LA PLAGE $$
The key thing to note about La Plage is that it’s a bar first and a restaurant second. One of Hoi An’s most convivial spots, it’s the sort of place where patrons sit at the bar and chew the fat rather than scatter to distant tables. And, by day, its beach is as good as it gets.
In the heat of the day you can shelter in the shade in the bar area or under a thatched umbrella by the water as sea breezes fan you. This beach setting is the equal of any at An Bang, with a glorious view of the Cham Islands while distant Da Nang and Monkey Mountain are just visible on the same stretch of beach over 20 kilometers to the north.
In the evenings, La Plage cranks up a great play list and the pub vibe begins. Sometimes a mob gathers, sometimes it’s quiet. The food (Vietnamese and French) has had mixed reviews and sometimes the table service can be patchy but, unless you’re in a rush, there’s nothing to worry about.
One of the world’s worst pool tables has pride of place by the bar. Known as ‘the leveller’ by locals, those who have a good eye may find themselves at a disadvantage.
The final word goes to local Hoi An resident, Pieter J, who summed up my thoughts on Trip Advisor:
La Plage is something like the Hoi An equivalent of Cheers, except that the setting is much better. Although there is always a steady flow of expat friends and travellers, it is never too crowded. The guys are great hosts, the atmosphere is very laid back, beers are 100% cold and you can have some food too.