Vietnam: celebrating Maya’s first birthday

We arrived in Vietnam in a rainstorm and started badly by being famished and not understanding the visa rules. But after we got through immigration we were picked up by the car that our hotel had arranged for us and were on our way. The trip from Da Nang to the outskirts of Hoi An was approximately one hour long and besides not having a baby car seat we were somewhat worried about the rain and the speed of the car. But I strapped myself into the car and put Maya into the Lenny Lamb carrier hoping for the best. And we were still very hungry.

It was still raining when we arrived at our little homestay, but the owner picked us up by the car with umbrellas and escorted us to the house. We were welcomed by a lovely lady who gave us some passion fruit juice and had us fill in a form whilst she explained how things worked around there in a lovely Vietnamese accent. Once we got to our room we immediately ordered some food and put Maya to bed. And that was probably one of the best meals I had on our whole trip. Fresh spring rolls to start, and after a hot broth with crispy pork skin and noodles called Cao Lao, local to the area (a type you won’t find in the rest of Vietnam).

Our room was magnificent, with an enormous bathroom with a fabulous bath tub. The homestay, situated about a ten minute drive from Hoi An, only had four rooms for rent, so the place was calm and relaxing. Across the creek there were cattle grazing and in the distance we could see temple roofs over the palm trees. They had a small swimming pool that we used frequently, and bikes that we could use. We did use them a couple of times, but Maya didn’t enjoy it too much, and besides the baby seat they provided us with broke whilst we were using it. So we usually got by getting taxis to town or the beach. Or we just stayed at the place we had rented and ordered food, did some body weight workouts and just relaxed.

Some highlights:

  • The Hoi An full moon festival. Happens every full moon – the old town center fills up with people, both locals and tourists, and there are games, plays and other fun things happening in the streets. You can also buy paper lanterns which you set down on the river and light up the place.
  • We went to a tailor and had some clothes made. Felipe got himself two suits and I got a dress. We would have gotten more, but since we were traveling light we had to limit ourselves.
  • Eating seafood on the beach. The beaches by Hoi An, and specifically Cua Dai, are magnificent, almost deserted but still don’t lack quality restaurants. They are rather simple, but the seafood is fresh and made to order, so not unsafe at all.
  • Celebrating Maya’s first birthday. The owners and staff at the place we stayed were lovely enough to order a cake and put up balloons for her!
  • Basket boat tour on the creek!

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