It was planned to rest for 3 or 4 days in Hoi An, but then it had been at least seven. The city itself is very beautiful and – although it is formally overrun by tourists – has enough flair that it was a pleasure to while away my time here. The last days were very tiring, I had found a good place to stay outside of the center, the A/C of my room was working perfectly – so I’d nothing to do at the first day than clean all my stuff and cool down.
The old town of Hoi An with its historic Japanese and Chinese trading houses, warehouses, markets and temples is the main tourist attraction of Vietnam – making it the richest city in the country. Almost every building houses a restaurant, a souvenir shop or any other business to serve the thousands of daily visitors adequately.
The lovingly renovated old market hall next to the river houses small kitchens as well as normal shops – there you can eat at a reasonable price at all times of the day. The proximity to the sea guarantees daily fresh fish and seafood of highest quality.
The historic buildings became museums and can be visited with a multiple ticket during the day. I did not visit all of them, but the old covered Japanese bridge, the Chinese and Fujian congress halls as well as the old Tan-Ky house were worth to see and excellent photo motifs – even at daytime temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius.
In the evening, when the temperatures subside, the city flourishes. What makes the city so famous is the fact, that millions of lanterns and lights illuminate the old streets – and an effectively equal number of people are strolling through the streets. This mood is hard to describe, you have to experience it yourself. Or you can look at the pictures.
For each full moon, a lantern festival is celebrated – burning candles in paper ships are put into the water and drive slowly past the promenades towards the sea.