February 6, 2017
Another rest day, I can hear you all saying. Are they doing any cycling on this adventure? It just so happens that there are a few cities that are “must sees” in Vietnam. Hue is one of them and Hoi An is another.
We left our small home stay and headed the 2.5 kms to the downtown area. We got a little misplaced, but eventually found the Japanese covered bridge. Where we started our meander through the lanes of Hoi An.
Hoi Ann is a very touristy Town, but well worth the visit. The Ancient Town of Hoi Ann was a major international trading centre in the 16th and 17th century. Japanese, Chinese, Dutch and Indian traders set up shop here, as major trading countries. Their remains to this day the influences of these large warehouses/shops.
If you look past the tourist shops full of silk clothes, cheap skirts and buildings that have been converted into restaurants and bars and look at the architecture of the buildings they are quite amazing. Some of the shops are long and narrow and are accessed from the waterfront as well as the narrow street at the back.
The whole of the ancient downtown is a walking and bicycling zone – no scooters. There are also strict rules to stop side-walk vendors setting up shop illegally. These little vendors set up and sell fruit, or sometimes will set up a little BBQ and sell skewers of meat. We were coming up to three of these vendors when all of a sudden they grabbed their things and took-off down a tiny alley way.
The other thing we noticed to day was scooter removal from the walking/cycling zone. A small flatbed truck came up to three scooters, the driver hops out and blows his whistle near three different stores. He unfortunately could not take another scooter on his truck as it was full, so he moved one of the road and no doubt was going to return to pick-up the other scooters.
To enter any of the historic buildings you have to buy a ticket from an Information Office. It has been reported that you have to buy a ticket to enter the Ancient City but that is incorrect. You only need the ticket to enter some historic buildings. The silly thing with the ticket is that you can only enter 5 of the 22 buildings listed as historic buildings. We opted not to buy the ticket. There was only one building I wanted to go into, so we asked if we could pay just to see that one. Yes no problem.
There is a long street full of tailors, you can order clothes one day, get a fitting the next day and have them delivered to your hotel by the end of the second day or the next day.!
We had lunch looking out over the water.
Then headed to the locals market. The market area generally separated into fish, meat and fruits and vegetables. This market had an area to eat and other areas for home housewares, another area for shoes and an area for tailors.
We asked a lady if she had anything that would protect our arms in the sun, or could make us something. She asked another person then told us to follow her and off she went, through the tailors stalls, up stairs to another area in the market. They had the “cool sleeves” UV rated and sunblock, they are also supposed to be cooling. I think they will come in very handy while we are here. We can buy these in Canada for about $35.00, cost for these $5.00 each.
There were a lot of tourists here from a cruise ship. I am not sure where it is berthed, but there were large groups wandering around the streets – all on a mission to see as much as the time allowed for their “on-land” excursion. The first part of their trip was a tour of the city on a cyclo.
Today was a people watching day. I will add a gallery of some of the great faces that Ralf managed to capture. Even the dogs were people watching.
As the evening lanterns were lit we noticed more and more newly weds in the City. We had seen a few during the afternoon. This seems to be a great place to get your wedding photos taken.
After a good vegetarian dinner that cost $9.65 including 2 beers, we headed back to the homestay. We had stayed in the Ancient City later than usual because of the lanterns. This is another thing that Hoi Ann is famous for – lit lanterns along the river and alleyways, it is really pretty.
Lots of photos today – but here is one lost in translation.
The only bad thing today is Ralf, he has a dreadful sore throat and at the moment is struggling to talk – may be that is not such a bad thing!!