Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 24 - Hoi An Ancient City

The sleeper bus ride to Hoi An was a lot better this time around since I had my own bed. Still, a long time to be on a bus, but manageable. Most of the transportation in Southeast Asia is a lot slower than compared to the U.S. since the roads aren't as developed. What would normally take 4 hours in the U.S. could take up to 10 hours in Vietnam.

Hoi An is a nice, quaint, and peaceful city. It was once a major trading post for the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Europeans, which explains a lot of the mix of architecture around the town. Luckily, the city did not fall victim to any damage from Vietnam's wars. Everything in town is within walking distance and the ancient town area restricts the use of motorbikes and cars, which makes everything a little less stressful.

I spent the day exploring the town on bike. There were many shops specializing the custom tailored clothing and art galleries. There were about 20 different sites to visit, and you could purchase a tourist ticket to visit 5 of the sites - some of which were old houses, museums, assembly halls, pagodas, and bridges.

I decided on a Japanese covered bridge, which was built by the Japanese to gain access to trading in the area, The Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, the Hoi An museum of History and Culture, the Old House of Tan Ky, and the Hoi An handicraft workshop, which included a folk music and dance performance.

At night, I walked around the night village and stumbled upon a lantern making shop. It was beautiful seeing all the bright colors of the lanterns glowing in the night. The city is near a river, so it was also beautiful to see the calm reflection of some of the lights from the different restaurants.

One of the numerous art galleries in Hoi An. Once I own my own house, I'd love to come back and purchase some of the artwork.

Japanese Covered Bridge

House of Tan Ky, which is a home owned for 7 generations by the same family. There are Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese elements in the architecture of the home. Those markings on the wall represent the flood levels each year, which occur maybe twice a year in November or December. When this happens, they have to gather all the stuff to store on the second level of the home.

You can find cheap, fresh beer all over town, ranging from 3,000 - 5,000 dong.

Steamed seafood spring rolls

Banana Flower Salad - Strips of banana flower mixed with prawns, lean pork, carrots, onions, and mint. Coated with sweet and sour dressing and sprinkled with friend onions and peanuts.

Walking Street and Primitive Vehicles Only

Handicraft Workshop Folk Music and Dance Performance

A Woman making lanterns at the Handicraft Workshop

My mode of transportation for the day

Hoi An Speciality - Cao Lau - Noodles, Pork, and Lettuce with Croutons on Top, doused with a sweet dressing

Hoi An Speciality - White Rose - Shrimps encased in steamed rice paper and sprinkled with fried onions, resembling a white rose.

Some of the colorful lanterns at night.

Beautiful shot of the town at night.

No comments:

Post a Comment