Fah Thai Magazine July/August 2017

fahthaimag

DANANG / HOI AN

Right:

Trichaws, or cyclo,

are everywhere on

the streets of

Hoi An, tempting

in its leisurely pace.

Opposite:

My friend takes me

to Bà Duong - she

loves both the

exterior crunch of

the batter and the

bean sprouts tucked

the Vietnamesestyle

crepe.

To first-time visitors, the daily

cacophony of motorbikes might

spell chaos and danger; to locals,

these magical vehicles, along

with the impossible payload or

passenger configuration, carry the

fantastic spirit and energy of a fast

developing city.

First stop, dinner at Bà Duong,

a well-known food joint hidden

deep in a narrow alleyway

[K280/23 Hoang Dieu]. We sat

at the table closest to the open

kitchen, where the shop’s main

attraction, Bánh Xèo, was fried

and stacked. The golden sizzling

rice crepe holds a fold of bean

sprouts, stir-fried shrimp, pork,

fried sausage on a stick, spring

onions and lettuce. Like most local

foods here, condiments and fresh

accompaniments matter as much

as the main ingredient. You lay

open the Bánh Xèo, spread all of

the goodies on top, roll it up and

wrap in a thin rice paper before

dipping into the thick peanut sauce,

Print swimsuit (Top) and skirt from Kloset

One hand around my weekender bag, the other tightly

clutched to the tail fairing, I was clearly not prepared

for this unusual means of transport. “You are going

to love the motorbike,” my friend claimed, reassuring

me that her metal and tin horse will ferry us to all the

best foods and views.

consisting of peanut, hoisin sauce,

chillies and pork liver. My first

mouthful of Vietnam packed so

much flavour that it quite literally

knocked me out of my seat. I leaned

over to fetch an additional order

from the kitchen counter next to

me and lost my balance!

A divine first meal and a good

laugh set my Danang trip on the

right track. Minutes later, joined by

more friends, we rode to the city’s

best-known site, Dragon Bridge.

As far as heavy symbolism goes,

there are few I know as ostentatious

as this dragon-shaped bridge that

breathes fire and spits water. Long

a symbol of prosperity in Asia, the

dragon cannot be a more perfect

image for a once buoyant shipping

port poised for re-awakening.

Standing atop this marvel of

engineering, you could see the lone

skyscraper up north – Danang’s

administrative centre – and other

iconic bridges punctuating a

resurgent city with improving

infrastructure and growing confidence.

After nightfall, we rode along

the strip of bars and restaurants on

the Han River bank and stopped by

Strapless jumpsuit from Soda

62

63

More magazines by this user