La Plage at An Bang Beach and my first Bia Hoi

Hoi An is a truly wonderful place. The Ancient Town is its deserved epicentre, but there is plenty around and about to keep one amused whilst that latest garment is being made. Transport options are plentiful and cheap. For USD$6 I got my hands on a motor scooter and convinced Mrs Bladdamasta to take a the 6km spin to An Bang Beach. It’s a bucolic trip once you’ve passed the last tailor shop.

The beach looks like it has been pounded recently. On the day there was an ugly maelstrom of currents and crumbling barrels churning up the brown water. I was fully prepared for a dip, and the water was a pleasant 23 degrees (I reckoned). There was a filthy undertow, though and the lifesaver didn’t appear to be on duty. Mrs Bladdamasta’s never been keen on the Puberty Blues pose on the beach watching her fella anyway, so it was off to lunch.

When you arrive at a Vietnam Beach you are generally waved at by the proprietors of restaurants that offer parking and a chair on the beach. We passed them by as I was aiming for the delightfully named “La Plage”. It’s at the of the path on the right as you face the beach. Mrs Bladdamasta has been missing her Sauv Blanc and La Plage served it by the glass. A Frenchman owns the joint and that is reflected in some of the options on the menu. The Snapper and Shrimp baguette was one of the highlights of the trip. We could have stayed for ages, but it isn’t wise to ride a scooter with diminished faculties in Vietnam. Next time in Hoi An, I’ll be visiting La Plage in a cab. Such a blissful place.

On the way to the less attractive Cua Dai Beach (which has been ravaged by erosion), I spotted my first Bia Hoi – “Bia Hoi Pho Co”. I returned later in the afternoon and grabbed the venue’s first beer of the day. It is pumped by hand from a box. The beer screamed home brew with a faint funk to the aftertaste and it had that low carbonation of a hand pumped beer. Hopefully not my last. I think that Bia Hoi Pho Co might rock later in the evening. As I was leaving sound equipment big enough to power Aerosmith was being shipped in. Funny place.