Hoi An Old Town

Hoi_An_vendor

The small city of Hoi An is located about half way along the coast of Vietnam, and is easy to reach from Da Nang.

Hoi An is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the strength of its historic buildings, particularly those found in the Old Town which have a welcoming charm that has to be experienced to be believed.

Formerly a major port, Hoi An is now attracting many tourists who go there to soak up the town’s wonderful vibes; indulge in some reasonably priced shopping; ; laze away on the nearby magnificent beaches and to savour the local delicacies at Hoi An’s many restaurants, cafes and street stalls.

Because of the hot and sultry climate, the buildings wear the marks of their age.  These are simple dwellings which have no doubt housed families for many generations, although many shophouses have now been transformed into just shops so as to cater to the thousands of travellers who discover Hoi An.

Lest you think that Hoi An has morphed into a purely tourist town, it has not.  Hoi An is still very much a vibrant community, with a population of about 120,000 who go about their daily business with great vigour.

Relatively few cars can be seen on the roads, where motor cycles provide the main form of transport.

Whilst there I hired a motor scooter on which to do some exploring and found it a brilliant way to discover the city.  Except for peak hours, riding through the streets of Hoi An was not only very easy, but it gave me the opportunity to explore at leisure, and to stop regularly in order to take a photo or to admire just another picturesque scene.

About three kilometres from the heart of Hoi An is the coast, where clear, clean waters lap a golden sand beach.  Some of the sand was washed away in a previous storm, but it will be replaced in time as that is nature’s way.

Although there are resorts opposite the beach, when I was there few people were actually on the beach, and it looked like an ideal place to relax without being burdened by crowds.

As I rode up the coast a little on a motor scooter it seemed that it would be very easy to claim a piece of lovely beach as your own without the need to share.

Hoi An is an enchanting town. Interesting.  Accessible.  Great value.  Most of all, friendly.

The perfect place to stay awhile when in Vietnam.

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