You’re viewing a version of this story optimized for slow connections. To see the full story click here.

Hoi An

An ancient city turned tourist shopping destination.

Story by Dustin Johnston July 26th, 2016

The road to hoi an

Three traditional woven bamboo boats float alongside a longtail boat.
Enjoying the view on the road south to Hoi An.
A train on its way to Hoi An travels alongside the road cutting through the mountain pass.
At a peak in the mountain pass, we see outposts from the Vietnam war which, to me, seem like an odd backdrop for wedding photos.
A glimpse at the mountain pass winding back to Hue.
A look-out point with a faint view of Da Nang, Vietnam.
Climbing the locally-famous Marble Mountain, with a view of the myriad shops selling marble carvings below.
A sight we have not seen much in Vietnam: Buddhist monks visiting the temples on the Marble Mountain.
Buddhist temple atop the Marble Mountain. It was hotter than this photo shows.

hoi an, ancient town

Common sites in the Ancient City are hanging flowers, yellow walls, and countless bicycles.
The centuries-old architecture has helped this part of town earn a UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Another common site in the town: hanging lanterns.
Shops usually sell the same touristy t-shirts and trinkets, but the old school charm of the neighborhood makes it all worthwhile.
So many colors and textures, most crossed with power lines.
A dog stands watch over his owner's shop.
The locals wear things like this to protect them from the sun while they are on their motorbikes.
The doors of an old Chinese temple.
These fishing nets work via a mechanism that lowers and lifts them from the shore of the river.

the many lives of bicycles

Yen Co to go! This charming lady sold us a delicious, sweet, crunchy pancake sort of snack.
A modern bike with some more old school attachments.
Impressive balance by this lady carrying trays of toys will biking down the busy street.
Rikshaw-style bike taxis wait for hoards of tourists to step off their buses.
A line of rikshaw bicycles lead tourists through town.
Beautiful hanging flowers cover an alley.
Looking for fare.

beat the heat (with a siesta)

Finding shade even when it's hard to come by.
During the mid-day heat, there are few people in the markets so it's a perfect time for a short nap.
Grandmas napping everywhere.
No one is out in the mid-day heat.
Just wake me up if you want to buy something.
Hoi An-49.jpg
I hope the sidewalk felt cool.

world famous banh mi

Hoi An's best banh mi shop made famous by Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations.
A surprisingly short line for TV-famous banh mi.
Slicing delicious, fatty pork.
Hoi An-21.jpg
Hurry up and take the photo so we can dive in.

at night

Hanging lanterns above a busy sidewalk.
Street lights and palm trees.
Vietnamese flag waving over the unique Hoi An architecture.
The cool nights and pretty lights bring the Hoi An Ancient City to life.
Sold all over the markets, this dried fish looked good but we never tried any. :(
Contemplated crashing this wedding.
Fishing nets hang above the dry river.
I snuck a photo of this handsome couple while they were taking wedding photos.
Green light illuminate this ancient Japanese bridge.