Tag Archives: Hoi An

To market, to market…

Well, I already had a “jiggety-jig” post, so I couldn’t resist the title!

One of the tastiest and most enjoyable things we did in Vietnam was a cooking class in Hoi An. We took a half-day class at the Red Bridge Cooking School. The class began with a tour of the central market in Hoi An.

Produce is sold on the outside of the market.

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The small purple fruit is mangosteen. These have white fruit shaped like tangerine inside and are very sweet. The red spiky ones are rambutan, which are like lychee, but we didn’t try them on this trip. The big green ones are pomelo, which our guide says is good for weight loss. And the bright pink ones are dragonfruit. Inside, they’re white with small black seeds.

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This seller also had grubs (silkworm?). You can eat them raw, but our guide said these had been out too long (several hours), so you should cook them before eating them. There are also cookware and clothing stalls on the outside of the market. I bought a conical hat, because my hat from home was too HOT. (A familiar refrain.) These hats are very lightweight, and cool. And you can use them as a fan, too.

Inside the market, everything is pretty tightly packed together. Here are eggs: chicken, duck, quail, fresh, preserved…

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You know this fowl is fresh!

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And these ducks are destined to be dinner. They’re still quacking, here.

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Boats pull up at the dock with fresh fish.

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After the tour of the market, we boarded a boat for a 25 minute trip down the river to the cooking school.

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All the boats have eyes!

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We saw lots of fishing nets like these. And lots of ducks on the islands. Ping, where are you?

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The cooking school and the bridge for which it’s named.

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We toured the herb garden, and then began class. Our instructor had a Aussie accent on top of his Vietnamese one.

We made rice paper (like you wrap on salad rolls), salad rolls, Hoi An pancakes (with shrimp and scallions). And of course, we got to eat all of these things. We also made garnishes: cucumber fans, and tomato roses.

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Our final dish was eggplant in clay pot.

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We ate the eggplant with rice for lunch in the restaurant, and it was fabulous.

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Travelogue: Hoi An

The next day in Vietnam, we were off to Hoi An for two days. It’s a short hop on Vietnam Airlines to Danang, and then a 40 minute cab ride to Hoi An. Hoi An is HOT! And lovely. This town was Vietnam’s most important trading post from the 16th to the 18th centuries. There are a lot of interesting buildings here in the old historic quarter; you can see the Chinese and Japanese influence. The city was protected from destruction by both sides during the American War.

Here’s the entrance to the Cantonese Assembly Hall (my people!)

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The Gate at the Hall

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Cantonese Assembly Hall

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Japanese Bridge

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I’m not sure what this building is; we just stumbled upon it

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Lantern Shop in Old Quarter

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Besides the historic atmosphere, Hoi An is known for its tailor shops. You can have suits made in a day here. They can copy things you bring, or you can figure it out from samples or catalogs. DH and both boys had suits made for $55 US. DH’s suit looks just like the ones he buys here. The Teen didn’t really need a suit, but we agreed that he needed this:

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I had a cheongsam (Chinese dress) made for $28. I could never buy one off the rack because they never fit correctly. This one does, perfectly. (sorry, no picture; I was so hot and sticky that I couldn’t think to take one)

It was here in Hoi An that I had to buy flip-flops; my Keen sandals and Dansko slides were too hot.

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Heat does funny things to you. First I became a fan of the fan, then a fan of the flip-flop. The next day I’d become a fan of the conical hat, because the hat I brought with me was also too HOT.

What else does one do in Hoi An? Cooking class! But that’s another post…