Hoi An is a crumbling beauty. Not so long ago, it was just a forgotten, sleepy village whose main charm was that it hadn’t been bombed into oblivion during the war. Now, it’s on the tourist trail in a big way and is crammed full of restaurants, hotels, and clothing shops.
Old Town looks much as did did a hundred years ago, with tiny buildings packed cheek-to-jowl, their walls covered in fading, worn paint. It reminds me, in a sense, of Venice. I’m here in the low season and the tourist presence is strong — I can only imagine what it’s like in the high season. Normally, that would irritate me, but I just can’t bring myself to complain — it’s just so relaxed and lovely.