The Faces of Hoi An
A boy I know once said Hoi An is a vortex – a place which draws people and makes it hard for them to leave. He came for a few days, stayed more than a month. There is much truth in it – I have never been to a place which has so much diversity of scenes, images, and prettiness in such small area. There is something special in Hoi An which is not visible when you just pass for few days. The ancient town is charming and attractive but it is not all that Hoi An has to offer to our eyes, senses ( and cameras ).
The many faces of Hoi An make it a nice spot to visit, no matter what you like in a travel destination. The mixture of western cafes, fancy restaurants and art galleries is living peacefully with picturesque countryside where people live like I believe they have lived hundred years ago. There is something for everyone – fancy clothing shops, luxury boutique hotels, charming alleys, galleries. There is also live music, bars, expensive restaurants and local cheap eateries. A step away though is the countryside, where the traditional way of life is preserved as much as possible.
It is easy here to forget sometimes that I am in Vietnam. But just hopping on the motorbike and driving for 5-10 minutes out of the town centre a completely different scenery is revealed. Another face of Hoi An – the countryside. Villages where local people farm, they have gardens, buffalos, pots with Vietnamese tea in the front yard. They do not speak English ( most of them ) and usually don’t try to sell anything. Big rice fields spread around Hoi An and separate it from the beach. The farmers wear their traditional hats while working in the fields, the image of that reminding “Hey, it’s Vietnam”.
Colourful, rich, atmospheric. I believe I should stop writing something that can easily be shown with photos. And here they are.
The Face everyone sees on their first day – the ancient town.
Yellow, blue, wood and old walls. Charm and quietness, charm and market shouts.
The faces (and backs) of the people working with tourists
The face of green and rice
While the town is full of noise, smells, sellers, shouts and tourist attractions, the countryside is calm, laid-back and it feels like the time there has stopped (or at least it moves quite slowly).