On the central coast of Vietnam is the city of Hoi An. Known for it’s well-preserved Ancient Town, food and amazing mix of architecture, it was our first destination on the trip to Vietnam. After a brief one night stay in Saigon. I’m just going to let the photos do the talking for a little while.
We arrived on the night of Hoi An’s full moon lantern festival. Intentionally, rather than accidentally. It was the reason why we hot footed from Saigon to Hoi An as soon as we could – to take the festival in. It was crowded beyond belief but the town looked beautiful.
Wandering through the old town it was the architecture that really drew me in. The mixture of French colonial, Chinese and Japanese is something to see. And some of the exteriors of these buildings look like they’re only just holding it together.
The Old Town is teaming with tourists and shops and stalls catering exclusively to those tourists. It can get a little much. Which is why it’s nice to keep walking through the old town in the market area where you’ll find more locals and maybe a bit more chaos or quiet, depending on the time of day.
One of the strange things that took a little while to get used was how early the shops and some restaurants close up in the evening. Coming from Bahrain, where you can find something to eat at 2am without a problem. Restaurants and some bars were closing up at 10:30pm. Early in my books! Still, if you’re looking for something to drink around then, you’ll be sure to find a few expat style bars.
While very touristy Hoi An is a charming little city with a lot to offer. It made for the perfect starting point for our little Vietnam adventure.
(I’ll be writing more about my trip to Vietnam. Stay tuned!)
It looks like a lovely town. Very picturesque. Your pictures are AMAZING
You know, me and the BF were trying to figure it out if there were many Vietnamese tourists there and we simply couldn’t tell. We would people watch to try to figure out if the tourists were Vietnamese or Chinese. (I feel terrible saying that!) I’m guessing though that there were a fair few more affluent Vietnamese tourists around during the full moon lantern festival. Less so after.
And thanks for the lovely compliments Lani! 🙂 Much appreciated.
Don’t feel bad, guessing nationalities of tourists is one of my favorite pastimes 😉
Great pictures! Vietnam is quite close to my country. I love looking at those architecture, such great object to see and admire, and to be taken picture of
Thank you 🙂 There was so much to take photos of in Hoi An – every little alley and street there was something beautiful.
I love all the vibrant colors in the photos!! Yea, I was surprised when Japan (other than Tokyo) shuts down early. Taiwan is boppin’ at night! Did you take more photos of the lantern festival? That must have been a sight!
Thanks Lisa. I did take a few more photos but I chose to only take 1 lens out with me that night, which turned out to be the wrong lens for the situation 🙁 Still, i have the memories!
Saigon was a little different to Hoi An, but still, things get pretty quiet after a certain time. Crazy.
I only spent one afternoon in Hoi An, but it was the highlight of my trip to Vietnam 10 years ago. Your pictures make me want to return asap. 🙂
I wonder how much has changed since you were there. One afternoon in Hoi An though – how fleeting! Though it sounds like it definitely left an impression on you.
Oh wow, it looks so beautiful! I really want to go to Vietnam and I’m bookmarking all of these posts for future travels 🙂
Totally recommend going to Vietnam. Such a huge country too – only saw a tiny fraction of it while I was there.
Great photography. I love the yellow houses. Looks so surreal in photos.
They really do. Even standing next to them, it’s such a weird clash of French colonial and Asian architecture you’re being surrounded by. Kind of amazing too.
Thanks Dominik. Your photos are stunning. A part of me wished I’d been there during Tet, but can’t imagine how busy it must have been.
The parts of middle Vietnam I saw were fantastic – Hoi An especially. The food in the town is on another level to any of the other cities I went to. And not to forget the fantastic coffee.