I had again planned to stay in Hoi An during my travels through Vietnam because I find it one of the most beautiful cities in SE Asia with its well preserved buildings that represent different international traders primarily Chinese,Portuguese, Japanese, and French. The old town area restricts automobile traffic as well as most moto bike traffic. To walk about the Old Town area you are suppose to purchase a pass for 120,000 dong--about $7 USD, and that also gives you access to some of the private homes with private chapels, churches and folk dance and music performances. Apparently Hoi An and Delat were some of the towns that during the "American War" both sides of the conflict agreed not to bomb or destroy. Good thing for the residents there as well as future tourists. I guess the Monument Men were reactivated for this war.
This private chapel was a large as some normal churches found elsewhere. Once inside and gave them our admission ticket we had opportunity after opportunity to buy some of the trinkets. Another way to make some money from the tourists I suppose.
Most of the boats have the eyes painted on the fronts of the boats to scare away evil spirits.
You can see that the ferry boat commuters are now tending toward motor bikes compared to when I was first here in 2002 when most frequent mode of transportation was the bicycle. I saw a similar situation in Hanoi where the motor bike had replaced the bicycle.
I always enjoy strolling through this wharfside market where all types of fresh vegetables and fruits are stacked up for sale along with a variety of fish and meat, including dog---the meat with the skinny tails.
Too bad my camera skills did not adequately capture the night lights with the festive silk lanterns and floating votives that people bought from various vendors---children vendors seemed to yield greater sales--and then placed them in the water.
Again here, the food did not disappoint me with its international influences, especially from the French including wonderfully delicious baguettes, in this case filled with an omlet, and Vietnamese coffee
After I stopped to get some money from a workable ATM--many did not accept my ATM card and others charged double the normal 30,000 dong service fee---I met a couple from Seattle who had quit their jobs with Microsoft and intended to travel until they tired of it. In April, Dina and Eric joined some friends of theirs to motor bike through the highlands of Vietnam and Laos and now their adventure continues open ended. How amazing is that to find travelers from Seattle by chance at a street side bar in Hoi An because where I have been traveling the past month, I have run into few Ameicans from the US. They have a blog which has some interesting stories of their adventures and amazing pictures thanks to Dina's good eye for shots.
It is www.viryakala.com
Here are some of the last views of Hoi An before I head off to Danang and the train to Nha Trang, my last planned long distance train ride that began in Moscow over a month ago.