Going back to a city you have previously visited is often a dream for most of us, especially when you may have only had a few days there. So after our last visit to Vietnam and in particular Hoi An, I connected via Instagram with a lady called Anna, and whilst I know there is a lot of stigma surrounding social media likes, connections etc. this was a great connection!
Anna has been travelling extensively to Vietnam and in particular the UNESCO heritage town Hoi An for years. She can speak the Vietnamese language which is really hard to understand let alone speak, Anna is a foodie and an artist who lives in the Blue Mountains.
So for the my friend Lindy’s birthday (who i affectionately call the skipper), I organised for her and a few of our friends to go to a Taste of Vietnam in down town Cabramatta in our home town of Sydney Australia with a view that if we thought we would get along, we could perhaps join Anna on a retreat for 10 days in Hoi an.
Needless to say that Di, Mez, Lindy and myself had a wonderful day with Anna doing sketching, eating and of course enjoying the coffee along with Anna’s company.
So after months of chatting via what’s app, Lindy, Mez and myself arrived late last night into Hoi an. The prettiest historic old quarter town with amazing preserved chinese and french architecture, that glows are golden yellow ochre, blending old pagodas and ancient tea houses with modern tailors and restaurants, and of course the old street markets, where you can buy just about anything!
It’s a very busy little town that can be quite overwhelming when the buses arrive from near by Danang. So whilst it is currently hitting the top 10 cities in the world to visit, as long as you stay just out of the busy old quarter along the peaceful river….. you get the best of both worlds.
Our days will be a blend of early starts to the beach for yoga at 5.30am…. how do we get to the beach ? It’s about a 15 minute cycle away and I cant wait! We didn’t spend much time at beach last year so it will be fun to see new areas.
After early morning yoga and breakfast with the locals at the markets, a sketching art class of water colour somewhere and then our days are free to enjoy the heat, shop, swim or get out and about until late afternoon when we meet up again for dinner/drinks etc. Then….. repeat!
This wont be a fast paced tour, it’s slow travel where the summer heat and therefore rain has the rice fields filled with emerald green shoots, the lotus flowers are in full bloom then cool off the sensational iced Vietnamese coffee.
Anna has a wonderful culture to ‘take care of our tourist foot print’ for travel to be ethical and beneficial to us all. We all have refillable water bottles, metal straws and of course we have our own bags for shopping 🛍.
We will be sketching, attending bamboo class, an indigo stitching ,🧵 a cooking class in a village where they hand make tofu and grow the herbs that come to the markets everyday. There are also having a couple of excursions to the Mi son ruins, and see to the beautiful Cau Vang ‘golden hands walk bridge’ high above Danang in the Ban Na Hills, along with a fabulous sunset evening with a world famous photographer!
And of course we have a suitcase full of children’s books etc for our visits to a kindergarten here in Hoi an!
Anyways I’m just about ready to down to breakfast and meet the team….. and thought I’d share this handy hint- to avoid having to change power points or have to bring multiple adaptors, I travel with a small power board (and a piece of blue tac) as some of the power points can be a little loose with connection. That blu tac tip was from our friends Mark and Sandy and what a great tip it is!
Happy travels more soon,
Mrs Wong x