Photos from Hoi An: Stepping Back in Time

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Early morning light on the quiet streets of Old Town

Picture 1 of 8

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.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

ayngelina July 4, 2010 at 6:18 am

We totally have the same photography sensibility – I’m missing the bike but we’re attracted to the same colour schemes.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ayngelina/3061656671/
.-= ayngelina´s last blog ..Leon’s Museum of Legends and Myths =-.

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wes July 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm

nice shot! love your photos :)

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Lisa July 4, 2010 at 6:29 am

Your photo of the blue door is stunning!

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wes July 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Thanks, Lisa. To be honest, it’s hard to take a bad photo here — amazing place, visually.

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Natalka July 4, 2010 at 6:39 am

Love your photo’s. Looking forward to returning in Feb.

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Dave and Deb July 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Beautiful Photos! When we were in Hoi An it was pouring rain the entire time. It is nice to see the colours in the sunlight. On a side note, we loved the shopping there. We bought a tonne of clothes while we were there, and during our recent press trip with Princess Cruises we had the chance to finally wear our dressy wardrobe. We were the best dressed of the group and we didn’t pay more than $35 for anything. That includes Dave’s full cashmere suit:)
It must be awesome to be there in low season. Enjoy!
.-= Dave and Deb´s last blog ..Mt McKinley from Denali National Park- Snapshot Sunday =-.

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wes July 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm

wow, nice score on the clothes! I was tempted but resisted the urge to add more weight to my pack ;)

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Mitch July 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Nice blog – you’re a fantastic photographer.

A friend and I have been riding from Saigon ever since May, and we’re abou to roll into Hanoi. When you leave Hoi An, I strongly suggest you take the 1A up to Hue. Normally the 1A is a truck-swamped hellroad that we avoided at any cost, but that stretch goes over a huge mountain range jutting out into the ocean and is stunningly beautiful. Be sure to check out the ruined French hill fort at the top too!
.-= Mitch´s last blog ..DAY 67- The Country Of No =-.

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wes July 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Thanks, Mitch. I’ve been checking out your blog and I am *so* glad I didn’t buy a Minsk. Best of luck on the last leg to Hanoi! You’ll make it!

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Casa De Hamilton Pool July 6, 2010 at 10:10 am

Nice all the way around. Love the bike and that raccoon. :)

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Nomadic Chick July 8, 2010 at 5:14 am

luvvvved Hoi Ann. I begged an artisan to adopt me! Gorgeous photos, Wes.
.-= Nomadic Chick´s last blog ..Greyhound Politics =-.

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Rambling Saffie July 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

Lovely pics. Am in Hoi Ann at the end of the month, can’t wait
.-= Rambling Saffie´s last blog ..The Doosan Bears =-.

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Eli July 10, 2010 at 5:55 am

I hope that dog isn’t going to become someone’s meal. Or am I thinking of a different country? Great photos, as always.

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wes July 11, 2010 at 8:15 am

This one’s too cute to eat!

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SHABL July 10, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I loved Hoi An, spent 2 months there, even spent 1 week in the hospital for a fractured forehead. Cool that you’re in Vietnam, one of my favorite countries in the world.

Cool blog Wes.
.-= SHABL´s last blog ..SHABL Attending a Polish Wedding =-.

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Liz July 11, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Nice to see Hoi An through someone elses eyes! Well done, you have captured the spirit of the ancient city!

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wes July 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Why, thank you, Liz :)

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Chris Day January 5, 2011 at 6:59 am

I was in Hoi An Summer 2009 , although the hotel i stayed at offered a pool. It was made up by the staff going thru your bags. And they know when your not in your room cause you have to leave the key when you go out. Usually its to cut the power to your room. But some hotel staff are under paid. So they have jobs to supplement themselves. But your right. Hoi-An is crumbling and no one knows how to fix it. I also took a hop on hop off buss from Tam Ky a ride that takes 1 hour for 25 miles south .

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wes January 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

Yeah, this kind of theft is a problem in many places. I lock my stuff in a duffel bag if I’m worried about it. They can still cut it open but then you *know* that someone has been in there.

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Becks July 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Wow! Beautiful pictures! I visited Hoi An a few years ago when I was living in Asia and had a few weeks’ holiday. We had been planning to travel around a bit once there, but ended up staying just outside Hoi An the whole time; just relaxing, scuba diving, cycling about, and taking pictures. I have also been to Venice, and appreciate the comparison, although I much prefer Hoi An. I felt Venice was decomposing, where Hoi An felt like it was simply crumbling back into the landscape. If you’ve extra time and are bored, this is my experience in Vietnam:
http://becky-garrett.blogspot.com/2008/06/vietnam-place-to-be-seriously.html

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