48. Bikes, Bites and Burns

As I write this, feeling sticky and gross from today’s turmoil, I fear this might become a permanent state of being by looking at the foreboding weather forecast. These past couple of days in charming Hoi An have been burning hot and muggy, and we have been as mindless as to acquire a sun-burn or two.

Yesterday, we decided to rent a couple of bikes from our homestay to go on a ride at the countryside of Hoi An and it was great – however, the bikes were in such a bad condition and my ass is still sore from the short hours we spent getting lost and finding our way back again, and Niamh got herself a pretty, bright red triangular burn on her back. Looking back, it’s no surprise the bikes were so messed up – the stay at that homestay/hostel was generally just not great. Thankfully, we are now sitting in a private room at another amazing homestay. Getting here was no piece of cake though. First we rode on the back of two mopeds with our big backpacks to our new hostel/ homestay a bit further North and closer to the beach – something we initially agreed on never doing. Here we were greeted with a free bowl of noodles but, unfortunately, they had no longer any vacancies left for us. So, once again, we crawled up on a moped and this time three people on one with two big bags and three small ones – something we thought we’d never end up doing even in our wildest dreams! (I guess, we are becoming a little too comfortable with these polluting monsters after our Top Gear ride.)

Finally settled in, we got ourselves some bikes and made our way back to the centre to enjoy the lights and atmosphere by the river in the ancient town of Hoi An for the last time.

For dinner we decided to get a little creative; instead of going to a restaurant as per usual we went to the tourist centre of town and got as much street food as our heart’s desired. Here’s our favourite Vietnamese street foods of the night:

  1. Grilled rice paper with meat, prawn and spices.
  2. Fried sweet potato.
  3. Fried prawn-pancake-thing.
  4. Deep-fried bread with secret paste?
  5. Grilled corn – better with a special sauce though..
  6. Sour mango with chilli and crunch – this had been recommended to us by different people and we could not have been more disappointed, it was the absolute worst!

And for desert we spoiled ourselves with coconut-popsicles as we walked among the street vendors and along the river.

//Louise

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