Hội An is a city on Vietnam’s central coast known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, cut through with canals. The former port city’s melting-pot history is reflected in its architecture, a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda.
I took a taxi from Da Nang Beach to Hoi An which took about 30 minutes and cost $12.50. You can also take a direct bus or van for around $5.00 The taxi delivered me directly to my hotel along the river and I was good to go. As I made by way past the bus station and meandered slowly on the other side of the river I felt like I was on a discovery mission on the magical way of yesterday and the modern. Where am I came to mind…am I in the land of Oz? Faded yellow plastered yellow houses and shops and restaurants with red tile roofs lined both sides of the river.
There were magical lanterns everywhere and sea dragons limning both sides of the river making it a part of the really big magic show. Junk boats and small wooden dugouts manned by elderly Vietnam women dotted the river. A large handcrafted mahogany boat did sunset cruises with dinner included in the price. Tourists in every size and shape from around the world walked, rode pedal bikes or were transported in cycle trikes and took pictures of everything including selfies and the most popular Japanese Bridge.
Hoi An is considered the clothing tailoring capital of Vietnam. In the historic district as on the main streets there are wonderful looking design and tailor shops everywhere. You can have them measure you and have as many form fit outfits as you desire normally one day service. There are literally reams of pure silk and every other type of fabric you can imagine. I met one female traveler from New York City and she said she was here to make purchases for her shop in New York. If you want an Elton John type red tuxedo or want the soft white cotton look from Panama… step right up and get measured and you will have your new wardrobe by the time you finish your candlelight dinner.
I have traveled a short time in both Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia and to me this is the best food in the world. They have cooking schools in many top notch restaurants and whether you get your food from the street stalls or in a sit down five star restaurant all of the food is fresh and delicious and pricing for every travelers budget.
There are many tours available from your hotel or travel agency which are relatively inexpensive and a good way to meet fellow travelers. I took a one hour river tour which cruised along historic Hoi An river where you had many photo opportunities and cost $7.50 USD. The following day I took the “My Son Holy Land Tour (highly recommended ) since the cost was only $15.00 and we had a personal tour guide who gave us valuable historic information on the temples and the effects of the Vietnam war.
The trip included a new air-con bus travel time one hour and a return trip halfway by river where we visited the island of handi-craft carpenters and boat builders and a veggie lunch served aboard the boat included in the price. Many people rent motorcyles and take the motorcycle tour, some visit herb gardens, fishing villages and others take a one day speed boat trip to Cham Island …excellent for snorkling, diving, swimming and just hanging out on white sand beaches and cool turquoise waters.
So there you have it! If you like shopping till the cows come home, magical lanterns, adventure and awsome epicurean food delights you will have everything you need for a great tourist destination. Start packing Grasshopper life is short!
QUOTE: “because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars…” –Jack Kerouac, On the Road
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Everything! Who do you think you you are Grasshopper….a know it all?
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Historical Sites Worldwide….when they are abandoned, destroyed and bombed into obilivion ….they are gone foreever.
ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Got the travel Bug and wanderlust from birth…I don’t need to tell you what to do since it is incureable.
From here to Infinity and Beyond is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free.