Our plan for the day was to make a 20 km trip out of Da Nang to visit Hoi An - a town recognized as a Unesco World Heritage Site for being a well preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port from the period between the 15th to 19th centuries. It is interesting to note that the town’s preservation came as a result of silt build up in the My Tho River heading to Hoi An during the latter part of the 19th century: the silt made boat access to the port difficult and so it stopped being an active trading port. Chances are it would be a very different town today had it continued as an active port location.
Leaving the port we took a bus that travelled along the coast most of the way as we headed towards Hoi An. We passed a few beaches that looked quite nice - although it was early, hazy and the beaches were more or less deserted. Somewhere in this region there is a beach that was dubbed as China Beach by the Americans during the Vietnam War, but we don’t think we actually passed by that beach even though the guide on the bus kept making reference to the name.
At Hoi An the tour bus parked as close as possible outside the historic town so it was nice to approach the heritage site on foot.
One of the first things we got to see was an interesting bridge - known as the Japanese Covered Bridge. It was built in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link up with a Chinese community across the stream. We thought initially that it required a paid ticket to access the bridge, but subsequently found out that the ticket was actually to see a small and easy to overlook temple on the bridge. The bridge itself seems to be a well recognized symbol used to represent Hoi An.
Once over the Japanese Bridge it really did feel like we had gone back in time - Hoi An is very quaint and was very enjoyable to explore on foot. Other attractions in the old town were a number of small museums and temples. We’d say our favourite of those would be the Museum of Trade Ceramics with its many examples of ceramics from mostly Persia, China, Thailand and India obtained during Hoi An’s time as an active trading port. Walking through the local market was also a highlight of the day for us.
When it came time for us to chill for a bit - we located what looked like a decent wine bar called the White Marble Restaurant & Wine Bar and had a wonderful time there enjoying some wine and watching the activities on the street. It was a good choice for a place to relax for a bit. Most of the entertainment came from street vendors, some of whom would come into the wine bar in an attempt to sell us their wares. One street vendor in particular will always stand out in our minds - with english that sounded like it was learned from old movies…saying things to Linda such as “how do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it, dhhhharling?”. You can see an image of her in the Da Nang Image Gallery below.
Hoi An was a great experience, and we really appreciated the day here - the slow strolling by ourselves on a pleasant day as we enjoyed the sights of this quaint historic town.
WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.