Gorgeous Hoi An

Hoi An is a lovely place. If I previously awarded any other city the title of “Most Beautifully Lit at Night”, I hereby rescind it and bestow it upon Hoi An, the city of lanterns.



The warm, multi-colored glow is just gorgeous. It makes you want to buy a lantern in every color to transport the feeling back to home.




I even took a lantern-making class at Lifestart, a nonprofit where adults with disabilities make all the crafts in the shop.





Fellow traveler Elena did a much better job with her lantern than I did- I think I used too much glue.


Even though I didn’t have room for it, I bought a gorgeous fabric lantern from Lifestart. (They do collapse down a little.) What? It’s a good cause!  But now something else is going to have to go in order to make space.



The rich fabric on the lanterns even looks good during daylight hours. Walking down the street, we passed several stores where people were in the process of making the lanterns. So if we had any doubts as to whether they are made in Hoi An or not, those were taken care of!  And they made their lanterns much more quickly than I made my own.




Here’s where I stayed- I just wanted to reassure you that I’m not still living in squalor.




There are also many shops here selling beautiful paintings on silk and canvas of Vietnamese scenes. In an effort to get you to buy something, sellers demonstrate how they can roll these paintings up and put them in a tube for you. Which would certainly make them easier and less delicate to transport…



… and yet since the tubes are made of grey plastic, they might also too closely resemble pipe bombs and thus make my next flight a little too eventful.



Even the Japanese Bridge was lit with lanterns at night. This covered bridge was built around the early 16th century and has a Buddhist pagoda on the other side of it. It is guarded at either end by a monkey at one side, and a dog on the other. There seems to be disagreement about why, but it likely has something to do with the year of the monkey and the year of the dog.



With all the palm trees and colorful boats, the town bears a slight resemblance to Key West. Except for the constant exhortations to buy a boat ride, of course.



Even though this town is known for its tailors, who will custom-make any clothing you could possibly desire, in just a few days, and for very little money, I didn’t get anything made. The pyro in me wanted that lantern, and there just wasn’t room for anything else.   🙂