On our next stop on the Magic Vietnam bus trail we landed in Hoi An. Hoi An is a pretty fishing village on the coast a couple of hours south of Da Nang. We gave ourselves a couple of days here to enjoy an different slice of life in Vietnam.
Hoi An is famous as one of the original settlements of Chinese Immigrants in Vietnam, drawn here for its inland waterways and access to the ocean it has a chilled out vibe and beautiful old town with much of the old architect still in tact and maintained. If one could find an equivalent in the west it is like a small Cornish village in England.
The old town includes the assembly halls of the various Chinese families and groups that organized themselves of the years into smaller communities within communities. These halls are beautifully maintained and some still used for meetings and gatherings and some just now operate for tourists. All Asian architecture and styles from the last few centuries the décor and detail is always ornate and colourful, offering beautiful splashes of colour against the graying building walls of the village.
There are several families and groups within Hoi An, there were a few we learnt about but this group became my favourite!
While we were in Hoi An we started to become more involved in Vietnamese Culture from Clothing:
To authentic Mojito’s (having become the new traveling cocktail of choice after Sapa) we enjoyed this Happy Hour drink on the waterfront in Hoi An, despite questioning our drink as a Mojito we were confidently informed it was a Mojito….See that drink in front of me….That’s Right a Mojito!
We also dabbled with some authentic Vietnamese Australian food!! As all travelers know there is only so long after being on the road that one can not have a need for a splash of western food, in this case it was a Restaurant called Red Dingo, serving up amazing Aussie pies in the heart of rural, coastal Vietnam! They were magical and they even came with Onion Gravy! Although I have to note they were not a touch on Judy’s Pies!
Hoi An also boasts a great coast line so we hired ourselves some bikes to burn off the pies and hit the beach. It was an interesting sight, as with most beaches in this part of the world they become pretty much a market for all the goods we would need whilst enjoying our day at the beach. Vendors, like in Hanoi role up with there entire restaurant on a motorcycle or push cart and set up their businesses right there on the beach, and what a view for the patrons!