Hoi an is a very relaxed city, compared to Ho Chi Minh it barely counts as a city at all. The main draw is the ancient town, a fairly large area of small, old houses that counts as a UNESCO world heritage. It’s a bit touristic as almost all the houses have been turned into shops and restaurants, and most of the people you are there are foreigners but it’s very atmospheric none the less. I spent a good portion of my first day in Hoi an just walking around randomly in the old town. It felt really nice to not have any set goal or time, just walk at a relaxed pace and look at stuff.
Just a quick note, some of the houses are extra significant according to UNESCO, and require tickets to enter. The tickets can be bought in a pack of five from vendors here and there. It’s a must for history buffs but you can enjoy the ancient town without it.
Some photos I took while walking around the ancient town
The landmark of Hoi an, the Japanese covered bridge.
There’s just something quintessentially Vietnamese about this lady
In the afternoon I went down to the beach and went swimming for the first time during this trip. I was lucky enough to have timed my visit with a festival so after I came back from the beach I headed down to the old town again to check it out. There were lots of people milling about and colored lanterns in all the shops which made for a very nice atmosphere.
Colorfull lanterns on the street
Water lantern merchant
Lanterns floating on the river
The river front
A lanter store display
The Japanese bridge at night
More street lanterns
The next day I left Hoi an city and went to another UNESCO world heritage site, the My Son Cham temple ruins. It’s a pretty big area with several ruined buildings surrounded by jungle. It’s probably not quite as impressive as Angkor Wat but I like it none the less.
Entering the My Son area
This temple has been partially restored
Temple and mountain
These pillars kind of remind me of Pompeii
Several shots from the main temple complex
Some panoramic overviews
The final shot from the main temple complex
I spent the afternoon of the second day taking care of various small things like picking up my tailor made clothes and sending them back home, as well as replacing the broken phone holder for the bike. Tomorrow I hit the road again.