15.02.2016 - 15.02.2016 24 °C
On the go again.... Off to the airport for my 9:40 am flight to Da Nang. Got there and was told my flight was delayed 2 hours. I managed to get on the 8:45 am flight instead. The flight took a bit over an hour. Hopped into a taxi for the 30 km ride to Hoi An.
The central city of Danang has a mountain of marble and limestone rock group known as The Marble Mountains. This group of 5 mountains, whose names represent the 5 elements, stands very close to the line of coast of Danang, in the center of Vietnam. It's a popular place for spiritual retreat and pilgrimage, has several pagodas, and caves inside the mountains, natural caves formed by erosion, water and the passage of time.
Hoi An was once a major port, it boasts the architecture and riverside setting that befits its heritage. The town was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1999 and now there are very strict rules in place to safeguard the Old Town's unique heritage. Much of the old town looks as it did several centuries ago.
Driving into Hoi An one notices lanterns.... Beautiful, colourful lanterns everywhere. Once I settled into my luxurious...I mean luxurious! I headed out to explore the town.
Getting something tailor made is a popular thing to do. There are hundreds of tailors here in Hoi An. I ordered two dresses for $40, first fitting is tomorrow at 3 pm and the dresses will be ready for pick up at 6 pm. Now that is service!!!
You can rent bicycles, scooters, or motorbikes. Cars are not allowed in the Old Town, only scooters, motorbikes, and bicycles. I strolled along the river, the fish and vegetable market, and the food stall market.
Had lunch at a quaint restaurant with chairs set up on the sidewalk.
Hoi An is known for its wonderful alleyways. The locals believe that the alleyways are the souls of their hometown. A system of alleyways gradually evolved to link roads. They are often so narrow they can only fit two or three people walking beside each other and their sides are the sides of houses or garden walls. The alleyways are long and covered with moss. I've only begun to find them.
The beautiful little Japanese Covered Bridge was first constructed in the 1500s by the Japanese community in order to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream. The entrances of the bride are guarded a pair of monkeys on one side and a pair of dogs on the other. There is also a small temple built into the northern side.
Evenings are a special time in Hoi An, when the town really comes to life. Everyone seems to come out to play once the sun goes down and the lanterns are lit, with lots of activities to be had.
People are out checking out the local performances, having get-togethers, munching on some street food or buy a floating lantern for luck (to send down the river). My dinner cost me $3.50!