Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is another central Vietnam city with a UNESCO world heritage old quarter. Unlike Hue, there are no city walls in Hoi An. However, there are more historical buildings here.

Hoi An is and will be my favorite Vietnamese city (I have yet to visit Saigon, but I doubt that I will fall in love with that city.). The old town, right beside a river, is absolutely charming. Inside, numerous Chinese temples stand side-by-side with French style yellow buildings. Many of these buildings contain art galleries, souvenir shops and tailor shops. In fact, one can get a designer suit custom-made in Hoi An for a fraction of the cost elsewhere! One other notable structure is the pink Japanese Covered Bridge.

A stroll along the river on the opposite side of the old town is a must. On the river, I saw boat rowers wearing the traditional conical farmer hat. I also saw the reflection of the old town, the ultimate factor that made me fall in love with this city.

At this point in time, I am getting tired of the soup noodles and rice for breakfast. Most people eat noodles and rice throughout the day. Despite its French influence, there are few bakeries in Vietnam! The only places that sell baguettes (the only bread that they eat) are street stalls that sell Vietnamese sandwiches. I have seen most of the Western tourists eat baguettes--they must be getting tired of the rice and noodles too.

I spent only the afternoon in Hoi An. That evening, I embarked on a nearly 24-hour bus ride to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). The first part of the journey was on a sleeper bus, where the seats reclined to a near flat bed. However, the bed was very narrow and short. Buses are slow in Vietnam; I find it ridiculous that it would take that long to travel 1,000 km.

1 comment:

  1. After 9 weeks in Lao and Vietnam, I must admit I got tired of Pho for breakfast every day and longed for something else to eat.