Hoi An’s central market is a ancient buttery yellow ochre barn like structure with arches framed by wooden lattice, huge supporting beams and a soaring tiled roof.
The eaves are ringed by little old greengrocers, their sumptuous fruits and veggies laid out before you like a magic carpet load of luscious greenery.
Once inside your head swivels in every direction like one of those bobbing dogs in the back of the car as you see every imaginable type of produce; dainty little devices to turn your carrots and turnips into delicate rose shapes, meat cleavers glaring at slabs of beef glazed in blood,
huge fish of every colour bubbling in tanks, umbrellas, socks, crabs, hats, frogs, eels, star fruit, durians, pyramids of blood cockles, and pretty much anything your heart, stomach or eye could desire.
As your eyes adjust to the gloom long rows of delicious food stalls materialise with little aluminium benches beckoning to you.
There are lovely women making scrumptious sandwiches,
And selling refreshing iced beverages.
We plump for the gorgeous and smiling Mrs Ha who kindly turns her fan on to cool two dishevelled and dislocated hippies.
Mrs Ha’s stall boasts this fine array of lip smacking goodness.
Noodles, dumplings, fish and chicken, salads, bread and rice and much much more.
Billy opted for the Coa Lau, a really truly delicious local speciality dish made up of noodles, broth, bean sprouts, greens, slices of moist flavoursome pork and squares of dried pork crackling topped with chilli jam.
Whilst munching contentedly we are joined by two lovely Kiwi sisters, Sharon and Rachel, who are en route to Machu Picchu via Barcelona and Avignon.
We chatted of this and that, shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and Kings, Internet dating, woodchopping.
We yakked for so long after finishing our noodles that Mrs Ha stopped seeing the joke and decreed that enough was indeed, too much, and gave us our marching orders.