This lovely town on the coast of Vietnam (and about a 45-minute drive south of Da Nang) is a shopper’s paradise. Yes, a shopper’s paradise. “Isn’t practically all of SE Asia a shopper’s paradise?” you ask.
Well, yes it is! For most travelers. Though there is so much more to do than just shop.
But this particular town is known for its vast collection of tailors. Yes, tailors. People from all over the world were having custom clothing made: suits, dresses, skirts, shoes, etc. (Yes, even shoes!)
But for moi, I just didn’t feel like having anything custom-made. I’m nearly at the end of my 5-month journey in SE Asia, and I have plenty of souvenirs already. And I have plenty of clothing.
Also, I think that’s an activity that would be more fun to do with a friend (yes, Mom, I agree with you on this one : ).
So what did I do?
I walked around the quaint town in the evening. (It became much more interesting when the sun began to set.)
It was pouring and pouring on my first full-day there; so I hung out in my comfy room and got caught up on things. AND I swam in that fabulous pool. Fortunately, it wasn’t thundering and lightning (like it is now in Bangkok where I’m currently sitting and typing).
When I got hungry, I walked a short distance and found a cozy restaurant with a nice mix of decor (honestly, it felt more European than Asian) where I broke my no-chicken eating and had Pho with da kine (noodle soup). It was the perfect dish for a cool, wet day.
And the second day? The sun was shinning, so I rented a bike and found the beach (and even got a little sun burned on my shoulders : ).
For enjoying Hoi An as much as I did, I took very few pictures (another sign that this leg of my journey is winding down).
So, without further ado . . .
|These are some of the most unusual boats I’ve ever seen! They reminded me of big rice cups. And yes, I helped carry the second one up the beach.|
|What’s that for ???|
|Right in town was a rice paddy.|
|A sample of the clothing that one can have made in Hoi An.|
And oh, I forgot to mention, I just happened to be in Hoi An on the one day of the month when they hang lanterns everywhere (and coincidentally, the last night of my solo journey before joining my friend in Bangkok) in honor of the full moon which appears the following night. I left my room a little before sunset to walk around town. Along the way, I saw vendor after vendor setting up a personal altar in front of their shop. Soon, women were selling small lanterns to the tourists, as well as cooking potato, banana, coconut things. (I tried part of one; it was okay, a bit bland.)
When the activity seemed to be at its peak, I parked myself at a table for one, ordered fried noodles and veggies and a glass of the local merlotish red wine, and enjoyed the show! “Perfect!” I thought as I sat and sipped . . . “Perfect. Thank you Hoi An. Thank you . . .”