We like An Bang, a lot. We also like Hoi An, a lot.
The weather is perfect, high 20’s, a soft breeze and the most gorgeous, stretching forever beach. What a difference the sun makes. Today the little suburb of An Bang is glorious, with lots of interesting little cafes and restaurants. Have had more variety of food in these 2 days that the last few weeks in Vietnam. We are trusting the salads now as there are many tourists here. Might be a mistake. Time will tell. And the loo. A delicious shrimp and mango salad one day for lunch and a very interesting chat to the 24 yr old “bead lady”. She reaffirms all that we have noticed and already been told. The men spend a lot of time “thinking and drinking” and the girls do all the work. However, to get the girl the men have to “make the money, or no honey”. Only lasts until the girl is ‘hooked’, then they return to drinking and thinking. And chain smoking, and playing cards. Sounds a good life.
Hoi An, completely unexpected. Really interesting architecture in a faded, colonial sort of way. It’s clean with an overwhelming variety of great restaurants to choose from. It reminds us, a little, of Luang Prabang in Laos. An oasis in a fairly desolate desert of gastronomy. Cycling up this coastline, we have travelled many kms through villages and struggled to find water, let alone any food. Some villages have had 2 mobile phone shops but still nowhere to buy anything to eat. It’s such a pleasure to drink Italian coffee and to eat chocolate cheesecake.
Tonight we will be eating BBQ fish, fresh from the ocean, pre-ordered yesterday, in a lovely little restaurant around the corner from our homestay. Everyone knows everyone here. The owner of our homestay is a young Vietnamese who used to work with the owner of the seafood restaurant and is great friends with her younger brother. Even the lady on the beach selling trinkets knows Duc from the An Bang Homestay. A great little community and a much easier lifestyle for those prepared to work rather than being a fisherman or working in the paddy fields.
Tourism is on the way up here with huge cranes on the horizon constructing an enormous resort complex. We probably couldn’t afford to stay here, when it opens. Come and see An Bang Beach soon! It’s lovely.
Now a fish with our name on it. Hope it isn’t fried in salt. (see photos).