Founded back in 2000, the Reaching Out Tea House is a tranquil oasis away hidden in the dazzling Old Town of Hoi An, Vietnam. It was set up by a group led by Le Nguyen Binh who suffers from paraplegia and uses a wheelchair for mobility.
The idea behind this enterprise is to empower less able locals to integrate into the community and become responsible for their own future prospects.
As soon as you cross the threshold of this beautifully decorated coffee shop, you enter a whole new world. The world of silence.
The house is run entirely by hearing and speech impaired ladies and everyone here is encouraged to whisper and adhere to the code of silence. A tray of cubes is placed on every table to help visitors and staff to communicate.
An otherwise difficult interaction is made easy at the tea house. Using the cubes with words written on them you can say thank you or ask for more refreshments, a truly unique experience.
Every drink option here is briefly summarised on the menu, making it easier for the guests to pick and choose their tea and coffee, a nice touch we thought. The drinks and home made biscuits here are served in lovely crockery, giving the whole experience a luxurious feel.
My chicory Vietnamese coffee came in an exquisite Vietnamese phin, a combination of glass and gold, with silky condensed milk on a side to sweeten the whole experience even more.
While the tea house is picture perfect, the staff are without a doubt what makes this place so warm and welcoming. So if you are visiting Hoi An, Vietnam pop in to say hello, but don’t forget to whisper.
by Kristina of Map Trotting