The delights of Hoi An don’t, of course, just end with its architecture. There is a lively market every day where everything from nail files to flash cards and from durian to papaya may be bought. As usual bargaining is expected but don’t forget if you complain about getting ripped off for a thousand dongs then that is equivalent to 5 US cents!
Here are just some of the fruits that are to be found in these Vietnamese markets. I’ve put their English name first, followed in brackets by the local name.
I’ve also put a picture of the fruit after the name so that if by unfortunate chance you didn’t know what it looks like you can recognize it.
Rambutan (chom chom)
Mangosteen (mang cut)
Star Apple (vu sua)
Durian (Sau Rieng)
Phuc Trach Sweet Polemo (Buoi Duong Phuc Trach)
Thieu Litchi (Vai Thieu)
Papays (Du du)
Anyone who saw that exquisite film “The scent of green papaya” which won the Cannes Film festival foreign film prize in 1993 will know how to prepare and eat this one..
This fruit is, of course, also native to Longoio and known as Caco. Where I live it harvests in autumn and the tree is easily recognizable because all its leave have already gone and what is left are those bright red-orangey fruits hanging off it rather like miniature Chinese lanterns (the Vietnamese variety is yellower and more delicious)
Sapodilla (Hong Xiem).
Custard Apple (Mang Cau – Na)
Green dragon (Thanh Long). This is a recently introduced fruit which has become very popular. On our way to Mui Ne we saw fields and fields full of them.
Apart from Green Dragon which has a particular harvest season to March most of the other fruits are locally available all the year round since in Vietnam the temperature hovers in the plains areas mostly around 30 degrees centigrade the whole year round.
So if you are a fruitarian or a fruitjuicearian you’ll be really happy here!
Another Hoi An delight is being able to eat at really good restaurants in great locations at very affordable prices.
I don’t want to advertise but those of you fortunate enough to have visited Hoi An will, no doubt ,recognize this place great for both evenings and mornings and with a lovely terrace view over the waterfront!