Every holiday has a lingering memory, an image frozen in the mind’s eye – thinking of which always evokes warmth and joy. What was the most fun activity I did in Hoi An? People watching, of course!
August is the last month of peak domestic season in this ancient trading port – the resorts were full, the old quarters across the bridge was brimming with people and the evenings magically blue.
How can you speak of Hoi An and not talk about the lanterns that light up this quaint town in a myriad of warm colours? Wonder how it looked when there was no electricity! Every day at dusk, I headed to the old part of the town just gaze at people and their quirks and of course, at the lanterns gently swaying in the breeze. We did it by day too, but the nights were the time when Hoi An turned into a Vietnamese fairytale.
As you head towards the old quarters in the morning, you cannot miss the artists’ who come to catch the early light to sketch and paint the wooden bridge which is the iconic symbol of Hoi An. This wooden bridge that the Japanese built in the 15th century connects the Chinese quarters to the Japanese. You can still walk over the bridge or ride a cycle through it – remember to pay your respects at the little shrine that has been built inside the bridge too. By the way, entry to the old town requires a ticket, which also allows you entry into five heritage monuments and preserved buildings in the old town. The Japanese bridge is one of them.
I saw photoshoots just about everywhere and I assume they were either fashion shoots or bridal shoots! I saw one on a boat as well, against the striking backdrop of the blue skies, with the bride and groom in deep hued Vietnamese silk brocades.
The lanes of Hoi An are magical – if you don’t want photos with the lanterns as background, do what little A and I did – rest your tired feet at one of the several cafes that serve Vietnamese ca phe or tea! And if you, like us, decide to travel in August, be prepared for rain showers and stifling humidity when it isn’t raining.
What would be my lingering memory of Hoi An, apart from the lanterns and the blue blue sky? Couples twinning in similar outfits – in fruity prints and bright colours – so much so that I had a contest on my Instagram account for the couple that were the most in sync. Did you see it? If not have a look at @travelkathas.
Gives you couple goals, doesn’t it?