Hôi An is an enchanted place, a powerfully beautiful medieval port city that fell asleep 200 years ago and has now awoken, and we, your dislocated hippies, have fallen under its spell.
We had arrived a little frazzled from Nha Trang, extricated ourselves from the sleeper bus, and walking like Egyptians, folded ourselves into a cab and motored to another lovely little AirBnB, just opposite this imposing Buddhist temple where, we soon discovered, a muffled drum would be beaten each day at 5 am and 5 pm.
Thus reverently awoken we ambled sleepily down to the old town and stood, rubbing our eyes, staring dumbstruck at the beautiful buildings. Stately houses with polished and lacquered beams and pillars, draped with flowers, rooms divided by courtyards cooled by bamboo and fish ponds.
A little Ponte Vecchio…the Japanese Bridge.
Beautiful young people lusciously clad and posing, line the walls and riverfront.
The river, replete with pontoons, rice boats and barges, paper lanterns, ancient shop fronts. It is seriously like walking through a postcard.
There were beautiful women afloat.
A Teeny Weeny Lady selling Tiny Winy Bananas.
A Teensy Weensy lady selling…well….very small fish.
There is beautiful embroidery, impressive Gods, Dragons in the river, lickety-splick snippedy-snip tailors, outrageous suits, delectable food, temples, meeting halls, lacquer and incense. And did I mention ice cold very good draught beer at 30c a glass !
There is even this device above, evidently a “Paddy Thrasher” ! Faith and Begorrah, what did we ever do to them ?