When visiting Hoi An, Vietnam, there are some obvious must sees and do’s. You must visit some of the old cultural sites in the UNESCO World Heritage Ancient Town and you must have couture clothing and shoes made for a fraction of the price it would cost you to buy them back home.
It’s impossible to keep Jo Thomson and her husband Marc Brand, both in their 60s, in one place for long. For them, living the “good life” means bouncing around the globe to hidden corners of the world that some of us only dream of visiting. For many years, they’ve had a particular interest in the delights and mysteries of Southeast Asia, and they’ve found a remarkable home base from which to explore the region: Nha Trang, Vietnam.
Beautiful examples of French colonial architecture, tree-lined streets, busy shops and cafes spilling onto the sidewalks give Hanoi a character rarely seen in Asian cities. Thousands of motorbikes, cars, bicycles and pedestrians compete for space on the narrow streets. Horns honking, a peddler’s singsong sales pitch, the happy roar of diners at an al fresco cafe—Hanoi is a city that never seems to slow down. Still, everyone makes enough time for relaxing with friends and neighbours, sharing cups of sweet, strong coffee or a few glasses of cold, draft beer.