Oddly enough, it was only on our last day in Hoi An that we managed to track down a cafe giai khat in the Old Town, where we could park ourselves on child-sized chairs and dawdle over Vietnamese drip coffee. The cafe was less than two blocks from our hotel, yet we had never noticed it all this while.
Local-style cafes aren't easy to find in Hoi An's Old Town. You can't pass a street that doesn't have a tourist-friendly cafe --- you know the kind, occupying a restored Old Town house with street-facing bamboo chairs, free wi-fi and a menu that offers croissants alongside cau lau. But for local-style places, you usually have to head north away from the river, towards Hoi An's other market and into the neighbourhoods with com ga (chicken rice) stalls and karaoke joints.
I didn't do much of that traipsing this time. The restaurants I was writing about were all in the tourist-accessible Old Town, and the rest of the time I mostly lolled about in a cafe or a bar. If you missed my Facebook status updates, they were (in chronological order):
Wednesday, 4 NovemberYeah, I mostly drank passionfruit juice, Vietnamese coffee and Biere Larue, and stuffed myself silly with salads.
[Tym] is in rainy Hoi An, where there's a starfruit tree outside her window and Christmasy lights at the restaurant across the street.
Thursday, 5 November
[Tym] is falling in love with Vietnamese salads all over again.
[Tym] is watching the river rise over shots of Vietnamese rice wine at the Sleepy Gecko.
Friday, 6 November
[Tym] is off to a 'death anniversary lunch' – I honestly have no idea what this will involve, besides Vietnamese food of some kind.
Saturday, 7 November
[Tym] is on a passionfruit binge in Hoi An. So far: chocolate chip semifredo, cheesecake and juice. (Not on the same day.)
[Tym] is going to a Vietnamese wedding. No idea who's getting married, but it seems there will be heaps of food, rice wine and extremely loud hip-hop music involved.
Sunday, 8 November
[Tym] has had Vietnamese coffee, Italian coffee, Vietnamese red sticky rice liqueur and heaps of passionfruit juice – and it's not even 3pm yet.
Monday, 9 November
[Tym] has had her last bite of banana flower salad, last gulp of Vietnamese coffee and Biere Larue, and last inhalation of scorching hot air in Hoi An. Next stop: Danang, then Singapore.