Monday, May 7, 2007

Hoi An, Vietnam - 1 May 07

Old town Hoi An, a living museum

The bus trip to Hoi An from Nha Trang was an uncomfortable one. The seat was small and i was sitting beside of a huge Veitnamese uncle. So it were squeezed and clamped. Numb at my back side after a couple of hours and it was really scary to see a stranger's face so closed to you when you kind of woke up in the middle of night.

The bus sent us to some kind of hostel at the outskirt (may be 15 min walk from the town). i refused to pay USD 9 for a night, so i walked to the town. It was a pleasant surprised that i met Viet Ha on the street just like this!. She offered to share room with me, so i just took it. The guest house was very nice and safe. Family runs and it was an ancient Chinese mansion kind of design. The only draw back was may be, there were rats. Not a huge issue to me though.

i paid a huge entrance fees of 750000 D for visiting to 5 places or 5 ancient building that kind of things. i swore that, i am not going to pay for any temple or pagoda again! All of these were looking the same to me after countless time of visits to different temples and pagoda for the past few weeks. The whole town itself was a master piece already, so unless you are really good in architectual or you want to contribute to the building conservations, or else, i seriously see no reason to pay this.

When i was having my lunch some where by the river and writing my trip diary, it was funny that an Australian couple mistaken me as the owner. They were there to book some kind of cooking class. We had a nice short chat and they told me that they took a hardseat train from Hanoi to Hue. I would like to take a soft seat at first, but if they could do this, i guess i am capable to bear with any possible uncomfort too.

By evening, Viet Ha and me shopped around the ancient city. It was kind of diffiuclt to imagine that, this city has stilled with the time and stayed as it is for centuries. The town was quite at night and this was one of the place where i felt safer to go out at night too.

We were supposed to have dinner with a German good friend couple. But both of us waited for each other at the different entrance of the restaurant. It was after Viet Ha wondering for 4th times that she managed to find them. This dinner was one of my great dinners for weeks. Good compasionship and good food.

Viet Ha's birthday fall on the next day. The guesthouse owner was so lovely that she gave her a boutique (forgot the spelling) of flowers. The only thing that i got and not from Vietnam was the Cambodian silk krama (scaft). So i gave it to her as her 22th birthday.

The fresh vegetable and meat market.

Except for tailor-made clothing, Hoi An is famous with Chinese lanterns in various shapes and sizes.

One of the old house been converted into shop house.
It is said that, the old town looks exactly the same as centuries ago. Many structure exhibit features of traditinal architecture rarely see today.

Phac Hat Pagoda. Hoi An was the site of the first Chinese settlement in sourthern Vietnam.

The cultural show, admission included in the Hoi An old town entrance ticket.

This picture is bizarre. Do you notice the transparent cyclist? i couldn't remember whether she was there when i took the photo.

1.) Food - 129000 D
2.) Accommodation - 100000 D
3.) Sight - 95500 D
4.) Others - Burnt CDs: 50000 D

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