The beauty of silence: Hội An's Reaching Out Teahouse
Imagine a place where the beauty of silence is celebrated.
Where the sound of teaspoons clinking on china, teeth biting into delicate cookies and sugar syrup pouring into glasses of freshly-squeezed lime juice are all you can expect to hear.
During our three days in Hội An, we spent two afternoons hiding out in Reaching Out Teahouse.
According to their website:
"Reaching Out Vietnam was established in 2000 with the vision of providing opportunities for people of disability (PWD’s) to learn skills and gain meaningful employment so that they are able to integrate fully with their communities and lead independent and fulfilling lives."
The individuals who work at Reaching Out Teahouse have speech or hearing impairments, so gestures, handwritten notes and word blocks are used to communicate. Customers are encouraged to whisper, to preserve the tranquility of this oasis.
The charming and professional staff we encountered were a breath of fresh air, and the main reason we ended up spending hours sitting peacefully in the shadows.
With no wifi and no hurried service or disturbances, we, and many others, enjoyed reading and relaxing away from Hội An's heaving, noisy streets.
The menu is simple yet refined, with tasting tea sets or single pots, and fruit juices to which you add your desired dose of sugar, ginger and cinnamon syrup.
We chose to sample the homemade snacks, which ranged from green tea coconut candy to chocolate cookies.
Aside from the downright tasty treats and drinks, the decor of Reaching Out Teahouse is sublime. It's the sort of place you want to transport exactly the way it is to your hometown immediately.
The great thing is, you can purchase that teapot, cushion or tablecloth for your own home in their beautiful craft shop just one street away. You may even get to meet Ni, who is a positive and helpful sales assistant with a truly infectious smile.
We hope that after reading this post, you will make the journey to Reaching Out during your visit to Hội An. Please support the fantastic people who work incredibly hard as kitchen staff and servers in the Teahouse, sales assistants in the craft shop and of course the hundreds of craftsmen and women across Vietnam.
How to get there
Reaching Out Teahouse can be found at 131 Trần Phú, Sơn Phong. The craft shop is located at 103 Nguyễn Thái Học, Minh An. Both are a few minutes walk from the Japanese Bridge.