Hoi An Hotel

Today, we flew from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang on Vietnam Airlines. Da Nang was the location of the American air base during the Vietnam War. From Da Nang, we drove south to Hoi An. It was dinnertime when we arrived at our hotel. Photo: Lights outside our hotel.

Hoi An Hotel

Walking into Town

Tonight is Lunar New Year’s Eve. Firecrackers and other fireworks are not allowed in Vietnam, but there was the constant honking of motorscooter horns in celebration. There was a fireworks show by the river at midnight, but I skipped it as by the time I got would have gotten back to my hotel I wouldn’t have been able to get enough sleep to wake up for tomorrow’s tours. The show was also visible from our hotel’s roof.

However, Tho asked if we wanted to take a mile walk into town to eat there (I think he meant a mile to the edge of the town and then another mile to the restaurant––it was a very long walk) . The town was all lit up with colored lanterns, which is a usual sight as Hoi An is the city of lanterns.

Walking into Town

Walking into Town

For part of our night walk, we were able to walk on sidewalks, though we had to avoid many potholes in them. Then the sidewalks were taken up by vendors, some selling yellow chrysanthemums for New Year’s. So we had to walk on the edge of the road with the motorscooters coming right at us. Not too scary except when we had to go further into the oncoming traffic to walk around a scooter parked halfway on the sidewalk and halfway on the road, then it was very scary. Tho, what were you thinking? You are leading a group consisting of many on Medicare on a death–defying walk. If my children saw what I was doing this New Year’s Eve, I think they would be insisting that I come right home.

There is always a “however.” This was our baptism of how you walk on the street in much of Vietnam. The sidewalks are taken up by vendors and parked motorscooters––sidewalks are not always for pedestrians. So we had to walk this way many times. Once you do it once and get the hang of it, you still respect the motorscooters but you aren’t freaked out by them coming right at you.

We ate. Some went to the river to see more lights. I was with the group who found a cab to go back to the hotel. The cab driver went right through the pack of motorscooters, not slowing down for them. I’m glad I wasn’t in the front seat.

I have put my night photos of Hoi An on a slideshow: Go to Slide Shows, Asia, Vietnam, “Hoi An: Old City–1, Tour Days 5 & 6(A)” or directly to

http://www.peggysphotos.com/hoi–an–old–city–tour–days–5–6a/

Walking into Town

Hoi An

Hoi An seen from my hotel window the next morning. Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage City, which means that buildings in its old section cannot be altered. Many of its buildings were built in the 16th century.

The weather was cooler in Hoi An. I had been counting the days until we were to head north from Ho Chi Minh City and the horrible heat and humidity of that city and of Cambodia. We had some good rain plus some light showers today, but that was quite bearable.

Hoi An

Hoi An

Close–up.

Hoi An

At Our Hotel

Seen from our hotel.

At Our Hotel

At Our Hotel

Fancy lion guarding our hotel.

At Our Hotel

At Our Hotel

Good luck tree in the lobby.

At Our Hotel

At Our Hotel

Close–up.

At Our Hotel

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Sign across the street from our hotel. I saw laundry being dried on clothes lines on a terrace above the laundry.

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Street scene across the street.

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Across the Street from Our Hotel

An old woman sweeping the sidewalk.

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Across the Street from Our Hotel

The old woman.

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Advertisement.

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Another advertisement.

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Sidewalk gas pump.

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Another sidewalk gas pump.

Across the Street from Our Hotel

Thu Bon River Cruise

We did a short walk through the old section of Hoi An, including a stop at the Central Market. Not many stores were open at the early hour of about 9 a.m. as it was New Year’s Day, the start of the Tet holiday. The Vietnamese are given one week off for Tet. The first day, today, is family day. The second day is to visit relatives and the third day is to visit friends.

We went back to the Old City four times in all. I have put the first three times, including our night walk, on one slide show.

Go to Slide Shows, Asia, Vietnam, “Hoi An: Old City–1, Tour Days 5 & 6(A)” or directly to

http://www.peggysphotos.com/hoi–an–old–city–tour–days–5–6a/

We took a boat cruise on the Thu Bon River from the area shown in the photo. I put my photos of our boat cruise on a separate slide show. Go to Slide Shows, Asia, Vietnam, “Hoi An: Thu Bon River Cruise, Tour Day 6(C)” or directly to

http://www.peggysphotos.com/hoi–an–thu–bon–river–cruise–tour–day–6c/

Thu Bon River Cruise

Thu Bon River Cruise

A sampan seen on our river cruise.

