Discovering Hoi An local food on a vespa

Vietnam is a heaven for foodies, with every region boasting its own unique yummy prizes.

Our favourite part of Vietnam for local food was around the centre of the country in Hoi An, where we experienced some of the tastiest noodles ever and a variety of delicious street food…on a vespa!

Stefan and Trinh on a vespa
Stef and Trinh set off for a foodie tour in Hoi An on this sexy vespa


We took a food tour in Hoi An with the excellent Vespa Adventures.

Our guide, nicknamed, “Trinh and Tonic”, showed us some of the highlights of central Vietnamese local food.

Posing with our guide Trinh
Posing with our guide Trinh & Tonic


Banh can is a popular local food snack. Read “snack” lightly as these are heavy and very filling.

The banh cans are small cup sized pancakes (made from rice batter), which are deep fried in plenty of vegetable oil to make them crispy.

Stefan with plate of banh can
Stefan showing off his plate of banh can

The banh cans are served with shrimps, quails eggs, shredded papaya and stuffed minced pork, which resembles a sausage.

A plate of herbs, lettuce and fish sauce is also commonly served alongside the banh can.

Banh can served with quails eggs and minced pork
Posing with our freshly made plate of banh can


White rose, or “banh bao vac” is a shrimp like based dumpling, carefully bunched up to resemble a rose, then steamed.

Stefan showing off his white roses
Stefan showing off his freshly made plate of white roses

We tried to make white roses. The folding technique takes years to master, but we didn’t do too badly for first timers…

Learning to make white roses
Learning to make white roses – a technique that takes years to master


The “hoanh thanh” are Vietnamese won tons, cooked in a similar way to the white roses, but with pork.

The won tons are usually served in a soup and are considered comfort food, or eaten as a delicious dumpling snack on a bed of lettuce.

Our yummy won tons
Our yummy plate of Vietnamese won tons: “hoanh thanh”


Bo Nhung Giam is a Vietnamese hot pot. The broth is soured with vinegar, into which thin slices of beef are dipped and cooked. This reminded us a lot of the various hot pots we tried in Beijing.

Seb enjoying a Vietnamese hot pot
Seb enjoying a “bo nhung giam” Vietnamese hot pot

The beef is then wrapped in rice paper, vegetables added, rolled up and eaten like a fresh spring roll.

Just take care when eating near Sebastien otherwise your food will quickly go missing…

Stef and Seb with bo nhung
Food fight about to break out again as Sebastien tries to steal Stefan's dinner


Our awesome foodie tour concluded with banh flan: a light version of crème caramel. This is one of many influences in Vietnam from the French colonial times.

Sometimes coffee is poured over the top, giving it a unique and distinctive Vietnamese flavour.

Vietnamese creme caramel
Vietnamese creme caramel called banh flan

Travel recommendations to Vietnam

Flying in Vietnam: Airfares in Vietnam can be very cheap if you do your research and book in advance. For example, flights from Ho CHi Minh to Hanoi come as low as $30 (£25) one-way. We recommend using Skyscanner to find the best prices for any given month.

Visa in Vietnam: Depending on your nationality and the number of days you plan to stay in the country, entry requirements may be different. We recommend using the services of a reputable agency such as to obtain your visa.

Travel insurance: Whether you go diving, hiking or just lay on the beach all day long, you need travel insurance. We use World Nomads because they offer considerable coverage especially for adventurous travellers. They also make it easy to make a claim as it's all done online.

Hotels: Vietnam has a huge diversity of accommodation options. We recommend Tripadvisor to research about the best places to stay and activities to do. Use to find the best deals and book your accommodation online.

Tour operator: We travelled independently to Vietnam but we're often asked if we can recommend a good tour company. We've partnered up with Ocean Travel, a gay friendly tour company who offer luxury private tours and tailored itineraries to Vietnam. They also offer gay tours to Saigon. We have negociated for our readers an exclusive 5% discount for bookings of 7 days or more when you quote NOMADIC5 in your enquiry.


For more inspiration, read about what other things you can do in Vietnam and watch our video of our local food tour through Hoi An with Vespa Adventures:



⭐️ TRAVEL INSURANCE — We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

⭐️ SAFETY & SECURITY — All travelers can sometimes encounter danger when traveling. CloseCircle is your “virtual body guard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Support can include anything from practical advice, to free evacuation from areas with extreme weather or security risks. You can read more about CloseCircle in our article about how to stay safe whilst traveling.

⭐️ ONLINE ANONYMITY — A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must in many countries: it allows you to surf anonymously and maintain your privacy whilst traveling. You'll particularly need it in countries where dating apps are blocked by the government. We recommend ExpressVPN, a reliable and cost effective service which we used and loved during our travels.

⭐️ HOTELS or APARTMENTS — When we plan a trip, we always look for the best hotel deals. We love because not only do they have a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, they also offer the best prices. Added bonus: they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.

⭐️ SIGHTSEEING and ADVENTURES — When we travel somewhere, we like to seek out the best experiences, whether it is cooking with locals in Bangkok, hiking on a glacier in Patagonia, or going on a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Our favorite place to look is GetYourGuide because they have over 30,000 highly rated activities, a user-friendly booking process with free cancellation and a 24 hour customer support.

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About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspire you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

To find out more about us

10 thoughts on “Discovering Hoi An local food on a vespa”

  1. Hi Stefan & Sebastian,

    I missed when you guys were travelling in Malaysia. Are you guys gonna come back to Malaysia again? If yes please let me know in advance so we could hang out together and I am gladly to show you guys the beauty of my city and recommend some local nice foods.

    Best regards.

  2. As usual – you goes make a mouth watering story! I can’t wait ot get to Viet Nam later this year.

    Also- Great Video — loved it!! Especially the graphic pic of the two of you on the scooter – I’m thinking it would make a great “new logo” for you!

    • Thanks for your comment Suze. Baguette sandwiches (Banh mi) is another strong influence from the French we noted across Vietnam.

  3. hello, Stefan and Sebastien, i like your diary very much, and i missed when you traveled in Laos

    i want to know someday you 2 plan back to Laos or thailand again or never back

    would like join with you someday diving, workout fit, and enjoy foods :–)

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