Random thoughts from Hoi An & Da Nang

  • International Women’s Day is big in Asia – my tailor was closed, probably giving her the one day off a year she gets.

  • I wonder if tailors in Hoi An close during Tet?
  • I hate plastic takeaway cups when I’m sitting in the café. What’s wrong with giving me a glass?
  • Anthony Bordain thinks the best Banh Mi in Vietnam comes from Hoi An. He’s probably right, it was pretty good. But I think most banh mi are pretty good.

Banh Mi

  • Love the little old lady in the noodle market with her delicious bowls of cau lau for 20 000 dong.
  • Also the sugary doughnuts on every corner of Hoi An. Except when they’re stale.
  • Sand in your hair from being dumped by waves sticks around for ages and you wake up with the beach on your pillow.
  • People smile more in Da Nang and Hoi An and you can visibly see how more relaxed they are compared to folk in Saigon.
  • My feet and hands are super soft from running on the beach every day. And doing push ups on the beach. 600 of them. In an hour and a half. Barry did 1000.
  • Hoi An is full of folk renting out bicycles but I haven’t seen anyone doing it at My Khe beach, Da Nang. Business opportunity missed methinks.

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Villa Song – a new side to Saigon

Villa Song 1296

Villa Song is a welcome relief for anyone who, like me, finds the chaos in downtown Saigon a little…chaotic. I love the vibrancy of the city, the colours and smells but it was definitely a relief, particularly in my slightly jet lagged state, to board Villa Song’s private speedboat at the end of an afternoon in District 1 and zip up the river to the peaceful riverside location.

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Wifi cafe working in Hoi An

By Barry O’Kane


Hoi An is a pleasant little town with a beautiful centre full of interesting architecture, nice restaurants and a billion ‘custom tailors’. Its a very significant stop on the tourist trial but doesn’t have the same appeal for digital nomads as other cities in Vietnam. However, I did enjoy my short stop there this trip and found some very pleasant places to work from.

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C is for Cholon

Although I only started work about three weeks ago, I’ve already lucked out with a mini holiday. The school was closed for three days for Chinese New Year at the end of January so I had a glorious five days off. I kind of needed it too, not being used to having a job I can’t do from the beach and all.

So what to do with my time off? Barry is now in Saigon, connecting with other location independent, web entrepreneur type folk. Luckily, my passport came back with my new Cambodian work visa just in time for me to book a flight (okay, so I had two days to spare, what was I worried about?).

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