June 10, 2020
We arrived in Hoi An after over thirteen hours of bus ride. We were sitting right behind the driver, which guaranteed additional experience and stress. It seems that in Vietnam a way of driving on national roads is different from driving around the city. The main difference is that in the city 95% vehicles are scooters, whereas outside the city the roads are dominated by trucks and buses. Our driver not once pushed smaller vehicles to the shoulder. The principle here is perhaps just this: the bigger you are, the more you can rule the road!
Hoi An is a historical city with an amazing atmosphere. Between the 15th and 19th century, there was an international market of southern Vietnam, where Japanese, Chinese, Dutch and Indians traded their goods in this river port. Often they would come for 4-6 months, inhabiting the city, building their homes and temples. Foreign influences in local architecture are clearly visible. In December 1999, the town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
City’s main attractions are found on one street. You can see here the Japanese Covered Bridge, built in the early 18th century. One legend says that the construction started in the year of the monkey and was completed in the year of the dog. That is why one entrance is guarded by statues of monkeys and the other by figures of dogs.
We also visit an old Cantonese family’s Chinese temple, covered with old Chinese ornaments and paintings. In the middle is a very impressive statue of a dragon fighting a carp. On the back of the temple is a beautiful garden, with another statue of a dragon. The atmosphere of an old city is emphasized by old buildings, in which the local people live, and hundreds of lanterns hanging on trees and buildings, which give a true effect after dark. You can purchase a lantern of happiness and let it go on the water. Dozens of lights flowing in the river is an awesome sight!
Wandering around the city, we visit a local market, where you can enjoy local dishes. We get invited by a woman from one of the stands, she speaks no English, she waves at us inviting for a meal. We decide to take advantage of the invitation and sit down at the table with delicious looking food. Our host gives us a huge plate of rice, various kinds of vegetables and meats. The food is fantastic, and if a part of our plate is empty, she immediately fills it in with more specialties. Since there are no forks, we are challenged to use chopsticks. At the end we take a photo, and pay for the meal. It cost 3$! The rest of the day we roam the city streets and discover beautiful monuments. Hoi An city is extremely beautiful and worth a visit!!! Tomorrow we are visiting the historic complex of Hindu temples which was also listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher