MY TOP TEN
Am Vegetarian Restaurant
Big Breakfast, Dingo Deli
Coconut Palm Village, Hoi An
FIVE BEST THINGS TO DO WITH A VISITING FRIEND
Get on a bicycle, get off the main roads and spend some time with the locals in their communities – you get to see the real Vietnam …
Everyone should get on a motorbike and do two days on the Ho Chi Minh trail. It’s so beautiful it’ll blow your mind.
Try the street food because it’s real – don’t be afraid. What’s in the restaurants is not the same as what’s on the street. In Hoi An every couple of yards is a food fair. If you’ve come this far you should experience it.
Do the heritage walking trail in the Old Town but read some history first, especially about this area to get the full benefit. It opens your eyes to the extraordinary lives of others.
Come to Dingo Deli and I will give anyone who’s interested a run-down (using a map) of all the things the town has to offer. I love to hear people report back about what I’ve suggested.
AND HERE’S MY FIVE OF THE BEST!
Best restaurant: Dingo Deli of course. Other than that the Central Market is my favorite spot. Here I grab banh xeo or a strawberry shake and chat with the local vendors, half of whom love each other and half of whom hate each other … it’s fascinating.
Best Vegetarian Restaurant: Am … because not only is one of the owners a very good cook, her devotion to preparing vegetarian food and purity of spirit permeates the entire enterprise
Best tailor: Mr Xe … a real tailor and one who always has been. His customer service is second to none.
Best spa: Ba Le Well and Lavender. I can’t split them. They are both skilled and try very hard.
Complete the sentence: You know you’ve lived in Vietnam a long time when … you don’t judge other people’s appearances because you understand they have no clothes to wear because the tailors can’t be trusted.