Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hoi An

Palm trees line the riverfront

Newlyweds get their wedding pictures taken in the Ancient Town!



A cloudy day in Hoi An


So many colourful lanterns!


Hoi An bridge


Japanese covered bridge













Cute little courtyard art gallery



The town gets busy as the sun sets







A walk along the river

Boats at sunset




An Bang Beach


We have spent the last couple of weeks in Hoi An, which is located in central Vietnam, and is well visited for its beautifully preserved Ancient Town, a World Heritage Site. The town used to be a trading port from the 15th to 19th centuries, and influences of many different nationalities can be found here, from its Japanese bridge, and Chinese assembly halls, to its colonial style buildings.

Nearly every restaurant and shop in the old town has colourful lanterns hanging outside their doors, and at night, when all of the lanterns are lit up, the town really comes to life, and the atmosphere is magical. Boats bob along the riverbanks day and night, and you can't walk along the river without being asked if you'd like to take a boat tour. Take a detour from the river, and you'll be harassed by shop people asking if you want to buy something. Yes, Hoi An is very touristic, but you still can't really help but be sucked in by its charm.

Every person who visits Hoi An must buy a ticket for entrance into the Ancient Town, which is valid for your whole stay there. On your ticket you also get 5 entries into different museums and historic sites within the whole town. We visited a couple of the assembly halls and old houses in the town. I really like the idea of buying the one ticket for entrance into the old town, because it means that the money goes back into preserving the town. We noticed that the streets were quite clean, and there were separate bins for organic and regular waste. The whole old town is closed off to cars, and at certain times motorbikes as well, which means it is the perfect place to leisurely stroll around. 

Hoi An is the perfect place to come to relax, enjoy good food, and take in some beautiful architecture and natural scenery. And that is exactly what we did for three weeks! We found the most perfect room to stay in which was very close to the centre of town, and the family who owned the house were so lovely, and they loved Charlotte! They even babysat her for a couple of hours so that Nathan and I could go out to dinner. We celebrated Charlotte's first birthday while we were in Hoi An, and the family surprised us with a cake with 'Happy birthday Charlotte' beautifully written on top.

As well as strolling around the streets of the old town, we also spent a lot of time at An Bang beach, which is a short car ride from the town. We found a restaurant that served great food there called La Plage. Charlotte is definitely going to be a beach baby, because she loves playing in the sand, and even though the water was cold, she didn't mind it at all.

We loved our stay in Hoi An, and if we weren't running out of time on our visas, we probably would have stayed longer! But we still have more to see in Vietnam, and we are now in Hanoi, and are due to visit Halong Bay in the next couple of days.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah x



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