I had seen a television program on Hoi An, so wanted to see the former Japanese fishing village.
The first impression is not favorable, because the World Heritage Stie is flooded with tourists. That said, the money has been used for decent infrastructure. The town was virtually untouched by the war, which is difficult to believe. Houses from the 16th century and after have been well-maintained. In the town center, an ancient Japanese covered bridge holds pride of place, but is impressive. The main streets are lined with tailors, galleries, shoe shops, and restaurants, but interspersed with temples, each on the ground floor of a house dating back 300 or 400 years.
The tour included lunch, which turned out to offer the best food to date in Vietnam. Vietnamese cuisine is excellent and flavorful.
Once we had time to wander the tree-shaded streets without the guide, we tried to avoid buying anything. I was lured to buy postcards, but learned that most on the items on sale were locally produced. The tailors will make anything you want, as opposed to flogging pirated brands or Chinese imports. Handicrafts are unique and well-made. I came away with a positive opinion, after being treated so well in each shop we visited. Vietnamese people are talented, hard-working, and friendly.
Anyone visiting this country should not miss a visit to Hoi An...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.