Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hoi An Vietnam-the sleepy town

Hoi An was a nice relief from the noisy and smoggy Hanoi. It was more laid back and the thought of getting hit by a motorbike eased up considerably. 

Well, so much for communism. 
Cao Lao for breakfast, lunch and dinner...if it were up to me. 
Hoi An has Japanese, Chinese and indigenous architecture from the days of being a major trading port. 

Dress conservative and not like western hoochie mamas-I think the sign say that. 
Bikes, the best way to explore the town and surrounding villages. On the way towards the beach we rode past a blind massage center, I researched it. A blind couple and two of their friends run it. To learn more about the couple's amazing story, click here. It reminded me of Zhang Yimou's film, Happy Times. 
Strangely, Hoi An was relatively untouched by the Vietnam/American war considering the proximity to Da Nang.
Can't have enough communist posters.
I wonder what the US version of this would look like, the people would probably be wearing Coca-Cola shirts and advertising some sort of product.
The market was a lively place to score great produce. I ate my fair share of dragon fruit. 
One of the complaints is traditional Hoi An is being swallowed up by tourism, and the landscape like above is being overtaken by hotels. On the upside, many traditional houses are converting into home stays.   

About an hour drive southwest are the My Son Hindu ruins from the 4th century. 

The impressive part of the original construction are the bricks are stacked without mortar. 
Bomb crater. Sadly much of the site was destroyed by B-52 carpet bombing in 1969. Like many areas in Southeast Asia including My Son, unexploded ordnances remain a danger.   
The market is the best place in Hoi An to sample the cuisine and eat with locals. 
In addition to national pride posters...
Sure, I took several boat photos. What does it mean? 
Bacon in a truck.
Well, if you must know we skipped the western New Year's party at  the town's center in lieu of sleeping. The girl at our home stay said that there was another celebration the following day. We observed what resembled something along the lines of a day of offering and remembrence. 
In addition to good food, pagodas, temples, and architecture, Hoi An boasts tailors on every corner. If you want something made or copied, bring it here. Ana and I had vintage bowling shirts made much to the tailor's dissatisfaction.  

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