Thursday, 7 December 2017

10 Things To See in Hoi An - in Photos

Hoi An, Vietnam - a UNESCO listed city, stunning countryside, gentle people. Fantastic food, a French influence, unique buildings, shopping, rivers, beaches and gentle rice paddies. What is not to love here?
Here are some things I found in a recent visit, beyond those listed in the guidebooks.

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
A river runs through it

The Thu Bon River runs through the centre of Hoi An dividing the Old Town from newer developments. Yet the countryside itself is full of rivers and waterways - they are life blood of this area, which has for centuries used them for trading.

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
Basket boats near China Beach

China Beach was a popular retreat for Allied soldiers during the Vietnam War. These large baskets are traditional fishing boats - the shape meant they were not classified as boats, and so the owners avoid paying tax. (As a side note, I found the beaches a bit boring. But then I'm Australian, and incredibly spoilt in that way.)

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
Cross me if you dare!

Escape to the countryside, away from the crowds of tourists. Rice paddies stretch in all directions, fed by the many rivers. Remarkably, our Vespas made it safely across.

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
Don't forget to look at the buildings

The colours may seem faded, but the buildings in  Hoi An have a charm all their own, with their cross between traditional styles and the influence of many visitors - the Japanese, Dutch and French, to name a few. When walking through Hoi An, don't forget to look around you.

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
Venture out before sunrise

Do the unexpected. Head out before dawn with the fisherman and watch how hard these men and women work. Visit a market, buy something fresh for breakfast, and enjoy it back on the boat (our captain cooked it for us - spring rolls, fresh baby tuna, morning glory, squid. Delicious.

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
How breakfast began

This was how our breakfast began - in the markets. We didn't have the baby crab, but there's always next time.

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
A vegetable plot near Hoi An

The surrounding countryside is filled with communal vegetable plots. Lush and green, incredibly fertile, they are an inspiration to go back home and start gardening.

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
The lanterns of Hoi An

Don't forget to explore Hoi An at night - the town is famous for her lanterns. I dare you to try and leave without buying a few!

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
Busy repairing my husbands pants

The clothes and fabric can be a tad overwhelming - the hawkers are remarkably aggressive - but if you're brave enough to venture inside, look out for this lady who does repairs.

10 things to See and Do in Hoi An
Vietnamese coffee

Finally, don't forget the coffee. The best coffee I had was sitting at a roadside stall, watching the world go by. It is strong but sweet, for it is laced with condensed milk.

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