Friday, March 20, 2020

Scenes of Pretty Hoi An

We had planned on several days in Hoi An, another World Heritage site, a small old port city that was defined over the centuries by Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, then Portuguese and French cultures. And then the port silted up and trade activity passed to Danang. Even the war passed Hoi An by, amazingly--both sides apparently agreeing not to contest it--and what remains is a lovely, if somewhat touristy old city reflecting all those bygone cultures, as well the Vietnamese. We arrived there via the train and taxi on March 1.

That was the plan. But news of the spreading contagion in the US, and concern that our government would close borders before we could return at the end of March, convinced us that it was time to cut our southeast Asia trip short and get back to the States, our doctors and clinic and pharmacy, and a support system that spoke English. Our original return flight would have taken us through Tokyo (!), but Vicki managed to change that, finding a direct United flight from Singapore to San Francisco. And so we spent two days in Hoi An, doing some sightseeing but mostly making those arrangements, before flying March 3 first to Ho Chi Minh City and then to Singapore. March 4 we made the 14 hour trip back to SFO.

Apart from my usual random walks, we spent one good day seeing old Hoi An, and the pix below mostly reflect that day. We very much regretted not spending more time in this interesting place.
Tour boats along the river

Street scenes

So bespoke tailors are all over southeast Asia--3 suits, 6 pants, 4 shirts, $200,
2 hours (I exaggerate a bit)--but nowhere did it seem more stylish than in
Hoi An

One of many old, renovated buildings

Old city well

Motorbike shopping in the market

Personally, I prefer my pizza with anchovies, or if shrimp, peeled and de-veined;
arranged anti-clockwise

We had banana pancake in Laos; not all that great; never did get
to mango pancake

Favorite Hoi An t-shirt

Where we got our last Vietnamese haircuts and pedicure

Our hotel at night

So Hoi An is a bit moist, and when we observed a couple
mosquitoes in our room, the hotel provided us with this

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