Hoi An

Hoi An is the City of Lanterns.  They are everywhere – hanging on the trees, through the streets, off every building.  The ambiance created by these hanging globes of light is unbelievable and completely wonderful.  It’s no surprise that a city like this ranks so high with visitors like us, who flock to the streets daily.

While Saigon is full of motorbikes, Hoi An is full of bicycles.  Most streets are too small for cars, and while there are still plenty of motorbikes zooming everywhere, there are more people pedaling around on bikes in the quiet streets.
One of the many temples around town.The riverfront is lined with beautiful old yellow buildings that have so much charm and character.It always brings me an absurd amount of joy to see that Vietnamese people actually wear the little cone shaped hats.  They totally do – all the time.  After being in the scorching hot sun for a few minutes I can understand why.  Maybe I should get us a couple of cone hats.  Do you think we could pull it off?  Perhaps John stands out in a crowd here enough as it is (as you may imagine, no Vietnamese people are even close to his height.)
Of course no river town would be complete without boats everywhere.  Many are tourist boats, but most are actually fishing boats.  In the evenings the fisherman go out to the ocean and fish overnight, bringing back their catch to sell at the market in the morning.The city lights up in a big way at night.  It’s absolutely stunning to watch the transformation as the sun sets and the lanterns and candles light up.The entire city seems to come alive at night, especially on the riverfront.  All of the bridges light up spectacularly at night, and there are small children selling candles to float down the river.  The effect is lovely, but I can’t help wondering what happens to all those candles once they float out of view.  I hope there isn’t a heap of them decomposing into the river.I’m pretty sure this couple was posing for some photo class or something, but I took the shot anyway.  It’s a nice way to see the candles in their little floating boxes.The gorgeous riverfront mirrored on the water.If we were coming straight home, I probably would have snagged a few lovely lanterns in Hoi An.  But alas, who wants to carry that for five more months?  There are a few other things I would have purchased in Hoi An if I didn’t have to tote them around with me, but that’s a story for another time.  More soon!

[...] It wasn’t entirely aimless though, for we were headed clearly towards the old part of town, the veritable perennial festival of lanterns that is the riverfront of the ancient city.  Every night, just after dusk the city comes alight with its myriad lanterns lining streets and bridges, and dotting the water itself in candles floating aboard small containers resembling colorful, translucent Chinese take-out boxes.  The visuals are most definitely worth a look over at Tracy’s blog. [...]

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