Spending the festive season halfway across the world was something that neither of us had really ever considered. Then, suddenly, we’d booked our flights and we were faced with our first Christmas away from home. Once we figured out our schedule, spending Christmas Day in Hoi An was our top choice.
Half the world away
Being used to a small family Christmas, we weren’t really sure how the day would feel. So, we made lots of plans! We booked a cookery course for Christmas eve, and made plans to eat a fancy turkey dinner on the big day. Keeping busy distracted us from missing our families back home.
Despite the weather hovering around 28 degrees, there were plenty of decorations about and just enough tinsel to keep us feeling festive. It definitely doesn’t compare to a chilly and cold British Christmas, though!
Celebrating the day
On the day, we woke early, excited to experience our first alternative Christmas day in Hoi An. With a budget of £5, we bought silly presents from the Vinmart in Danang. Adam gave me a pencil sharpener and a DIY Christmas glasses set, and I gave him a set of dominoes and the worst chocolate coins we’ve ever tasted. It was actually lovely to have a year ‘off’ of present buying, and to instead just celebrate the day together.
In the morning we strolled around the Old Town, stopping by the Reaching Out Teahouse to indulge in fancy tea and biscuits in a serene, calm environment. It was so peaceful and quiet everywhere, and we shared smiles with the other travellers also celebrating the day.
It’s not Christmas without Christmas dinner!
We ate our Christmas dinner at the Almanity hotel, pulling out our ‘nicest’ travelling clothes to go and eat some turkey. A distinct lack of potatoes on the dinner was noted, but it was all very lovely and a memorable experience. When deciding what to do on Christmas day, we decided that having something familiar like Christmas Dinner would be lovely, and after one too many bowls of Pho it was a welcome meal.
Replacing quality streets on the sofa with a £3 bottle of whisky and a supply of snacks, we settled into our homestay to watch Rain Man and end our day facetiming with our families. The perfect end to the most relaxed Christmas Day ever!
Festive fun in Vietnam
Christmas day in Hoi An is something we’ll probably never experience again, but also a day that we will treasure for years to come. If anything, it makes this year’s Christmas that bit sweeter as we head home to spend the holidays surrounded by food, drink, and family.
From the two of us to all of you, Merry Christmas everyone!