Day 12 – Nov.1 – Hoi An – Hoi An lies at the edge of the Mekong River.
Our hotel is just a short walk along the river away from the small town. The entrance to the old town is marked by an arch covered in Chinese lanterns. Cars are restricted to certain times of the day and walking is a very pleasant way to pass the evening.
The town is on both sides of the river and there are many boats for hire to be paddled up and down the wide body of water by their owners as you sit and take in the beauty of the area.
The buildings are lined up next to each other and there is no shortage of items to look at or buy as you wander slowly past the stores. The people are friendly and many speak English well.
You can have a suit, shoes or a fancy dress made here to order for you over night. We did not. I did have two small leather pouches of my own design made for my business cards, however.
The streets are lit by hundreds of lanterns as we are here at the end of Lent. There are many people on the streets. The town is laid out in the grid system, so it easy to figure out where you are.
Hanoi’s old city was a maze of crooked, narrow roads. This is more like what we are used to in the modern world.
The buildings have a store on the first floor while most people live up above their stores on the second or third floor. The river floods often and many stores have marked the flood levels on the walls. The water can rise fifteen feet or more during the rainy season. When the water comes, the owners take all their products up stairs if possible.
The street hawkers walk around trying to sell their items to the unwary tourists. Many of the items are toys that I have seen before as a child in America.
Many of the buildings are colored in gold stucco or paint. The city glows at sunset.