Monday, January 23

Ahoy! A Hoi An!

First of all, my deepest apologies for the title of this entry. Tom insisted on it. Anyway! After our train trip down the coast to Danang, we caught a taxi from Danang to Hoi An:

The ride to Hoi An was hilarious - our taxi driver was absolutely wacko, in a good way. He started every single sentence with "Excuse me..." and often threw in the phrase "Same same, but different" which we would soon learn is a very common phrase in SE Asia. Who knows why.

When we arrived in Hoi An, despite the pouring rain we were totally charmed by the riverside town. Old Town Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is full of historic pagodas, covered bridges, art stores, and tailor shops. Dozens of tailor shops. Hoi An is known for being the place to get custom-tailored clothes. Apparently you can get a custom-made wool coat for less than $30! I say apparently because Tom and I did not get any clothes made. We really didn't need anything, and we especially didn't want to haul extra clothes around with us for another 3.5 weeks. (Did you hear that Dad? I didn't buy any clothes because I didn't need them!)

Charming Hoi An

Hoi An also has a great market, and since it was raining hard and the market is covered (for the most part), that's where we headed.

Hoi An's Old Town Market

These are surgical masks that everyone wears while riding their scooters in traffic - the masks provide protection against air pollution. We'll never forget the guy who pulled down his mask and promptly stuck a cigarette in his mouth.

Many of the market vendors in Hoi An were older women who crouched on platforms next to their goods.

Fresh fruit

Fresh fish

It wasn't until we were in the market that we realized how much the heavy rains had affected the town. The river had overflowed it's banks and flooded the market. Although we weren't that eager to go sludging through the murky brown water, it didn't seem to stop many other people.

There's a road under there somewhere.

The blurry boat (it's tough to take photos in the rain!) was actually an impromptu taxi, shuttling people from dry land to a bar that had been isolated due to the flooding.

We ended our day in Hoi An with a visit to a restaurant where we tried a couple of the local delicacies: Cao Lau, which is a pork, noodle, and bean sprout dish that can only be found in Hoi An because it requires water from a particular Hoi An well, as well as White Rose, which is a plate full of shrimp/pork purses arranged in the shape of a rose. Yum!

- Jessi


At 6:12 AM, Blogger poirotfan said...

Hello there.. came across your blog while surfing the net! My boyfriend and I will be flying to Danang on thurs morning and we're headed to Hoi An as well!

Not nice to hear that it has been raining! :(

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! Can't fool me. You didn't buy any clothes because you didn't want to haul them around for 3.5 weeks...


At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a trip! Thanks for sharing.

MV Abyssinia

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous mayan said...

hi there! im going to vietnam on thursday. ill be arriving in hanoi then ill go to danang then hoi an.. can you share me your itinerary when u went there? i just really wanna make sure i dont get ripped by having a sort of "reliable recommendation" as per the train/bus/taxi fares. hope you could help me with this one.


At 9:30 AM, Blogger Jessi and Tom said...

Hi Mayan,
Our itinerary was: Hanoi (1 day), Halong Bay (2 days), Hoi An (1 day), Nha Trang (2 days), Saigon (1 day), Mekong (1 day). Our blog covers all of these locations. Did you have any specific questions about Vietnam?


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