The most favorite destination in Hoi An

By: KIM DIEN, TRANG NGUYEN |

(QNO) - Ranked first in the restaurants in Hoi An by Tripadvisor.com, Reaching Out - a traditional Vietnamese style teahouse with the deaf staff is a must for any travelers.

As a famous tourist attraction, Hoi An has so many luxury and charming cafes for you to spend your beautiful experiences. But there is an address which may make you regretful when you travel to Hoi An without visiting it. It is not an imposing scene but a little tea-room hidden in the sweet-smelling ancientness of Hoi An. However, it is the deaf staff that makes it special.

The beauty of silence

Reaching Out makes me curious about its first rank of the best restaurants in Hoi An while it is just a tea-room (as this position often belongs to a restaurant in other places).

The tea-room also makes me more surprised by the beautiful words from the comments such as “Heaven in Hoi An”, “A must for visitors in Hoi An”, “A pleasant experience”, etc. on TripAdvisor.com or FourSquare.com. Most visitors express their good impression on its peaceful space, good tea and friendly hearing-impaired staff.

It is known that its owners have a fine arts shop in Hoi An where workers are the deaf. Their handicrafts are very attractive to tourists. After the success, the couple continues their business with Reaching Out Teahouse decorated with their handmade products.

So how can you communicate with these hearing-impaired employees? Actually, everything in Reaching Out is rustic, including the way to communicate with employees. There is a small tray on each table which contained a notepad and six small wood pieces  paper attached. You simply write what you want on the paper (such as asking drink, more water, or even payment) and put the wood pieces on the table, the staff will go round and give you what you need.

The most impressive thing here is that the staff can express their warmth to visitors without any words. Enthusiasm, fun and good attention are compliments that foreign tourists give the special staff here. Coming to Reaching Out, you not only immerse in the nostalgic silence and rustic space but also learn to appreciate the “Reaching Out” as its name.

Due to the special staff, Reaching Out is always in a peaceful atmosphere and tranquility. In Reaching Out, there is a calligraphy piece: The beauty of Silence. Exactly, you will immerse in a graceful silence and escape from the hustle outside.

The refinement of a genuine Vietnamese space

Reaching Out makes you impressed by its neat decoration of pure Vietnamese style. Referring to tea rooms, I usually think of some cute little tea shops with romantic vintage British style cups; but Reaching Out is completely different. It is a genuine Vietnamese tea house. Staying here, you seem to sit on a boat down the river flowing the past with earthen cups, porcelain dish wares, celadon potteries, blue and white ceramics or silver plates, copper plates.

Reaching Out makes use of the space of a beautiful old house on Tran Phu street. You can sit indoors or outdoors. The indoor space provides a warm pure Vietnamese feeling with old furniture and embroidered upholstery, worn blue walls with white marks and the golden lights. The outdoor space is a picturesque garden with old white walls, cute baskets of vines hung down on the paths and a small lotus lake along the wall with some seats for guests. The sunshine is through the leaves and makes a clear yellow covering the space.

Everything in Reaching Out is sophisticated and perfect. It comes from the simple harmonious arrangement, the gaudy ornamental patterns on the cups and the teapots, and even from the charming elegant plants baskets. But please wait until your tea is served, you will be ecstatic about its charm: the graceful wooden spoons, the blue and white ceramic tray, the earthen teapots, the small dishes painted beautiful flowers only for biscuits, or even the small  tea-strainer or the brass plates decorated with luxurious patterns. You will have to spend at least a minute just to enjoy the beauty and the sweet smell rising from the tea.

In Reaching Out, you will not use the familiar teas like Earl Grey or Marsala Chai. You will only drink Vietnamese tea and pay in Vietnam dong. This is not strange  because in a rustic space with pure Vietnamese beauty, nothing is more harmonious than a cup of tea with the fragrant scent of the Vietnamese pastoral atmosphere.

After enjoying the beauty of tea table, it's time for you to enjoy tea itself with all five senses. At this moment, you will find yourself so lucky to have a seat here at the noon on a summer day. The sun is burning hot outside but you are in a wonderful fresh garden. You can experience the smell of fragrant tea spreading in the air, the sounds of rustling leaves around and a melodious music from the house. Drinking a sip of tea, eating a delicious biscuit or sweet coconut jam pieces, closing your eyes and relaxing your whole body, you will feel a true peace spreading in your blood vessels leading straight to your mind and creating a new beginning for you. A dreamily reality pulls your legs back not to leave a peaceful place like Reaching Out.

By: KIM DIEN, TRANG NGUYEN