Overall Experience - 9
Summary : The scenic setting cannot be beat, so it's hard not to enjoy the pizza here. The white pies were better than the red.
As you might recall, I recently returned from a three week trip to Eastern Asia, during which I made it my mission to try a different pizza place in each of the three countries I visited: Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The first place I visited was Girasole (in Chiang Mai, Thailand) which I enjoyed, but it would not compare to the experience I had in Hoi An, Vietnam on the eleventh day of my trip.
Hoi An is a quaint town of 120,000 inhabitants along the South Central Coast of Vietnam. It is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and today it is perhaps most well known for producing incredibly cheap, high quality custom-made clothing. Although I spent many hours at the tailor, one of the highlights of my time there was a bike ride my friends and I took to check out a hidden pizza place along the beach. The heart of Hoi An is just a few square blocks and is easily navigated by foot. But I recommend renting a bike and riding 5 miles east (approximately 8 kilometers) to the beach along Cửa Đại Road.
Our final destination: Luna D’Autunno. If you know where you’re going, the restaurant is quite easy to find. And if you follow my directions, you’ll have no problem. First off, it’s important to realize that there doesn’t appear to be an address for the restaurant, as it’s essentially a hut on the beach, and Googling directions won’t get you anywhere either. The most reliable source of information was a Foursquare page which led me to a map with the GPS coordinates.
You don’t need a phone with Google Maps or GPS through. Simply ride your bike east along Tran Hung Dao, which turns into Cửa Đại Road for approximately 4.5 kilometers. As you approach the beach, you’ll go over a little bridge (it’s tiny, but it’s the only bridge you’ll encounter along your ride). When you get over the bridge, make a left on Lạc Long Quân and stay on that for approximately 3.2 kilometers until you reach the restaurant. Note that after about 2 kilometers on Lạc Long Quân the road splits, and you should bear right, going down a dirt pathway which appears to be a little off the beaten path, but is manageable even for a novice biker.
One final tip: Throughout your ride, you may encounter bike stations. These look like official stations where bikes are parked. People will try to flank you down and tell you that it’s illegal to ride your bike any further and that you must pay to park your bike at the station. This is a scam. Continue riding, no matter what anyone tells you. We rode our bikes right up to the restaurant and this is really the only feasible way to get there.
Follow these directions and you’ll find yourself in one of the most relaxing and scenic pizza places I have ever seen. Located on a secluded plot of land along the beach, my friends and I enjoyed 8 pies while overlooking the South China Sea.
In the end, however, this visit wasn’t so much about the pizza. It was about the atmosphere and ambiance at what was one of the most awesome pizza places I’ve ever been. Was my perception of the pizza enhanced by the environment I was in? Perhaps slightly. But there was nothing I would have rather been doing at that moment that enjoying a pie overlooking the waves.