25/12/2009 - 26/12/2009
Hoi An (and Hue) reminded me of Penang and Melaka in Malaysia - a small city focused around a Chinese-influenced old town. Hoi An was Vietnam's main port city some 500 years ago, and many buildings remain from that time.
Here is an old temple. Inside the complex a guy was hand-painting T-shirts and some kids were running around.
A sign at the entrance of the old town warns that it is for walkers and primitive vehicle users. Much better than boringly stating No cars allowed.
At the edge of the old town there are ticket booths selling Old Town Entry Tickets. We were quite glad we didn't buy them - tickets aren't needed to get into the old town, only to enter a couple old small museums and temples.
Here is a shop making silk embroidery. It looks like it takes awhile.
Some old buildings. Presumably because of tourism money and renovations, many of the old buildings look pretty new. Anyway, here are some.
Here is the waterfront. A bridge connects the two sides of town, and both sides are lovely (though only the main side is interesting, the other is residential and just feels suburban). Kids play soccer near the river, and at one point we saw the ball fall into the water, and one of the kids jumped in and got wet past his waist to retrieve it. With few bridges, some of the locals paddle across on bouyant baskets rather than wallking all the way to the bridge.
Toward the end of the day we happenned across a fancy coffee shop serving half-price Vietnamese coffee. It was delicious, as Southeast Asia coffee and tea tends to be as a result of the sweetened condensed milk. From there we went back to our hotel, where Sue slept and I stayed up all night because of the coffee. Since it was Christmas day, and during the day North America time, it gave me the chance to write a few extra merry christmas emails.