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Aug. 8 Hoi An, Vietnam – Day 1

Overnight Train arrives in Da Nang – Taxi from Da Nang to Hoi An – Cooking Class & Sunset Dinner Cruise on Mekong River

sunny 86 °F
View steamy sojourn thru SE asia-summer 2011 on beachlovingirl's travel map.

Aug. 8 Helpful Travel Notes:
Accommodations: Hai Au Hotel – 575 Cua Dai | Hoi An, Vietnam
• $25-30 USD/500,000-600,000 VND per night for a clean room with 2 Double beds (see details)

Booking a Taxi: Taxi from Da Nang Train Station to Hoi An
• ~$23 USD/450,000 VND; ~1 hour. Simply walk out Da Nang train station doors and hire a taxi.

Renting a Bicycle: The easiest, most convenient way to get around Hoi An from town to Beach and surrounding areas is by bike. Rent one from wherever you’re staying or walk into town and rent a bike.

Book a Vietnamese Cooking Class/Sunset River Cruise: Cinnamon Cruises - 32 Le Loi | Hoi An, Vietnam – look for a tour boat with “Cinnamon Cruises” labeled at The Pier opposite 82 Bach Dang (riverside)
• $ 25 USD/500,000 VND/person +gratuity for Staff (see details)

Overnight Train arrives in Da Nang – Taxi from Da Nang to Hoi An – Cooking Class & Sunset Cruise on Mekong

We are now settled into our hotel - Hai Au Hotel. The hotel is gorgeous, thank you, Jenna! It’s clean, secure, and off the beaten path, so it’s quiet. The Staff is attentive, and gregarious, greeting guests by name as they enter. Bonuses at Hai Au Hotel: a full booking tour company in the lobby/reception area, WiFi and a restaurant attached. I was going to try to find another hotel, but I’m thinkin about stayin put here! I’m gonna stroll down on Bach Dang Street and Le Loi tomorrow to see if there are other hotels with Single Rooms for less money. Since it’s just Es & me tomorrow, we need to conserve our dough.

Jenna and I rent bikes from the hotel ($1 USD/20,000), and cruise down to the main part/main street along the Mekong River in town - Bach Dang Street. We are heading toward the docks to take a sunset river boat cruise on the Mekong River that’s coupled with a cooking class. Cinnamon Cruises – highly rated by all on Trip Advisor (and us!) 32 Le Loi – Hoi An, Vietnam. Look for a tour boat with “Cinnamon Cruises” labeled at The Pier opposite 82 Bach Dang, the main riverside street in Hoi An.

While navigating our bikes through the tiny, narrow market paths, where low cloth sack “ceilings” shade the stalls, we continually bump our heads on these because we are American giants! We ride right past our dinner cruise river boat, looking for a stand-alone restaurant called “Cinnamon Cruises”. After asking around several restaurants, we find our way and enjoy much-needed water refreshment. The table is set with all of our cooking necessities. We snap some photos and set to work prepping for the first course.

Let me say: This is one of the BEST cooking classes I’ve ever experienced, bar-none. The Staff is friendly, attentive, professional. The food is indulgent and savoury. Chef Tho is patient, friendly, accommodating of my Pescatarian diet, and who can beat a sunset River Cruise? 5 stars.
We dine on our fresh spring rolls, banana flower salad with sweet & sour sauce, Bon Xeo (Vietnamese pancakes with bean sprouts), and some seafood/vegetable soup-kinda like a pho, but better. For dessert we enjoy fresh pineapple, watermelon and mango and light our Wish Lanterns-small, intricately designed paper lanterns with a candle in the center. The staff went out and bought two just for us because we were marveling at the women rowing patrons down the river setting them onto the water. Don’t think I got a good photo, but it was serene and lovely. We light our candles, close our eyes, make our wishes, gently set our Wish Lanterns into the river, and watch them float away. Ahhh….what a perfect end to a perfect day!

Aug. 8 Places/Things to Do:
Hai Au Hotel – 575 Cua Dai | Hoi An, Vietnam
• $25-30 USD | 500,000-600,000 VND per night for a clean room with 2 Double beds, WiFi in room and public areas, hot water shower, complimentary bottled water, A/C, fridge, swimming pool. Buffet Breakfast in Hotel Restaurant included. Full tour company/travel agent in Hotel Lobby. Laundry 25,000 VND/kilo.
• website: www.haiauhotels.com | email: haiauhotelha@yahoo.com | phone: (+84) 510 3914 577

Cinnamon Cruises Sunset Dinner Cruise & Cooking Class (optional) - 32 Le Loi | Hoi An, Vietnam – look for a tour boat with “Cinnamon Cruises” labeled at The Pier opposite 82 Bach Dang (riverside)
• $25 USD/510,000 VND +gratuity for Staff includes market tour, cooking instruction, dinner, dessert, complimentary drink and sunset boat cruise
• website: http://www.cinnamoncruises.com | email: sales@cinnamoncruises.com |phone: +84 0510.850.5605

Posted by beachlovingirl 05:56 Archived in Vietnam Tagged sunset hotel cruise dinner hoi_an riverside mekong_river cinnamon_cruises hai_au bach_dang_street le_loi_street

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