I’ve skipped a few stops and have been flat out maintaining a travel diary and trying to post photos on Facebook and so blogging as fallen by the way. But I do want to get my thoughts down about Hoi An.
Hoi An is very French colonial in design. Plenty of old buildings, which look ever so slightly decayed. These are interspersed with Chinese Assembly Halls and Chinese houses, built in the 1500s and 1600s when Hoi An was an important trading port. Part of the old town is reserved for walking & bikes only, so a welcome relief from the rush of motorbikes and vehicles.
Trading was the reason for the establishment of Hoi An and it continues to be so. Overnight you can have clothes, shoes, jewellery, paintings all add from either a copy of something you own or from cataloguez. The streets are lined with tailors, shoemaker, jewellers, opticians, shoemakers and art galleries. People exhort you to have a look in their shop & start up conversations on the pretext of being interested in you, but really only wanting to sell you something. You aren’t even safe in the many restaurants. Children come to your table trying to sell their goods. Shop after shop, seller after seller, all selling the same thing. The night market we wandered through had stall after stall all selling the same tourist souvenirs. And then there are also the spas, with girls standing in the street trying to convince you to come into their spa for a massage. Cyclo drivers circle the town continually asking for a fare.
The easiest way to decide where to shop is to have a guide to identify the best places for each specialty and the best places to eat. We shopped at Yali tailors, Blue Eye Tailor, Water Lily jewellery and Vietnam Au Optical. For food we ate at Green Mango, Cargo, Lantern Terrace and Mermaid restaurants – all
very good with the highlights being Mermaid and the cooking class at Lantern Terrace.
Walking the other way from our hotel leads to the beach. The road to the beach was long, and becomes unsealed, but so worth the walk, especially when knowing that coffee and orange juice at the Hoi An Beach Resort is at the end. Many people hire bikes in Hoi An and ride to the beach, where beach parking is available for 5,000 dong.
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