For the last part of our trip, we went to Hoi An to meet up with Dom’s mom so that we could share some of our favourite foods, places, and experiences with her, in Vietnam and Thailand.
Charlotte's flight from Montreal was originally supposed to take 26 hours with layovers in Toronto and Taipei. Unfortunately, when she arrived to check-in at the Montreal airport, she found out that her first flight (to Toronto) had been cancelled due to bad weather. They rerouted her through Vancouver->Seoul leaving 12 hours later, so she had to overnight in a Montreal hotel and return to the airport early the next morning. She managed to board the Vancouver flight, but the plane got stuck on the tarmac and arrived in Vancouver 5 hours late, so they had to reroute her again. She was stuck waiting 12 hours in the Vancouver Airport, then took a 16 hour flight to Bangkok, and had a 13 hour layover in Bangkok until her final flight to Da Nang (near Hoi An).
She finally arrived ~36 hours later than her original itinerary, buuut... her checked luggage didn't make it 🙃. Fortunately, they located her luggage in Seoul 2 days later, so she finally received her luggage 3 days after she had arrived. Despite her crazy long 60 hour voyage to get here, Charlotte arrived with a positive attitude and a smile on her face. She was tired, but surprisingly not as exhausted as we thought she would be!
Given her long journey, we tried to take it a bit easy in Hoi An. We spent lots of time: wandering the cute streets of the ancient town,
people-watching while drinking different types of Vietnamese coffees (iced, salted, coconut, egg),
tasting a variety of Vietnamese dishes (a first, for Charlotte),
and doing a bit of shopping. We were amazed at how busy Hoi An was and how much it has grown and changed since when we were last here in 2019!
Dom's favourite Vietnamese food is called "banh mi". It's a Vietnamese sandwich with meat, pate, pickles, egg, herbs, and sauce. We were super excited to return to our favourite banh mi restaurant in Hoi An, called Madam Khanh, and figured we would eat there almost every day. Sadly, we only ended up going there once because the sandwiches were so disappointingly cold and tasteless - it seems they have now become overly popular so the quality of their food has gone down significantly 😢.
We decided to try a different place called Phi Banh Mi
. Fortunately, the sandwiches there were better and we really enjoyed meeting their colourful pet Iguana, Danny. When it was sunny outside, he liked to crawl through the restaurant to lay in the sun next to the kiosk where they make the sandwiches 😂.
One morning, we did a half-day course to learn how to make traditional Vietnamese lanterns.
Jen was happy that her favourite tailor shop, Kim Only
, was still here - we each had a couple of pieces of custom clothing made.