Spicy and Hot in Da Nang

Dearly beloveds,

We’ve skipped through paddy fields, golf courses, resorts and building sites, statuaries and beachfrontage. Hôi An and Da Nang are more or less connected, with just a few dozen acres of rice and chicken runs between their respective urban sprawls.

Two final words on Hôi An ( three if you count the word in parenthesis which follows and why wouldn’t you ) ?

Free Beer (almost) !

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Cold, refreshing, delicious beer, lightly hoppy, a little watery, slightly less effervescent than Australian beer but with a decent head that lays down and dies quite quickly.

Perhaps a lower alcohol content, possibly  even slightly like a beer flavoured soft drink BUT 30c a glass and in the tropical heat if it isn’t beer it will do nicely until beer comes along.

Somewhat amazingly, just over the river they were selling it for 4 and even 3,000 Dong (less than 20c).  If this trend continues I’m pretty sure they will soon be paying you to drink their beer.

Onto Da Nang and a very pleasant Phō Ga (chicken noodle soup) for brunch.  The ubiquitous chillies adorned the table.

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The lovely waiter grabbed a few of the beauties from the plate above, pulled out a pair of rusty household scissors and proceeded to trim them into our steaming bowls.

The chillies here are called Birds Eye, (or piri piri) and are evidently commonly used all the way from Ethiopia across to Vietnam.  They are a fragrant and slow burning chilli, a delightful accompaniment that flavours the broth, the chicken and the noodles as soon as it hits the bowl, charging the already sumptuous flavours, ramping them up a level and stimulating all of your senses in a wonderful way.

And now, dear readers, for our low brow content.  We, your never disreputable hippies have so far avoided all references to the many, many bawdy double entendres that the noble Vietnamese language suggests to any westerner ever exposed to Benny Hill or Dick Emery.

We’ve eschewed the option of going for the cheap laugh on a “dong” or a “dung” but now, in a moment of weakness (perhaps even madness) share with you three signs we saw within a few metres of each other this morning in Danang.

Easily offended or delicately raised readers may look away now.

Firstly, a sign hanging outside the restaurant at which we brunched.

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Yes, at the Hotel Hoang Thinh you can rent a room by the hour.

Just down the street was his perhaps more fortunate brother.

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And in between them was this which for some reason leaves a funny taste in our mouths.

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Quick, pass the chillies !

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