A slice of Hoi An I have cycled from Hue to the beautiful Unesco World Heritage village of Hoi An, 30 kilometres south of Danang (direct flights are available from Hong Kong to Danang). Entering Hai's Scout Cafe (98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, tel: 0510 863 210), I discover that, joy of joys, the internet cafe has placed its four computers in the kitchen area of this large, colonial villa. I can almost hear the spring rolls being rolled. The disadvantage is I am constantly tempted to order another Vietnamese coffee with sweet milk (7,000 dong, HK$3.50) or a hot apple and cinnamon muffin (10,000 dong) straight from the oven. Hai's Scout Cafe is a spacious relaxed restaurant with soft-playing jazz, padded teak chairs and sofas, books and a bar. It has a good selection of Western food: muesli, fruit muffins, cappuccinos, filled rolls and cocktails, as well as Vietnamese dishes such as fresh and fried spring rolls, salads and noodles - all excellent. In the past five days I have sampled most of the menu. Cao lau noodles are a Hoi An speciality. The flat, thick rice noodles are boiled in water from the local well, then served with croutons, beansprouts, herbs and pork slices: a tasty way to start the day. Most restaurants in town have cao lau noodles on the menu. I went to Hoi An central market on Bach Dang Street and joined the stall holders for a bowl of cao lau for breakfast (5,000 dong). I had dinner at the charming Brother's Cafe Hoian (27 Phan Boi Chau Street, tel: 84 510 914 150). It is in a rambling colonial house with yellow walls and dark wood shutters set in a lush garden of banana trees. I sat on the terrace and watched the sun set over the Hoai River, eating a delicious lotus-root salad with shrimp and pork ($24) served with prawn crackers and dipping sauce. Many Hoi An restaurants offer cooking classes, so I arranged a lesson at the delightful riverside Cafe 96 (96 Bach Dang Street, tel: 0510 910 441). I arrived at 7pm for my lesson and all the ingredients were laid out in little ceramic bowls. The enthusiastic chef Bup showed me how to smear a fish fillet with liberal amounts of minced lemongrass, garlic and onion then wrap it in banana leaves to be steamed. I also learned to make spring rolls and how to make a refreshing squid salad with fresh mint and ginger. Afterwards I ate what I had made. The lesson plus a filling dinner cost 70,000 dong. At midday, Hoi An heats up and the streets are deserted. This is the perfect time to go to Kimijan (30 Nguyen Thai Hoc, tel: 0510 910 311), a stunning old house in the centre of town. The tables are covered with exquisitely embroidered tablecloths and the high-ceilinged restaurant is cooled by whirring ceiling fans and subtly lit by long silk lanterns suspended from the ceiling. There is also a pretty garden at the back. I had a pot of gorgeous hot lemongrass tea with honey (16,000 dong) and one of the best banana cakes ever (16,000 dong): warm, banana-scented sponge topped with strips of dried banana.