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Lovely Hoi An

VIETNAM | Thursday, 10 August 2017 | Views [243]

I love Hoi An! We stayed in Ancient Town along the river. This city has been home to Chinese, Japanese and French. You can see the influence of all those cultures in their riverside buildings, Japanese bridges and Chinese temples. We arrived over the weekend and the city was hopping. This is the town of lanterns and lights and it was so beautiful. We had an amazing dinner then joined the crowds strolling the narrow streets, visiting the night market and watching tourists drop lanterns into the river. 

The next day we got another massage (it's so cheap), rented bikes and headed to the beach. Along the way we passed rice patties where water buffalo were grazing. We ate lunch at a restaurant near the beach so we could park our bikes "for free" on their sidewalk. Then we headed out for an afternoon of sun and sand. Once we were throughly relaxed, we jumped back on our bikes to explore the area. We passed more rice patties, water buffalo, fishermen and quiet neighborhoods. It was a nice ride back and on the way we found a tailor that would hand make me new bathing suits. Hoi An is known for their tailors that will make pretty much anything you want within two days! I wanted a new swimsuit, why not have one custom made for me. We ended the day with another delicious dinner at the local market. 

Seriously, the food is amazing in Hoi An. Our favorite dishes were Cao Lau (rice noodles with barbecued pork, greens and croutons) and Banh Xeo (crispy shrimp pancake that you wrap in lettuce). 

Day three was HOTTTTTT! Too hot to even go to the beach. So we rented a scooter and Danny drove us out to My Son. These ruins were built by the Cham Dynasty and survived all the war and unrest over the years. Green mountains provided the perfect contrast to these browning ruins. It was great to see some ancient history from this region of the world. Once I got over my scooter fear, I really enjoyed the breeze and the scenery. It was a nice ride and Danny did a great job driving in a country where road rules don't always apply.

After picking up my tailored bathing suits, we spent our last day biking around one of the larger islands. It was nice way to see the real Hoi An and how people live away from the tourist area. When it was time to leave I was sad to say goodbye. I could have spent more time in this touristy yet quaint town.

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