Hoi An is an ancient trading city about midway down the coast of Vietnam. It has long been known for its silk, and is full of dress shops, and if I was young and thin I could spend a moderate amount of money and oufit a whole wardrobe. However I am neither young nor thin, and didn’t buy any silk here. Hoi An is now dominated by large western hotels catering to the growing tourist trade, but fortunately it still retains quite a lot of charm and original features.
We had a tour through the old quarter visiting a typical Chinese Pagoda which was quite smoky due to the amount of incense being burnt. Suspended from the ceiling was incense shaped into giant red cone shaped spirals, all burning slowly.
|Statues in the Chinese Quarter|
|The ornate temple gateway|
|Cone shaped incense hanging from the ceiling made a very smoky temple|
|Dragon statues, very ornate|
|David the rickshaw puller pretending on a great performance of strength|
|A traditional fishing net wound up by a windlass, front left|
We also visited a typical merchant’s home made of timber which has been occupied for several generations. It had 2 storeys with a hole in the top floor and a pulley to hoist furniture and other items to the top out of the reach of annual floods. The owners took the opportunity of a captive audience to try to sell embroidered pictures and tablecloths, opium pipes, dominos and assorted other objects.
|Local woman embroidering a tablecloth by hand|
We crossed from the Chinese quarter to the Japanese quarter via a covered bridge constructed in 1593 and into a museum showing items from Hoi An’s history.
After lunch there was a cooking class followed by eating of
the foods created. Everyone had a good time here except for the weather turning
cold and wet and David was distinctly unprepared for it. The men were delegated to do much of the cooking and mainly seemed to
enjoy it, especially the eggplant claypot
|Covered Japanese Bridge dating from the 1500s|
|David cooking the eggplant claypot|