Originally Posted by nicelynice
I'll let you know some recs in a bit, but Kyoto and Fukuoka have some good shopping. Good thread on SZ with lots of Kyoto info:
What school in Beppu? My friend teaches works at Ritsumeikan. Make sure you visit some hot springs while you're there, fantastic.
Anyone have any recs for Vietnam? Heading there tomorrow for 10 days, making plans today haha. Gonna spend 4 days in Hoi An, 3 in Dalat, 3 in Ho Chi Minh.
If you are sick of tourist food in Hoi An, bike or cab (abt US3) out to An Bang beach and get good and cheap seafood at Tuyet, 2nd shack on your right. Tamarind prawns and caramelised squid are very good but everything is fresh, and mostly alive before cooking. The are 2 or 3 nice lounge/resto operated by gaijin on your left for chillout. An Bang is also a better beach than Cua Dai.
Banh Mi Phoung, made famous by Bourdain, is pretty good and you must get the everything plus egg ones.
Hoi An's iconic dish, Cao Lao is available everywhere, including way overpriced versions in gentrified cafes but I like the ones in the central market, specifically a stall in middle row towards the dry goods section with a black lacquered signboard. Fruit shakes are also widely available there.
Hoi An's version of Hainanese Chicken Rice, Com Ga can be had at Ba Buoi.
A good tourist cafe is Mai Fish, the steamboat set is good.
Hoi An town center is basically a theme park/tourist trap. Beware of aggressive tollkeepers on both side of road approaching the Japanese Bridge who will try to collect their illegal dues every day you pass the damn bridge. Pay once, if you like, and be firm for the other days.
If you are keen on authentic street food, a short trip out to Danang is your answer. It's a bit of a dead but very clean town but the eating is real good.
Also, I am sure you know this, forget abt tailoring or shoemaking unless you have simple garments that you brought along to be copied. Even then, the materials available are crap anyways.
Finally, try to take only Mai Linh cab anywhere in Vietnam. Have fun.