Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vietnam 11: Hoi An, Ancient Town

The restaurant where we had lunch.
by Pa Rock

Hoi An is an ancient town on the coast of central Vietnam located between Marble Mountain and China Beach. It is on the north bank of the Thu Bon river and has served as a seaport for centuries.  It's harbor began to silt up in the last century and today big vessels can no longer reach the town.  Many old industries survive, however.  The town is particularly famous for the manufacture of silk - and making items from the silk such as fine clothing and silk lanterns.  A man can enter a silk shop, be measured for a suit, select the material, and pick up the finished product on the following day.

The Thu Bon River and one of the boats.
We had lunch at at outdoor cafe after our long morning on Marble Mountain, and that was followed by a walking tour of the old town.  Most of the buildings are made of wood, and there is one beautiful old Japanese wooden covered bridge that has been on the same site for a few hundred years - but rebuilt several times over the years.

Archaeology digs indicate that there was a seaport at this location as early as the 2nd century B.C.

Another view of the Thu Bon

Another shot of the Thu Bon and river traffic
Our guide, Tran
The walk along the river.
The ubiquitous motorbikes!

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