Hoi An, Vietnam
From Hue, we drove to
Hoi An, a beautiful scenic drive, with a great view from
Hai Van Pass down the coastline. The city is located in
the of South Central Coast of Vietnam and a UNESCO
world heritage site, famous
for its example of an ancient south east trading port. We
made a quick stop at the Marble Mountains, a famous place to pick
up some marble hand-made figurines, along the way.
We visited here for a
few days, so we were looking forward to some R&R and just having some down
time. We stayed at a lovely boutique hotel, with fresh flowers
scattered every day on the bed and in the bathroom and one
of the best breakfasts we encountered while on our trip in Asia.
There were hundreds of tailor shops to explore
where you can choose your
own fabric (everything from silk to linen), get your
measurements taken, and voila! A few days later, clothes
were ready to be picked up - new wardrobe anyone?
Johann had several shirts and trousers tailor made for
him, definitely a city to get some clothes made, though
not all tailors are created equal, we found out.
The Bon River runs
through the city, with many restaurants and shops
lining the waterfront. We went on a 2 hour walking tour,
visited Nha Trung Bay museum, took a cooking class from
Dao Tien (a wonderful person with fabulous culinary skills),
and also watched real silk worms do their thing producing
fine silk (what we pay quite a hefty sum for in Western
Another day we took a
motorbike tour. We were out the entire day, riding in
the country side, seeing small villages, engaging with
local people, a true cultural experience of daily life
in Vietnam. It was a blast, a bit scary at times,
especially riding in town, there are no stop lights or
traffic rules for that matter. You had to maneuver around
the water buffalos who strolled the roads, but for sure
a MUST DO while in Hoi An!
So many beautiful colored hand crafted
lanterns - the entire downtown was very cozy,
with lots of shops, countless tailors and green trees
lining up the streets.
Hoi An's famous Japanese bridge (built by
the Japanese trading community) -
linking the old Japanese quarter with the Chinese one.
Johann catching a quick ride with an "uncle"
to see if the clothes he had tailored made
were ready for pick up. Helmet, wow!!! That's a first...
The local sidewalk cafe - lunch anyone?
Phuc Kien Chinese Assembly Hall, the center
of town - just love
the symmetry and architecture.
Boy, did we have a great day on our motorbikes.
somebody crashed and fell in the ditch, wonder who?
We cruised through small villages and
down country lanes...
And across really sketchy
bridges...amazing Johann didn't fall in the water!
We loaded the bikes onto a pole-powered
"ferry", also a bit sketchy, but interesting.
No, this isn't after Johann crashed.
One of the motorbikes got a flat tire, so we
stopped at this guy's house who helped us fix it.
The whole neighborhood was
soon gathering around, quite an exciting occasion!
Just beautiful scenery throughout, water
buffalos in the field beyond. One of
the highlights of our trip to Vietnam.
Cooking Class Time
Heading to the market for some shopping.
Getting ready for our cooking class.
There was a lady there who kicked us out of her store
because we were American,
certainly with the older generation the War has not been
we had no other encounters like this throughout our
trip, the people were very nice.
Master chef Johann!
Yummy, we were successful - all the food
on the table we prepared and cooked,
of course with a little bit of help from our teacher, chef
Dao Tien. We learned to make
flowers out of just about every vegetable there is... So