Hoi An - The Land of Desiring Reunion

While some lands we choose to discover, some others we immediately find it familiar at first sight, and always long for reunion. Hoi An is one of that lands.

The first time I travel to Hoi An, I defaulted it as a quaint and bustling urban site. However, the town welcomed the traveler with simplicity of a countryside. The flowering rice fields scented delicate fragrance.

I went straight to Hai Bà Trưng street, which leads me to the little and murmuring Hội An . Old blocks of houses connected together, creating an ancient and tranquil beauty. It seems that each green mossy roof as well as sophisticated sculpture contained a private story about the place where used to be one of the most prosperous trading ports in Southeast Asia. Bustle of regular life seemingly stops when you land on this place called Faifo. Both space and time are all deposited in the folds of ancient wooden houses.

Cau Pagoda, the ancient two-block house turning its back to the Hoai riverside, Quang Dong and Phuc Kien assembly halls, etc., stands silently here as if wanting to balance itself with the bustling of passer-by flows on the streets.

All the pieces of yellow walls connected streets to streets recall you a special Hoi An. Only when placing a clump of bougainvillea flowers next to does the wall become a splendid background of a picture.  And only when setting up a brown door frame on the wall do we know behind that, the peaceful life has lasted for centuries.

In the evening, the natural light gradually declines, making places for millions of sparkling hanging lanterns which still imprint of the ancient time.

In that fairy-tale atmosphere, let awake yourself by savoring a handful of foods in style of Quang region such as “banh bo” (bo cake), “banh vac” (vac cake), “cao lau” or “banh uot thit nuong” (thin steamed rolled rice pancake with roast meat and salad) at restaurants, which retains intact the image of the early last century, or at the small footstalls on the street side.

In the morning, the old town puts on a new jacket made from fresh sunlight. Without lanterns, Hoi An seems to be young again with each of its bright pieces. Hoi An people do not eat fast, speak loudly, or walk hastily. They are slow, not noisy, and sometimes also witty and lovely.

Hoi An is a gift of time, a cultural heritage for all. However, it is not difficult for you to find something for youself. Let’s pretend that you get lost into one of the hundred mossy lanes, or simply walk along the Hoai River at night. Breathe in this fresh air, you will wish to return to this wonderful land again.