Fondest memory: At one point, we arrived at their home to drop off the little boy and, more importantly, pick up some souvenirs that we would hopefully buy. Now, the price of the trip itself made more sense, as well as their pointed questions about our other purchases, along with their prices. They were armed with the right products and what they figured were the right prices too. We braced ourselves for their sales pitch but found it softer than expected, especially after being manhandled in Hanoi. The items were overpriced and of little interest to us, obviously being typical Chinese knockoffs. We politely refused all the way back to the dock and gladly handed over our agreed upon fare. What was most surprising was their utter calm to our not making a purchase. In fact, they even said to come back again tomorrow. Okay, they probably just wanted another shot at us but it was offered up in such a friendly manner, we said we would think about it. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
Fondest memory: With the first setting sun of our Vietnam stay, we walked and snapped our way through the photo opportunity laden streets and finally down to the picture perfect waterfront. As it was the main congregating area for tourists, it was correspondingly full of more than its share of locals trying their best to sell some merchandise or service they were convinced you just had to have. One particularly interesting slice of this pie was the row boat women. They offered up scenic trips of the canals for what seemed impossible prices. Though generally more than skeptical of these types of deals, we nonetheless found it irresistible for the chance to take an up close photo of one of these haggard women as much as anything else we might chance upon once out on the water. (continued below in Fondest Memory)
Hoi An offers lots of attractions and some tasty local delicacies but the true delight of this charming town is to wander its timeless streets.
Fondest memory: Though some travel locations like Berlin mentally take form in the gray hues of an old black & white photo, most of the tropical variety are flavored in full bright colors. Though impressed by the culinary delights of Vietnam, our first ten days in what I had imagined a lush green paradise were disappointingly lacking in visual vibrancy, at least from a color band perspective. But what a difference the golden rays of a setting sun and blue skies can make.
Hoi An served up just this. It was as if we had crossed some imaginary border on our trip south from Hue and were finally transported to the land of what we had once imagined. Though teeming with tourists, the quaint town was charming not only in its picturesque simplicity but also for a population of less persistent applicants for our hard-earned dollars. (continued below in Fondest Memory)
It may be difficult while on vacation, but try to dedicate one day to wake up very early with the goal of catching the Ancient City in the beautiful morning glow. You should get up around 5am, grab some breakfast and then rent a bike to tour around. Plan to take lots of photos, especially down by the market and docks where the fishermen are unloading the night's catch. Then tour around the Ancient City and snap photographs of buildings and the local people on their way to school and work.
Well worth the early wakeup call, as the photographs you get will be stunning.
Hoi An has been declared a UNESCO world Heritage Site because of it's many building of historical and cultural significance. You can buy a ticket which will allow you admission to some of the buildings and also means you contribute to the maintenance of these sights.
The ticket gives admission to one of each type of site : museum, assembly hall, old house, cultural site (such as a craft centre) and 'other' (such as the temple on the Japanese Covered Bridge.
If you want to see more than one of each of these then you will need to buy a complete new ticket.
The tickets cost 50,000 dong (just over USD3)
Hoi An is nowadays 5 kms away from the coast. The coastline has changed and the river became too shallow for navigation, so Danang is a much better harbour now.
But you can still see little fishing boats arriving to the harbour every morning to deliver the daily captures and sell them at the local market.
Favorite thing: Hoi An old town is small, it's easy to stroll around. While I said earlier I'm afraid the town is losing its character due to tourism, this can only be felt in the most visited places, otherwide it seems to be unchanged.
Being an old chinese port, the town is so fascinating you cannot imagine. Allthough so touristy, you still feel sometimes like off the beaten path. Beautiful old wooden houses and the market will bewith you.
Sad the fact that you have to buy this 5er tickets which give you the possibility to visit the spots and you have to make your decission ´which one is more interested for you.
For every further spot you have to pay 10.000 Dong, The tickets are avaible at places marked on the map you can have from every hotel or travel agencies and cost 50.000 Dong
Looks like a Vietnamese huh? This is a small town at the seaside called Hoi An, very beautiful place. Most of Vietnam are like a construction site but not this one, Hoi An is really beautiful.
Fondest memory: On our way to Da Nang, we met 2 very noisy and smelly German tourists drinking endless beers and smoking non-stop cigarettes on our bus, until one passenger knocking his chair from behind say would you please stop smoking, then later we stop for lunch, these 2 Germans started drinking again, talking as loud as WCW wrestlers from this table acrossing that table, one of the table they met an American couple, a good opportunity to perform their talking skills now, the German guy said something like 'Look at what the American did here during the war, I really really hate those American politicians...bomb here there...' another guy from another table walk to the German saying something like be quiet then they started a war, the German said 'I hate stupid people, you know stupid peoples....' I was sitting there watching the show also listening to those stories.
Favorite thing: Shop around for your tour. I found that even though I booked through another company for $10, I still ended up with a $5 tour by camel travel. Everything was exactly the same.
There are many of them around Hoi An. Some of them are nicely kept, others maybe neglected.
Fondest memory: walking on the beach at sunrise
Fondest memory: One evening, I happened to be walking along the riverfront at sunset and caught some great scenes on my digital camera. Unfortunately, my SLR had run out of film!
Favorite thing: The Old Quarter of Hoi An is along the waterfront on the north bank of the Thu Bon River. It is one of the prettiest places in Vietnam.
Favorite thing: Spend some time to explore the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to look at the beautiful architecture of the old, Chinese Merchant houses.
Favorite thing: There are literally dozens of tailorshops in Hoi An. i had 3 shirts made in 4 hours. The quality is good and the fit superb. All for $34 which in the UK is about £8 per shirt.