VN-CAMB-KL : Amazing Race Hoi An

Hội An was founded as a trading port by the Nguyễn Lord Nguyễn Hoàng sometime around 1595. The Nguyễn Lords were far more interested in commercial activity than the Trịnh Lords who ruled the north. As a result, Hội An flourished as a trading port and became the most important trade port on the South China Sea. Captain William Adams, the English sailor and confidant of Tokugawa Ieyasu, is known to have made at least one trading mission to Hội An (around 1619).. ……(Wikipedia)

Why do I like old things – rustic place – shabby looks? No one knows, not even me! Haha! I think it is just a matter of taste. I do love sleek-high polished-modern looks too! Don’t misunderstand me! Hahaha! Sometimes I like 2 opposite things! Like, I like to sleep, but I like to stay awake till 2-3 am, and woke up not too late (OK, 8.30 am is not too late, right??)  I like to be in the crowd, in the hot party, but I I’m enjoyed my solitaire moment a lot….. So, once I read about Hoi An, an ancient town, listed as world heritage by UNESCO, I feel like “this a place for me!” I will gonna love this place a lot! The more I browse about  Hoi An, the more I love this city, I was soooooo excited!!

from the net, look awesome, right?!


After some research about rent-car from Hue to Hoi An, we were ended up at an offer by our hotel at Hoi An. Actually, Hue- Hoi is a popular route for traveler, it can be done by taxi (Mai Linh taxi is the recommended one) rented car, or even motorcycle. I have made my choice, rented car, no other!! Taxi would be good, but…. we are 5 person with luggage!! There are 6-7 seated taxi in VN, but…. our big luggage need space too! Anyway….. there are some stops in between Hue and Hoi An, too may arrangement to made, rented 8 seated car would be perfect! Stop and Go café offer me 70.000VND Hue to Hoi An, with stops at Lang Co beach, China beach, through Hai Van pass, and stop at marble mountain. The Hue holyday hotel, where we stayed over me 72.000 VND, and Hoang Trinh Hotel in Hoi An offer me 65.000 VND. So… more explanation! Haha!! Hue to Hoi An was 2 hours driving, since we stopped in some places, it took us around 4 hours from Hue to Hoi An. I still have no idea, what it’s like, an ancient city? How old is the city? How could it be old, when the surrounding city is modern? The next city to Hoi An was Da Nang, and Da Nang is modern, it has an airport! Once I got to the Hoang Trinh Hotel, everything looks like another small city in Indo, but lots of “welcome to the ancient city Hoi An” signs. The city is a bit quiet, no spectacular house, but nothing looks ancient too!  Oh yeah……the ancient part was not that big!! Hahahha! The housings where I life now is bigger a lot than the ancient part! Once I got inside the ancient part, I feel like doing time traveling! It was totally old-shabby-rustic-artistic-town! Awesome!! No motorcycle allowed in this area! The weird things about Hoi An is….. there are more western people than local in this area! A friend told me that Hoi An is too touristic!

All houses here selling something, I mean… souvenirs, and nothing is cheap here!

Hoi An was trading center back around 15th century. All this houses was either selling trading goods, or belongs to the trading company. This area was well known as good ceramic producer, fine silk and some other more. But ceramic was really famous, the merchant brought them to Sinai (Egypt). Some architecture in Hoi An, looks like European style, with brick and mortar, some other looks so Asia wooden style. The houses in Hoi An are genuinely old and rustic, it is not a re-built housing, nor old-styled-new-house! Hoi An also well known as lantern city, indeed, they have various of lantern, beautiful pattern, many shape and size. I was struggling against my own will to buy one! Finally, I have to face it, I don’t have place to have it installed, at home….. Bye bye beautiful lantern, u will always stay in my heart…..

There are some houses and museum Hoi An. We have to buy the ticket on the booth, on the main gate. There are around 18 places, consist of museum, old house, temple, and some other interesting site (such as bridge!). We can use the ticket to visit 5 places. I was thinking that I don’t want to buy that tickets. All I want is having slow walking around that place, sitting somewhere till dark, enjoy the moment, drinking and chatting, and thinking about how is the life in 15th century, in Hoi An. But…. the other party went to the booth straight away. After Japanese bridge that really famous, I have browse a lot about this site, we realized that some of the place was closed already, it was around 5pm. One of us started to worried, and started to blame the ticket seller, for the lack of information *yeah…. The grumpy aunt, who else??* me and the whole bunch spent the next  45 minutes with running here and there, trying to read un-clear map, finding the spot, before it is closed! Damn!! All I wanted was just slow walking, enjoy the dusk! Not this “Hoi An Amazing Race”!!

VN 10

It was amazing dusk, the sky was clear blue, the lantern and lamp started to lit, but I couldn’t make a proper “picture, cos I was joining the crazy “Hoi An Amazing Race”!!  I wish I had more days in Hoi An, but tomorrow morning I have to go to Da Nang, catch the plane to Saigon! Sigh!! Ok, I stop grumbling now! Whatever it looks, I have been visiting Hoi An, the place that really attracted me, my personal ‘highlight of the trip’, beside Angkor Wat. I’m glad those 5 tickets gone finally, so, I can walk slowly, going to the river,  checking the night market on the other side of the road, and observing interesting events around.  Gosh…..I fell in love with this city!

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