Hoi An- A hidden gem

I was expecting to see a lot of brilliant and beautiful things in Vietnam like large cities, markets, beaches and lush green countryside. What I wasn’t expecting was a picturesque French Colonial Style town that has a river flowing through it and mesmerising lanterns which light up the shop lined streets. Hoi An is a dash of  Amsterdam mixed with Vietnam which makes for captivating architecture and a bustling atmosphere.

I had reached Hoi An after a journey on a shaky overnight train but managed to sleep surprisingly well in spite of the frequent jolts which left you fearing for your life. After breakfast it was time to explore the Old Town. I can admit without any shame that Hoi An is a tourist’s paradise with plenty of opportunities to buy knick knacks for friends and family with amazing photo opportunities.

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Suffice to say money was spent. Hoi An is also known for its tailor shops which you can see above. I picked a style and a fabric and had it basically sewn by that evening as they work immensely fast seeing as tourists have a very limited time in Hoi An. I knew I was too tired at that moment to do the Old Town  justice so I went back to rest before our bicycle tour commenced.

The Old Town is car free so bike tours provide the best way to explore. Our tour was focused on the countryside with little stops to meet the locals.

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This was the sweetest couple ever who truly embodied #relationshipgoals. Ninety three and ninety one respectively they are still holding hands after seventy years of marriage whilst tending to their crops.

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There’s also lots of fishing using baskets such as these to trap them.

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In the rain, we went on these little circular boats wearing our pointy hats which keep the rain and sun off so well. The rain ponchos weren’t as attractive unfortunately.

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Our guides made us some cute accessories from the palm fronds using just a small knife. My photo doesn’t do it justice.

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The next day I decided to do some exploring alone. Naturally I started with some people- watching whilst sipping on some Vietnamese coffee.

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I got to see the city as it slowly transitioned into the night. The last of the strong sun reflected against the water and made all the building’s colours richer than usual.

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Twilight then began to creep in allowing the lanterns of Hoi An to shine.

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Until finally the sky was black allowing the town and its river to glitter. Small paper lanterns floated along the river which added even more romance to the scenery.

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I was glad that the city was still bustling and that shops were still open. You could truly buy everything there from fans, teapots, art, clothing, books and various other items which I cannot remember. There are lots of workshops which display various handicrafts like embroidery, woodwork and lacquer painting which is very popular in Vietnam. My favourite craft was of course the lanterns. One shop had the most stunning displays that I could not stop taking photos. I hope you aren’t annoyed by looking at so many pictures of basically the same thing.

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Sadly it was the last night in Hoi An and time to travel to Hue for our next adventure. Hoi An memories were pretty unforgettable and I am determined to come back one day and spend more time just walking through the lit up streets and perusing all the shops.

 

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