From the Thu Bon river bridge that connected the little island we were staying on, you could see down into old town of Hoi An and the lanterns and the boats shuttling tourists around. I was already excited. Though, as we entered the fruits and vegetable market, it turned into souvenirs, and we were completely surrounded by white people! Tourists!
Hoi An, beautiful as it is, was completely overrun. We hadn’t been around this many foreigners throughout our entire trip. In some ways, I wish we had started our journey here instead of ending it, because it would have been a good introduction to Vietnam (although I truly loved the jolt of Hanoi). Still, people come to Hoi An for a reason, and it is because it’s just stunning. The yellowed walls here, which outside Hoi An were usually reserved for government buildings, were bright and vibrant, a colorful contrast to the paper lanterns that were everywhere (this was the city of lanterns, after all).
Stéph rushed us through the packed streets on to a restaurant before it closed, and I was desperately capturing what I could in between gangs of tourists and vendors. The food here was also so good! We got drinks later and walked around as night fell. Instagram lovers were renting boats and putting their lanterns into the water, making wishes. Felt like littering to me, ha.
We had a couple more days here, so we did take it easy and explore the city at our leisure, ducking into the “old houses” that were preserved for visitors, and just enjoying the atmosphere. Hoi An is a town I will think fondly of, always with a bit of advice to visit in the off season.