Even though located 45 mins from bustling  Da Nang, the ancient town of Hoi An is an unbelievable walk back through time.  During the war years, it was spared the destruction that raged throughout the rest of South Vietnam. For whatever reason, neither side launched major attacks on this rare ancient town.

Hoi An is renowned throughout Vietnam for its delicious culinary specialties and this morning’s cooking class begins with an introduction to some of the region’s best known dishes.  We walked with our guide from our hotel to a cafe owned by the Red Bridge Restaurant.  It actually seemed like a forever walk, and yes, I was complaining….it was hot as blazes and my back was killing me. Meanwhile, Yvonne was utilizing her diplomatic HR skills in keeping our guide, Phai on point.  When we finally made it to the Cafe, after passing countless tailor shops, leather shops and restaurants; some wanted to go to the market to purchase a few items but you can bet Ms Kat and a few others, were staying put until we boarded  a small boat that would leisurely take us to the cooking school.

Upon arrival, I immediately saw that the set up, the Chef and her sous chefs of THE RED BRIDGE COOKING SCHOOL were right on point. What we each  prepared would be our lunch. Did I luck out. My cooking station was right next to Yvonne’s and I followed her lead because I was very sleepy  and not focusing very well.    After the preparation of each dish  though,  she and I were 1, 2 in completion.  I must say, all that was prepared today tasted as good as any top notch restaurant. Some said it was the highlight of the trip so far but all in all it was an experience not to have been missed.

One more night here in ancient  HOI AN and we will be flying on to HANOI.


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