Hội An—and Toads on Sticks

Distance today: 3km
Total distance to date: 924km

Hội An, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a city of about 150,000 and known for its well-preserved Ancient Town. Its historic district is a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating from the 15th-19th century. So of course we have to stick around for a few days. Tourists have discovered this town and at night its standing room only along the canal, but it still retains its authentic culture and we could go for a little “touristy” food!

Our day started out with the discovery of another flat tire. Number 3.  A slow leak. This time we inspected it in the comfort of our hotel room under some good lighting and found a micro-sized staple just a few mm long embedded in the tire.  It couldn’t be felt from the inside and likely pierced the tube when the tire was under impact. Hopefully the problem has been solved

There’s street food here in Hỏi An! But we walk the straight & narrow and only indulge in banana Nutella crepes. We were initially intrigued by a BBQ food cart we spotted until we noticed those twisty turns things were big octopus legs on a stick, sitting next to jumbo toads (maybe frogs…who knows) all flattened & crisped up, and full-body quail-on-a-stick—crepes were looking mighty fine!.

Today we met Hannah. Hannah met Dane (yes, Dane!). All four of us met up and over a few drinks we wiled away the afternoon sitting across the canal in Lily’s Pancake Restaurant watching the world go by, talking bikes, routes, bike shorts, food (or lack thereof), cockroaches, traffic, dogs, and the mental lows that can sometimes grip us when touring. Hanna is from Seattle and on a year-long cycling tour having already done Europe and South America. It was nice to share the commonalities of our experiences in Vietnam and inspire each other. Both Hannah and Dane are rolling out of Hỏi A tomorrow while we stick around an extra day.

The alleyways of Vietnamese towns are where the undiscovered treasures lay. They are narrow—you’d think nothing of interest would be taking place—but a little stroll through reveals tiny restaurant gems, kids flipping about at taekwondo classes, little tailor shops with sewing machines abuzz, stores that just pop out of a hole in the wall, and kids playing with friends on their bikes.

Hỏi An has a LOT of buzzing sewing machines. It was once rated as having the fastest and cheapest tailoring services in the world. You can walk into any number of tailoring shops, get measured up, choose fabric, design your look and return hours later to pick up your custom garment for a fraction of the price at home. We noticed a lot of snazzy shoes too. While snapping a picture of some we were advised “No photos, please” then noticed a sign saying that you can design your own shoes too and they’ll custom manufacture them for you. You can also just walk in with a sketch—they’ll make it happen.

There’s more to see here in Hỏi An so we won’t roll out tomorrow either, opting instead for another day of off-bike adventure.

Checking into our hotel, there was a notice about day trips we could book—for the cost of  two nights stay in a hotel we could have signed up for the “Countryside Bicycle Trip” for a day—ahhhhhhh hahahah—that’s not happening!

Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. A beautiful place to visit. Perhaps a new outfit too! ??? Didn’t realize you could get shoes! Enjoy!

    • I loved a lot of the shoes! The temptations are there….the space limitation on our bikes are real though, lol. So no shoes for us.

  2. Enjoy your tourist days looks and sounds amazing! Octopus is everywhere here in Portugal. Me no try either. Lol.

  3. I’m enjoying your adventure. Kudo’s to you both on not letting the grass grow between your toes.

  4. Those are Frogs on stick. – no head , no skin.

    They are good size. We use to catch them in the grass fields in Kolkata and they are so delicious.

    Some of the are bigger than my hand and really slippery due to the slime on their body.

    Much better than chicken – You missed out!

    • I’ll see if I can convince Randy to give it a go…..he’s the more adventurous one when it comes to food.

Comments are closed.