Hoi An was definitely my favorite city in Vietnam! Hoi An is an ancient port town on the Thu Bon River. The first inhabitants of the area were the Champa, who occupied the area from the 2nd-15th centuries. Then under Vietnamese rule, the city attracted foreign trade, particularly with China, supplying silk, fabrics, tea, pepper, and medicines. Other ships came from Japan, Portugal, Spain, India & France. Old maps who Hoi An (then known as Faifo) as one of the most important trading ports of SE Asia.
At night, on the opposite side of the Thu Bon River, across from the Old Quarter of town, there is a street of lanterns. They light them up every night – they were beautiful!
One of the ways to cross the river is via the Japanese Covered Bridge. This was most likely constructed by the Japanese community to link the Chinese and Japanese quarters in the 16th century. It has a green and yellow tiled roof, with 2 guardian dogs on the east side and 2 guardian monkeys on the west. A small Japanese-style pagoda to protect sailors is built into the north side. The lighting was tricky so I could only get one good photo.
Our second day in Hoi An, we went on a bike tour. We got to see a lot of the countryside, and learned to how crops got watered.
We even got to go on a buffalo ride!
Our bike trip ended with a boat ride down the river.
My last day in Hoi An, I took a cooking class with one other person in our group, Chuck. The class started off with a visit to the local market:
We then cooked a full 4-course meal: