Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hangin' at Hoa's Place

After soaking up the craziness that is Ho Chi Minh City (Nick and I were there for a full week!), we were more than ready to head to the beach. Since we have less than 3 weeks left, we decided to skip Nha Trang and fly straight to Da Nang. What would have been 24 hours on a bus turned in to one hour in a plane and before we knew it, we were at the beach.

Thanks to some good recommendations (i.e. Lonely Planet and we headed straight for Hoa’s Place, which sits just 100 meters from China Beach.
Immediately, we were greeted by the man himself, Hoa, who has been called “the coolest man in Vietnam.” When our cab driver asked him for commission (for taking us to the guest house that we requested he take us to!) Hoa refused and told us that we have to “watch out for bullshit” but not to worry because Hoa “doesn’t fuck around with that stuff.”

Once the cabbie realized he wasn’t getting any extra money, he drove away, and Hoa ushered us to some seats at his restaurant. He told us to “take it easy guys” and introduced us to his specialty, the “local burger.” The local burger is an avocado and bacon hamburger served on a toasted baguette and it is amazing! We stayed for three days and during that time we had three local burgers each!

Every evening, Hoa’s wife serves up a family style dinner for all of the guests staying at his place – for only $50,000VND ($2.50 USD) it was all you can eat of rice, noodles, stir fried beef, salad, spring rolls, tofu, and veggies.
The dinners are awesome because he makes sure that all of the guests mingle together and no one is left out. At first, Aimee, Nick, and I sat at a table all by ourselves, but before the meal started Hoa’s staff made sure we joined the big table where we could make some new friends and take part in the family atmosphere.

Of course the main draw for hanging out at Hoa’s place (besides Hoa himself) is China Beach.

small spherical fishing boats resting on the beach

China beach is a loooooooooong (30km) stretch of beach along Vietnam’s central coast line. The sea was a bit choppy and the water is a little colder than it was in southern Thailand and Cambodia, but it was refreshing and fun to jump around in and we practically had it all to ourselves during our stay.

It was the perfect spot to get away from it all and recharge before our final two weeks of exploration in Southeast Asia.
Aimee on the beach for a sunset walk

Aside from a couple other tourists, our only companions we had on the beach were local fisherman collecting clams.
Once their rice sacks were filled to the brim with their catch, they would pack their load on to their motorbikes and haul them off to the market.
There are plans to make this a major tourist destination in the near future (hotels are in construction all along the coast) but for now it remains and peaceful place to get away from it all and just take it easy!


  1. I miss Hoa's a lot! china beach & Hoa's always make a great beach holiday!

  2. Yeah but as the Eagles said "call some place paradise...kiss it goodbye". Here come da development...(so sad)