leave space for the fantastic desserts. We went for a passion fruit and chocolate mousse and also had the chocolate truffle mousse cake. Both dishes were amazing and really tasty. I preferred the passion fruit and chocolate mousse because the passion fruit lightened the rich chocolate flavour snd balanced the dish perfectly. The chocolate truffle mousse was extremely yummy ad well but very rich. I had a small taste of it but doubt I could have finished it all. For the mains, desserts and two drinks we ended up paying 480, 000 dong (£16) which for Vietnam is actually a bit on the expensive side. Just consider thougj what you would pay for Vietnamese food back home. Back in Glasgow the Hanoi Bicycle Club serves Chicken Pho for around £12. Over here you can get it for around £1. Anyway point is Cargo was our little treat.
If you want to really splash out go across the river to Mango Mango where you can easily spend 1, 000, 000 dong between two. Our friends had dinner there and though they said that the menu was special and the food good, on the whole it felt overpriced.
After we finished dinner we went to the other side of the river and turned right after the bridge away from the noisy bars. Walking along the river front passing the golden dragon we came across a small quiet kiosk where we had another drink in peace amongst the locals before we headed back to the homestay and fell into our beds again.