Austen's Travel Blog

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Vietnam - Day 8 - Hoi An

January 01, 2020

Family Making White Rose

Today is beach day and we’re breakfasted and ready to go by 9am. There was a street party right outside the hotel last night which was in full swing when we went to bed. We were so tired that it didn’t even keep us awake.

Bella Beach

Alex Beach

Family Beach

It’s a short coach ride to the beach and we setup on towels we borrowed from the hotel. The red flags are out so no swimming today, it’s pretty rough so we aren’t tempted anyway. We paddle and mess about in the shallows which is fun and then move on to sand castles.

Alex Sand Castle

Bella Sand Castle

Alex Finished Castle

Alex and Bella both build castles with help from Thuy and me. The tide is on the way in and Alex’s castle is in danger of being swamped so we build defensive walls and moats. This works for a while and we have lots of fun defending the castle from the sea but eventually the inevitable happens just as it’s time to leave.

White Rose Making

We jump back on the coach and head into town for our White Rose cooking lesson. White Rose’s are a speciality of Hoi An - a streamed open dumpling made with rice flour and filled with prawns. They are supposed to be shaped like a white rose, although we found that much harder than it sounds.

The roses are made by creating a well in the flour and then working the dough out into a bell shape, much like you would make a clay pot. It’s quite difficult though as it’s really easy to make the walls too thin which then makes them tear. The professionals can make 2-300 per hour. We manage a few less than that!

Cooked White Rose

The roses are then streamed and served with dipping sauce. They taste very similar to dumplings. We eat everything we made and a few more, washed down with local beer.

Banh Mi Shop

Next we take a walk to a Banh Mi shop in the old town for the main course. Banh Mi is the famous Vietnamese food which combines French and Vietnamese cuisine into a sandwich.

We ordered crispy pork Banh Mi which were all made fresh to order. The baguette was crispy, fresh and amazing and the filling was just as good combining crispy pork with fresh herbs, salad and bean sprouts. Alex is so taken by them that he orders a second one. They are delicious and we help him finish it.

Alex eating Banh Mi

Afterwards we walk back to the hotel with Thuy and take a swim in the pool to cool off before our massages. We’d booked Aroma massages for the whole family which would be the kids first time.

We start with a foot bath and then move to massage tables. The massage is great, very relaxing and I fall asleep! The kids have a wonderful time too.

We’re so relaxed after the massage we go back to the room and take it easy for the rest of the evening. We order room service, watch a movie together and get an early night - we’re all exhausted after the week of travel.