Thu Bon River Cruise

Thu Bon River Cruise

Walking in the handicraft village that we visited on our river cruise.

Thu Bon River Cruise

On the Hoi An Riverbank

I took her photo when we got back to the mainland after our river cruise.

On the Hoi An Riverbank

Tra Que Herb Village

After our boat cruise, we had an optional tour to the Tra Que Herb Village, both to see the organic farm here and to have a cooking demonstration and lunch.

Tra Que Herb Village

Tra Que Herb Village

The chef demonstrated how to make “Xeo” cake, a Vietnamese pancake. He was very entertaining. I took a movie of the cooking demonstration. Go to Movies, Asia Movies, Vietnam Movies, page 1, or directly to

http://www.peggysphotos.com/vietnam–movies/

To Make “Xeo” Cake:

Ingredients for serving 10 people: 400 g mixed flour (rice flour, wheat flour, turmeric); 200 g shrimp; 200 g pork; 50 g lettuce; 200 g bean sprouts; 20 g green onion; 20 g chopped chili and garlic; 2 tablespoons lemon juice; 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons fish sauce; 1 cup vegetable oil; 15 flakes of rice paper.

Take the powder and mingle it with 750 ml water, then take a little bit of tumeric, chop green onion, and mix together, wait 15 minutes.

The pan should be dry and hot, put oil on it, then add shrimp and pork for cursory frying.

Pour flour into the pan, stir evenly, and add bean sprouts in the middle of the pan.

Cover pan for approximately 2 minutes until the bean sprouts are well done.

Take lid off pan and the cake should be becoming browned and crisp; fold cake in two and remove.

Sour fish dipping sauce: Mix together 2 tablespoons each of fish sauce,  sugar, and lime juice and chopped chili and garlic.

 

 

Tra Que Herb Village

Tra Que Herb Village

You wrap the “Xeo” cake in rice paper and add lettuce. The chef demonstrated how to wrap the “Xeo” cake. I took a movie of his demonstration. Go to Movies, Asia Movies, Vietnam Movies, second movie or go directly to

http://www.peggysphotos.com/vietnam–movies/

Tra Que Herb Village

Tra Que Herb Village

Next, lunch at the village. Delicious. All the vegetables were grown on the farm. On the village’s brochure, our menu is listed as Tam Huu dish, “Xeo” cakes, Hoi An spring rolls, and grilled sea fishes.

There are bicycle tours to the herb village as well experiencing a half–day living and working with the farmers.

Tra Que Herb Village

Back at Our Hotel

Tea and snacks awaiting us in the lobby. Very nice.

Back at Our Hotel

The Old City

We made our fourth trip to the Old City of Hoi An. This was for a more extensive walking tour. I have put my photos of our walking tour on a slide show. Go to Slide Shows, Asia, Vietnam, “Hoi An: Old City–2, Tour Day 6(B)” or directly to

http://www.peggysphotos.com/hoi–an–old–city–tour–day–6b/

Photo: Lanterns on the bridge to the main section of the Old City.

The Old City

The Old City

The Old City, photo taken later in the day.

The Old City

The Old City

Many stores here where you could buy lanterns to take home with you.

The Old City

Quan Cong Pagoda

One of our stops was at the Quan Cong Pagoda, founded in 1653. It is dedicated a 3rd–century Chinese general, Quan Cong. A very beautiful temple to visit.

Quan Cong Pagoda

Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall

Another stop was at the Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, a temple founded by Chinese merchants in the 17th century.

Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall

Japanese Covered Bridge

The Japanese Covered Bridge was built in the 1590s to connect the Japanese quarter to the Chinese quarter in Hoi An.

Japanese Covered Bridge

Hoi An

Photo taken in the Old City. The people of Vietnam are great photo subjects.

I very liked Hoi An. It is a great city to visit––interesting sights, lanterns everywhere, and a place to walk around slowly and to explore.

Hoi An