The Viet Nam travel series continues with a look back at Hoi An, also known as Ancient Old Town. Hoi An is a UNESCO Heritage site because in the 15th to 19th century, it was a major trading port, and to this day, it is extremely well preserved. Many tourists flock to this destination for its rich history and night market.
This is an image of the Japanese Covered Bridge, the only fully covered bridge in the city and on the back side of the bridge, there is a temple. I’ve read that it was built in the 16th century to connect the Japanese community with the Chinese quarters (there is some discrepancy regarding the date of when the bridge was built, some say 17th century, others, 18th century….). Anyways, the bridge is meant to also symbolize the impact of the Japanese and their influence in Hoi An as merchants, as the town was an important trading port for being so close to the South China Sea.
Unfortunately we only spent half a day here as part of the ‘Middle of Viet Nam Tour’. Luckily, we arrived just as the sun was setting. I felt that the city really transformed once it was night time, it became more tranquil with the lanterns lighting up the streets.
The floating candles created a fairy-tale like atmosphere about the town- reminding me of that scene in the Disney movie Tangled. It was strange, it felt like none of this was real, and it was hard to imagine what it would have been like to live in this town dating back from the 15th century. Since it was so well preserved, there was this juxtaposition of feeling like you’re going back in time but then you see so many other tourists and remember you’re actually in the present. I’ve experience this weird “time limbo” before where my brain tries to make sense of the past while experiencing the past much much later than when it happened. If any of that makes sense, let me know if you’ve ever felt that way too.
Truthfully, before this trip, I didn’t know about Hoi An. In fact, I looked to instagram to see where people were travelling to within Viet Nam, as I have only been in the south. I bet you’ll recognize Hoi An depicted by the paper lanterns from the market. They do make stunning backdrops that are of course, Instagram-able and popular for engagement photos as well.
I wish I had brought my tripod with me on the tour, one of those things you learn as you go in terms of what’s important to pack with you. Anyways, my apologies that it’s been a long time since my last post- an update on *life* later haha.
Safe travels everyone!
references to check out: