OUR EASTERN ADVENTURE | PART 2: Phú Quốc & Hội An
April 15, 2015
Phú Quốc: 6 Nights on a Peaceful and Beautiful Island in the Gulf of Thailand
WHERE WE STAYED
EDEN RESORT: Beautifully manicured with terrible customer service. Very resort-y, easy, and culturally dead. Being all show with no substance, Eden offered the perfect beach to mindlessly lounge all day and watch the sunset. If you are looking for 5 stars, I have to recommend La Veranda. (www.edenresort.com.vn, $135/night, includes good breakfast buffet).
MANGO BAY: We knew we were in for a treat the minute we arrived at this raw, eco-friendly resort. Greeted warmly by Khai, we were served mangoes and tea and then escorted to our room. The outdoor bathroom was super cool. The beautiful, well-kept accommodations are not plush, and the room is open air. The spa was fantastic and the restaurant was amazing. Mango Bay has found the perfect balance between man and nature. (www.MangoBayPhuQuoc.com, $135/night, includes amazing, made-to-order breakfast)
TOP PICK: Hội An: FOUR NIGHTS IN A GORGEOUS ANCIENT TOWN WITH NEARBY BEACH
WHERE WE STAYED
HAI AU HOTEL: Let’s call this hotel a backpackers paradise. The staff is super friendly, it is located close to Old Town and clean- but for $10 more a night we could have stayed in luxury accommodations- so I do not feel this hotel is of value. ($25/night, terrible breakfast included).
WHERE WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED
LONG LIFE RIVERSIDE: This breath-taking hotel built around a lap pool is a steal at $45/night. The rooms are opulent and gorgeous with free standing hot tubs and lacquered Teak furnishings. Perfectly located at the quiet end of the strip on the river. (www.longliferiversidehotel.com)
WHAT WE ATE
Morning Glory Restaurant features an open air kitchen on the most beautiful street in Hoi An. The last night we were in Hoi An we took ourselves on an amazing food tour. Start at the bridge in the center of Old Town heading south. On your left (east), in the grassy area where there are typically cabbies lined up eating lunch- there is a woman wearing a grass couli hat that says “Grilled Pork.” Seating is offered on small plastic stools. These smoky tender pork satays were amazing. Skewed on lemongrass, they were served with rice paper, fresh lettuces and herbs. 8 skewers were $3. Head back west and take your first left onto the street with souvenir kiosks. On the right side of the street down about 500 feet there is a Banh Mi cart. These sandwiches are set apart from the rest: the bread is toasted over coals, generously stuffed with pate and veggies, and sauce is applied to every layer. Heading back to the river there are several stands with donuts and banana crepes for dessert.
Hoi An is famous for its tailors. Pick any piece of clothing or suit in a magazine and they will measure you and create it. Seriously- they can make you anything! Give yourself 2 days for final fittings. We were really happy with our tailor Yaly, located on Nguyen Thai Hoc street.
RED BRIDGE COOKING SCHOOL: We signed up for the Hai Cafe evening cooking class. For $19, we were served complimentary beer and wine, took an interactive cooking class, and then were sat down for a 5 course meal. We came back from our trip craving Vietnamese food and were thankful for the pamphlet featuring delicious and easy recipes handed out during class.