Hoi An, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is a charming town south of Da Nang by about 30-60 minutes (depending on traffic, weather, and mode of transport, of course). The town features narrow streets with lanterns lit at night, endless tailors ready to make you plenty of perfect clothes, and some pretty amazing restaurants. The river, which cuts the town’s main areas in two, is quite splendid, and the beach, which is 15 minutes away by bicycle, is pristine. Our favorite adventure, however, was exploring where the local Vietnamese live. Straight out of a Yakuza film, the dense, noise-and-image filled section of Hoi An, the place where no tourists travel, holds more charm than the town center. Granted, we stayed in Hoi An for three days, and had a wonderful time there (at Ha An, thanks to the wonderful recommendation from artist friend Amy Billharz), but the place is certainly up there in terms of the number of tourists you find yourself next to. While I don’t plan on returning whenever I visit Hoi An next, I certainly won’t forget it as a place to visit with a lover or spouse twenty to thirty years down the road. First we start with a night shot of the main bridge in the center of town:
Below: the bicycle guard at our hotel enjoyed trapping bees in water bottles. These are the largest bees I have ever seen. He said he’s seen them twice as large before, too.
Some of the fashion is actually pretty awesome (see below), though most tailors go with standard clothes.
Sugarcain Juice. (!) And: Co Conut Shake Witt Milk. (What are we in Philadelphia or something?)
In the central market:
Many, many chickens in very small cages:
Scenes from our hotel:
More serendipity: we asked everyone we saw about Bem and Bim, and apparently learned that they are nicknames, probably of two lovers or close friends:
Some pretty unique art in the form of chicken feathers as medium:
Some wonderful propaganda billboards:
Below: we couldn’t figure out if these were Communist training camps or abandoned/failed hotels.
Below: Google is everywhere. Get used to it.
The Post Office:
Good & Cheap Ber:
Morning Glory Restaurant:
On our way to the airport:
Next: Nha Trang, Vietnam