Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hoi An

Just a quick note from Hoi An. Hoi An is a magical town on the central coast of vietnam (about an hour south of Da Nang.) Founded as a shipping port over 400 - 500 years ago by the Portuguese it became an important port with districts populated by the Portugues, chinese, japanese and other major exporters/importers. The river eventually silted up to the point that big ships couldn't come up the river and the port slowly faded into obscurity. Miraculously it was one of the few (if perhaps only) town in the region unscarred (physically) by the wars in Vietnam. It is now becoming a well visited city and spouts art galleries, great restaurants, small hotels, and silk shop after silk shop. There is still a small fishing fleet that operates out of Hoi An too. Early market is quite entertaining. Got great pictures and will provide more blog detail once I'm home. We're packed up for tomorrows flight to Hanoi and then Tuesday we leave for home...arriving JFK on Wednesday late morning.

We stayed at the Hoi An Hotel...a great find. Reasonably priced at right in Old Hoi An. Convenient walking distance to waterfront, museums, and restaurants. You can take a cyclo or taxi to the beach if you want to go (we didn't). Favorite things we did: We slowed down and spent time drinking coffee or beer watching people. We took two cyclo rides...both in late through the main downtown and one (the most delightful) out into the residential areas where the fisherman lives, the farmers tend their fields, the 20 something go to karaoke bars and get their hair cut, etc. It was lovely. We got clothes made (skirts, blouses, and long shorts). skirts and tops came from a place called Elegant on Tran Phu We ate well...

Ate at the Cargo Club for lunch and pastries several times, at the Tam Tam club for steak and fries, and back to Morning Glory for those wonderful crispy pancakes, spring rolls, and fried eggplant. And also riverfront dining at Brother Cafe...delicious with a view of dusk over the river.