Hoi An is a beautiful town, and I guess it was an amazing place to spend your holidays ten years ago. Nowadays, the town has become a huge souvenir shop, crowded with tourist groups, tailors, shoemakers and lanterns shops. The town is the perfect example of how mass tourism can destroy a place. I guess the surroundings of the city must be beautiful, but since we were caught in the heavy rain, we couldn’t check it out.
The Cam Nam Bridge over the Thu Bon River.
Doing the laundry.
The view from our hotel. When we arrived to Hoi An there was a riverfront.
The second day the rain gave us a truce in the afternoon, and I took the opportunity to take a walk around the town, visiting the market and some of the houses and assembly halls.
Waiting for the motorbikes.
The town starting to get flooded…
Tran Family Chapel
This wooden boxes contain the Tran’s ancestors’ stone tablets, with their births and death dates and some personal effects inside.
The garden of the house. Here is where Tran family used to bury the placentas of the newborn babies, with this practice they wanted to prevent fighting between the children.
I visited three or four assembly halls. The Chinese who settled in Hoi An identified themselves according to their province of origin and each community built its own assembly hall, it was their place to hang out.
The Assembly Halls you can visit in Hoi An are: the Assembly Hall of Fujian Congregation, the Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation, the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation, the Chinese All-Community Assembly Hall and the Assembly Hall of the Hainan Chinese Congregation.
The Assembly Hall of Fujian Congregation
The market of the city.
Another Assembly Hall. I don’t remember which one…
Tran Duong House.
I went to visit this house because it was the only one inside a French colonial building. Almost all the other houses have become tourist attractions and nobody lives there anymore, but this one is still a private house and the granddaughters of the founders still live there. You enter the house through a small souvenir shop, I found it cause they had this ad hanging on the entrance of the shop: “Tran Duong House, in Lonely Planet”. I went inside, and there were two girls in their pyjamas watching tv. I thought I was in the wrong place and I was about to leave when one of the girls told me in a very weird English (I never got to get used to Vietnamese English…)”You want to see house?” I agreed and she guided me inside her house. She was talking and talking and I was nodding all the time and saying “aha, aha”, until the girl realized I didn’t get a word of what was she saying and told me a little annoyed “You don’t like my English?”, I replied her “Oh no, your English is amazing, I’m just tired” and she continued showing me the house, explaining to me I guess the history of the house, showing me their humble kitchen, mini garden, micro shower full of spider nets… I was feeling so intrusive that I didn’t dare to take any picture, until she told me “What happens? You don’t like my house? Why you don’t take pictures?” So, I immediately started to take pictures of everything. Below are some of them.
Hoi An food is delicious, even the snacks you buy at the street are yummy.
Ho Chi Minh in the garbage.
The Japanese Covered Bridge.
The monkey guarding the bridge.
The flood waters getting higher.
Tan Ky House.
Diep Dong Nguyen House.
This was my favorite house. Still a private house, it was a relief finally visiting a house without a souvenir section. It used to be a dispensary for Chinese medicines, and they still keep all the ceramics glasses with them lining the walls.
The family of the house was sitting at the entrance, getting some fresh air.
The antique dispensary.
Hugest dead cockroach ever.
Quan Thang House.
I’ll never ever again will feel embarrassed about my protruding ears.
No riverfront anymore.