Tuesday, 25 January 2011

HOI AN `VIETNAM Janurary 2011

Vern and Jo on their Rental Bike.
Delightful! There is something for everyone in Hoi An. We spent 5 days here in the end. We stayed in Phuc An Hotel in the town. (Phuc An Hotel Ph +84 510916757, 39 Tran Cao Van St. www.phuocanhotelhoian.com) (Not riverside, which is a long way out.) Including breakfast it was $US 30 per night. Good helpful staff and transport service. Across the road is Sunshine Café. Hoi and her daughter run the show there and the food and company is delightful.

It was so lovely and such a great “holiday”. It is very touristy but we loved the hustle and bustle, great food and architecture. Hoi An is a heritage listed city and as a result of an agreement between North and South it was only slightly damaged the during War. 
The old French Colonial architecture is gorgeous. The pale yellow ochre, which is the traditional paint color of Vietnam, comes alive when contrasted with the old timbers, ornate tiles and doorways, cobbled streets and lovely riverside waterfront. The temperature was mild around 22c during the day so most of the woollies were put out to pasture and we strolled in shirtsleeves.

All in a days work
Unfortunately, a family crisis saw us bid farewell to Magics who had to fly back to Australia so we were down to 4. Vern and Jo hired a motor bike and on the second day managed to convince me to ride behind David on one!! I don’t think I will ever be comfortable on a motorbike but it was a good way to see things around Hoi An. We saw the beautiful flower and vegetable village, serene and iconic rice paddies complete with water buffalo being ridden by their keepers. We were able to wander in and out of all sorts of narrow lanes and interesting areas. 

Typical of the Hoi An streetscape
 One thing we all noticed is that the overall standard of living in Vietnam seems to be higher than almost anywhere else we have travelled in Asia. There are neat, tidy, clean, freestanding homes, often several levels, throughout all the areas we visited. The array of foods available including fruits vegetables dairy, grains and meats is truly enormous. Meal sizes and meat portions seem to be generally more generous than the rest of Asia. Yes of course there are the poor and disabled, many of whom with injuries as a result of the conflict in the 60’s and the ongoing legacy of the land mines.
Hoi An Water front has lovely old Colonial Buildings now converted into shops and restaurants.

Old Japanese Bridge

More Photos of Hoi An