how tortuous this day began, but how beautifully it ended. for the last 16 or so hours we have been in a bus, face glued to the window, watching the rice fields and everyday life of vietnam pass us by in a slight blur. like setting a bowl of m and m’s in front of me, then telling me i cant have any. my frustration is at a threshold. in other words, i simply want off of this freaking bus. however, at 6 am we finally arrive to hoi an, and im instantly in love.. forgetting the woes of the previous bus ride.
once a major trading post for the chinese and japanese the town still holds much of this influence in the architecture and street craft of today. for many, this ancient piece of art in everyday life is one of vietnam’s-must-sees… aka it’s a major tourist attraction for central vietnam.
so naturally, another room found,we drop our bags and our passports at a front ‘desk’, and begin to do what may just be my calling in life… wandering. towards the ‘center market’ to be more precise. little did we know what the streets and alleyways would have in store for us.. or for sale rather..
the brightly colored raw ingredients, the ducks literally in a row, and the smell of fish are all way too much for my senses. i step back in awe. my happiness has peaked like the cylindrical hats that circle around me.
in other words, vietnam is so vibrant, so unconsciously aware of who it is. at times i can not believe that this is real. as if this is a play and the streetlife and attire, the smells, the conical hats and longtail boats are all props aimed at my disillusion. if so, what great actors you all are!
on another note, for those of you who keep questioning my food palette. here you go: a list of hoi-an must eat specialities! not to be found anywhere else in the world .. dont worry we did enjoy and devour all the items below to the fullest….
1. cao lau – hoi-an’s claim to fame. a type of thick and sweet fried rice noodle served with croutons, bean sprouts, and fried pork .. in my case tofu. you cant come without having a bowl, as it is served with the water from the town’s well.
2. white rose – a traditional salty dish made from rice paper, garlic, and chilli sauce… to me it resembled baby jellyfish
3. wontons- fried and covered in sweet and sour vegetables and pineapple, “you cant go wrong with a wonton”
4. vegetable spring rolls
5. viet beer- known as the cheapest beer in the world. 3000 dong for a glass, roughly equivalent to 15 cents.
simply stated, we loved Hoi-an, the mix of old and new. but now we catch the sunset and another bus to the city of Hue. Updates coming soon.