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Hoi An 2010

August 1, 2010

I love Hoi An,
And this is my second trip to the charming town.

Hoi An River

Hoi An is famous as a hub for tailors, it’s gorgeous silk merchandises, but there’s so much more Hoi An has to offer! Such as…

Simplicity

Coming from a cosmopolitan city, it’s relaxing to be away from the huzz buzz from traffic pollution (Hoi An has walking streets which ban cars from entering). Plus it’s protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which means it’s “unbastardized” by “civilization”. It’s time to go back to basics!

Fishing boats as a way of life

Family bonding

When’s the last time you went fishing with dad?

The original gossip girls

A good old Vietnamese market

You see a trent that’s been dug here? Initially I thought they were trying to build something, so I didn’t give it much notice, except, that was a year ago, and this year, the trent was still dug. Furthermore, in the evening, I saw a bunch of people covering up the trent. Really can’t figure out why people would dig a huge hole every morning only to cover it up at night. Could be it for dumping unsold food, or other forms of waste? If anyone has an answer for this mystery, please let me know!

Cultural and heritage

Hoi An Ancient Town is so rich in culture, and many of the old houses date back to a century old. (You can even stay in one of the ancient houses, even though they can be infra-structurally backwards, hence lacking in comfort.)

For 75,000 dong (US$5) you can purchase a booklet for five attractions: one museum, one old house, one assembly hall会馆, the handicraft workshop (and traditional music show) or the traditional theater, and either the Japanese Covered Bridge or the Quan Cong Temple. I skipped them this year since I’ve done them previously.

I took a walk along the river instead.

Along the Hoi An river

Do you notice that the street lamps or French, but the benches are Chinese? Love the juxtaposition!

The Japanese Bridge

A view of the Japanese Bridge from the river. Notice the French buildings by the Japanese Bridge? I am in love the visual tapestry of culture influences here!

Another set of immigrants in Hoi An are the Charm people, originally from Indonesia. One can take a boat ride to the Charm islands (great for scuba diving), or a day trip up the mountains to My Son, where the Charms used it as a place of worship. Not being able to scuba dive, I choose the latter.

These pictures are from my trip up to My Son last year.

My Son

Some people have compared My Son to a smaller version of Angkor Wat, except it’s high up on the mountains.

My Son ruins

A huge chunk of the ruins have been destroyed during the World War, but what remains is still amazing. Do you know that archeologists are still trying to figure out how the Charms managed to hold these bricks together, without cement or other noticeable adhesive agents?

Night Life

For most people, night life conjure up an imagine of booze and music. While there’s pubs and restaurant bars in Hoi An (they close around 10pm for most places, and by 11pm it’s a ghost town), be prepared for a different take of night life here!

Lantern Shops

In Hoi An, the street lamps are merely aesthetic and non-functional, and the main light source comes from these pretty pretty little lanterns!

Paper lanterns for sale

You can even buy paper lanterns and release them onto the river!

Roadside stalls lit by lanterns

You won’t think that the street vendors could carry on business in the dark? Think again!

Shopping

Of course there’s shopping, which is a huge draw in Hoi An. The variety of silk is incredible, and so are the prices! But who has time to take photos when you’re busy shopping… especially when you’re trying to customize your own designs…

Custom made sneakers from Hoi An

Time to pack up my bags, although I wonder how all those dresses will fit into my backpack >.<

***

All pictures from this post are shot with a Canon TX1 and have not been digitally enhanced.

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