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The Gratitude Vietnam Retreat Venue Blog

Sustainability, Facebook and Community in Hoi An

Welcome into 2019 everyone!

We hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year and enjoyed the time, however you spent it!

A photograph of a beautiful orange, red and yellow sunset with 2019 silhouetted in front. The '1' is replaced with a lady jumping in the air in celebration.

This week, we have been mainly wondering how business was done in Vietnam before the introduction of Facebook! Since arriving in Hoi An, we have found:

  1. Our dream villa for the retreat (more news to follow soon!).

  2. The Help Expat Service, who helped us move into our home (which we also found on Facebook!).

  3. Our current home (mentioned above!)

  4. Hoi An Now – this amazing page has helped us to source brilliant bikes, the best ATM to use and provided numerous tips on living in the area.

  5. Bedding from Hanoi collected at a garden centre!

  6. Reliable and competitive transport services to Danang.

  7. Eco-friendly and sustainable cleaning and toiletry products from Refillables Hoi An.

  8. Quotes and suppliers for bedding, stunning soft furnishings, and the beautiful crockery we have wanted for the retreat since discovering it when we visited in June.

  9. A possible contractor and quote to build the Yoga Sala in the garden.

  10. Pete’s Luxury Whole Foods‘ who will be able to cater for our nut and seed retreat needs!

  11. A Mexican restaurant in Danang who make fresh corn tortillas to order (also for amazing retreat food!).

  12. ‘HAFFD’ (Hoi An Fresh Fruit Delivery) deliver amazingly fresh fruit and veg to the door (without plastic bags!).

  13. Indian spices, dried beans and lentils, delivered by a very helpful man from Danang.

  14. Whilst contemplating how we might get fresh Rosemary for some yummy potato recipes… a lovely lady popped up selling plants, and delivered them a few hours later.

  15. A photography morning, and new friends!

  16. On Sunday we decided we needed that we needed to start looking for our permanent home on Cam Nam, and found it on Monday, paid the deposit and will move in on 21st!

  17. A very exciting bundle of manifested joy… we’ll tell you more about that in February!

A picture of Hannah (Gratitude Vietnam) holding two Rosemary plants in white plastic pots. A garden is behind her with a grey wall and plants with red flowers.

We have found that we will be able to source almost everything we need for the villa within Vietnam, and from companies that support eco-friendly ventures. As we finalise quotes and place orders, we will share photographs so that you can also watch the vision become a reality.

Whilst life here is not difficult to begin with, (and we are also very much enjoying meeting people in the flesh!), the communities on Facebook make business much easier, and often have us chuckling at the banter in between times! The support shown for those in need has been deeply moving, with many volunteering to visit a stranger in hospital and donations for someone in particular need. On the whole, the exchanges are friendly, mutually supportive and encouraging!

A view of a vegetable garden taken on Cam Nam Island in Hoi An, Vietnam. Organic fresh vegetables and herbs are being organically grown and produced in neat rows.

Unlike many ‘expat’ communities on Facebook, the integration of those living in Hoi An is evident in the exchanges. The entrepreneurial spirit of expats and Vietnamese alike is fantastic, and as soon as a gap is highlighted in the market, it is very quickly filled!

This was also reflected in our visit to ‘K’Noy’ last weekend to enjoy the music of their house band. A hidden gem of a bar on Cam Nam Island, just over the bridge from the Old Town (and around the corner from our next home!), it has a welcoming atmosphere, thoroughly enjoyable music and generous glasses of wine! What really struck us though, was the wonderfully integrated and eclectic community of human beings enjoying conversation, laughter and music. Scratch just below the surface of the bustling, historic destination that is Hoi An, and there is a beautiful community.

2019 is going to be a very exciting year and we look forward to sharing it with you!

With gratitude and love,

The signature of Naomi and Hannah at the Gratitude Vietnam Wellness Retreat Centre Hoi An
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” Helen Keller

#HoiAn #Sustainability #GratitudeVietnam #Community #Sustainabletourism #RetreatVenue #RetreatCentre #RetreatCenter #YogaRetreat #MeditationRetreat #ReikiRetreat #RetreatinVietnam

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