Hoi An

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Planet View: N15°52.779′ E108°19.429′
Street View: N15°52.779′ E108°19.429′

RouteGetting measured for new clothes in Hoi AnIt was an interesting flight from Ho Chi Minh to Danang as Lisa was seated next to a monk who, in no uncertain terms, let Lisa know that she was not to touch the monk’s clothes or skin during the flight!  It seems that I was allowed to do so, however, as when I leaned across to help the monk do up her seatbelt she was very obliging…  Hoi An is located about 40 minutes by taxi south along the coast from Danang, the airport into which we flew.  In 1999 Hoi An’s old town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, with buildings that display a unique blend of local and foreign influences.  The town A local Hoi An fishermanThe Confucius Temple next to our hotelabounds with tailors at the ready to make any kind of clothing imaginable.  After seeing the quality of the clothing and selection of beautiful fabrics I had a suit and two shirts tailored and Lisa a beautiful cocktail dress made.  We were measured during our fist afternoon in town and picked up the clothes 24 hours later, walking into the store to find the seamstress Our hotel room in Hoi An at Hoang Trinhasleep after staying up all night to make our clothes!  I don’t think I’ve ever had a set of clothes fit so well.

We stayed at Hoang Trinh Hotel, A fisherman with Hoi An's old town in the backgrounda quiet abode next to Hoi An’s picturesque Confucius Temple and a short walk from the entrance to Hoi An’s old town.  The old town is an amazing collection of traditional Vietnamese buildings, row upon row of open-front stores offering everything from $USD1.00 pure silk ties to the latest  Enjoying a beer in Hoi An's old townOur tailor in Hoi AnNorth Face backpacks.  We were visiting outside of the European, American and Australian holiday seasons so the town was pretty quiet, but the sheer number of hotels and stores identifies Hoi An as being firmly cemented into Vietnam’s main tourist circuit.  There are a number of dishes endemic to the area around Hoi An that we tried during our stay, cao lau was our favorite: a noodle dish with broth at the bottom of the bowl mixed with fresh greens topped with thinly-sliced pork and wonton chips.  Cao lau at most restaurants was around $USD0.80 for a bowl, the fresh spring rolls here in Hoi An were also to die for and similarly cheap.  I’m at serious risk of turning into a spring roll with the number I’ve consumed so far.

A temple in Hoi An's old townLisa exploring the streets of Hoi An's old townShoes and fabrics in Hoi An's old townGetting measured for new clothes in Hoi An School boys on their way home in Hoi AnThe Japanese Covered Bridge leading into Hoi An's old townHoi An old townWe saw this cow on a spit the day after this photo was taken!

The Hoi An central marketLocals peddling their wares in Hoi An's central marketLocals peddling their wares in Hoi An's central marketThe central market in Hoi An was a similar to the markets in Ho Chi Minh: a menagerie of food and clothes as well as a mind-boggling number of odors and animal parts.  I turned around at one point to see Lisa high-tailing it towards me down a tight alleyway, behind her was a tiny, old Vietnamese woman dangling the tail and rear-end of some unintelligible animal in Lisa’s direction and laughing in the process!

Walking along the river in Hoi An's old townLocals peddling their wares in Hoi An's central marketThe Hoi An central market 

Cua Dai Beach near Hoi AnFishing boats in the river at Tanh HaSam on his bike riding between Hoi An and the beachWe hired bikes one day for $USD0.50 each for a cycling tour of the countryside surrounding the town centre.  During the morning we rode out to Cua Dai Beach, supposedly one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in all of Vietnam.  The white sand and palms leaning over the water backed by the Lisa riding her bike next to the rice paddies between Hoi An and Cua Dai BeachCham Islands in the distance were quite picturesque, but unfortunately Hoi An recently received a week of solid rain so the water was a little murky for swimming.  During the afternoon we headed west of Hoi An, a few kilometers out of town we were riding through an endless patchwork of rice paddies being reaped by Vietnamese farmers in A Buddhist Temple in the countryside north of Hoi Antraditional garb.  Such backbreaking work…  We found ourselves in the small riverside village of Tanh Ha where the main pastimes are pottery and carpentry, a number of craftsmen along the main street were at work when we rode through.  Out of Tanh Ha we headed north through the countryside, passing the Buddhist temple pictured here along the way as well as many more rice farmers toiling under the hot sun.  We were in a constant state of sweat in Hoi An and the amount of water our skin lost during a day of riding was unbelievable, both of our shirts completely saturated and my backpack soaked halfway through by the time we made it back to Hoi An after riding about 15 kilometers.

Rice farmers drying rice in front of the Confucius TempleThe river between Hoi An and the beachThe road between Tanh Ha and Vinh Dien A water buffalo cooling off in the rice paddies in the countryside north of Hoi AnA Buddhist Temple in the countryside north of Hoi AnA Buddhist Temple in the countryside north of Hoi AnA water buffalo cooling off in the rice paddies in the countryside north of Hoi An Rice harvesting in the countryside north of Hoi AnRice harvesting in the countryside north of Hoi AnA fisherman on the edge of the rice paddies in the countryside north of Hoi An Hoi An old town as the sun sets

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 10:39 PM and is filed under Vietnam. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Hoi An”

  1. Connie says:

    I want to see a picture of the cocktail dress!

  2. Connie & Javi says:

    Send us some spring rolls, pig!

  3. MAX says:

    Awesome, Lisa running down an alley from an old Lady holding animal parts. I’d like a reinactment of that next time I see you guys.

  4. Cathy says:

    Yes I’d like a photo of the tailored outfits, on the models of course, too. PLEASE!

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