Edit Blog Post
Published: March 12th 2023
We are so glad that we added Hoi An to our itinerary! What a treat just walking around the streets! No wonder it is a protected UNESCO site - it is maintained in all its historical glory! You can buy a pass and visit up to 5 of their historical sites sprinkled all through the old town. We visited temples, assembly halls and a theatre that featured local musicians and showcased traditional Vietnamese dance. I am sure the dancers that got to be dragons and roosters loved performing those roles as much as we loved playing Disney characters and Storm troopers in our earlier dance Days!!! Darold joined his fellow monkey (statue) at one end of the famous Japanese Covered Bridge (the other end was a dog) - the 2 Chinese animals signs bookended the bridge. I couldn't resist talking at the Assembly Hall - isn't that what it's for?
There are lanterns everywhere and every month they hold a lantern festival so check the dates before you book your trip here - we missed the March lantern festival by 3 days. But it is lovely regardless and the lanterns are everywhere along the canal, in the side
streets and you can contribute by buy a floating cardboard lantern with a burning candle to launch in the canal from the local merchants. I couldn't resist buying one from a woman who sat by the canal. She had so much character to her face - she won my heart and I bought one from her and floated it down the river with my secret wish!
The river floods on a regular basis (the last time was 2022). You can see how high the waters rose at the "old house of Tan Ky" (the highest mark was way over our heads standing in the house and I think it was 1964!). The locals are used to it and they just move things up higher every time it floods.
On our second day here, we took an excursion to Ba Na Hills to see the famous Golden Bridge. I saw photos of this and was disappointed that it was located just west of Da Nang since I didn't think we would drive back to Da Nang (the airport is in Da Nang which is about a 45 minute taxi ride south to Hoi An). But they had excursions from
our hotel and we had some Aussie's at our hotel who raved about this artificial paradise! It is quite amazing for a totally man made attraction in the hills by Da Nang. It is like a theme park (it even has an amusement park with a roller coaster and drop of doom (that we couldn't resist riding on) but it didn't feel as tacky as Disney for some reason). It is the Vietnamese equivalent though. But the architecture of the Golden Bridge with the giant hands holding up the bridge and the gorgeous gardens and statues just gave it a charm and sophistication that you don't feel at Disney World!
Sadly the day that we drove the hour back to Da Nang to go to Ba Na Hills, was incredibly misty. They have several gondolas going up the hill (they can move 10,000 people per hour) but it was so misty we couldn't see much of the scenery or the city of Da Nang and the ocean in the distance. You can see the mist in the one hand photo of the Golden Bridge which was when we arrived at the top in the morning. Thankfully by
the afternoon it burned off and we got some great photos of the Golden Bridge, the green mountains and the river and waterfall that we could see on the way down the gondola. It was so worth the trip!
Restaurants are plentiful and good food is so cheap! If you try some of the restaurants just outside the old town the prices are dropped to about half of what they are in the old town and along the canal. But dinner along the canal with a drink is still only about $30 to $40!!!
Tot: 0.053s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 11; qc: 26; dbt: 0.0326s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb