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Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Quảng Nam » Hoi An
February 18th 2007
Published: February 18th 2007
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Happy New Year of the Pig; farewell to the Year of the Dog. Or as the Vietnamese say - Chuc Mung Nam Moi. Wishing everyone lots of love, happiness, success, good health & good fortune especially to my family and friends in Australia and around the world.

Flew into Hanoi on the 11th Feb and was involved in a taxi scam. Hanoi is apparently famous for them. As a precaution, I had arranged beforehand for the hostel to meet me and arrange the taxi-ride. Unbeknownst to me, someone else had espied my name and put it on another random sheet of paper. Realised something wasn't right when the cabbies and their so-called mate (who was not a mate after all, but a scam artist) suddenly stopped by the roadside and demanded that I pay up or get out. Arguments ensued between the trio, but there was no way I was paying up or getting out as the chances of getting another ride at 9.15pm were pretty slim. Eventually they kicked the scam-monger, and agreed to head into Hanoi for extra money. Once we got there I pretended I didn't have any change and asked them to follow me to the
Water lanternsWater lanternsWater lanterns

Released down the Thu Bon river
hotel for their fare. Luckily I ran into the hotel manager on the street who sorted out the cabbies. A bit of a hairy return to Vietnam. But I was too pissed off to be scared. Cheeky bastards - the sheer audacity. All I can say is - everyone watch out when you get to Hanoi!

Next stop was Hue, which used to be the ancient capital of the Nguyen emperors. Visited the Citadel, Imperial City, and various pagodas and emperors' tombs along the Perfume River.

Then it was onto Hoi An to celebrate the Tet Festival (Vietnamese New Year). The city put on a New Years' Eve concert with folk performances, singers, dancers & games. At midnight we all stood up to pay respects to the national flag & anthem of Vietnam, which was followed by fireworks & street dancing. A fun night enjoyed by the locals and tourists.

Quite a few of the businesses were closed, but still managed to walk around and visit the numerous temples, chinese assembly halls, museums & merchants houses. Also did a cooking class (yummy) and visited the Champa ruins of My Son, which are similar to Cambodia's Angkor &
Local theatreLocal theatreLocal theatre

Piggy versus Doggy. What's with the mobile phone?
Myanmar's Bagan but on a much smaller scale and less impressive.

Additional photos below
Photos: 39, Displayed: 23


Folk performersFolk performers
Folk performers

Tet Festival concert in Hoi An
More dancersMore dancers
More dancers

Plus the 3 wise dudes
Cao LauCao Lau
Cao Lau

Hoi An specialty dish with thick rice-flour noodles, bean sprouts, pork, salad greens & pork-rind croutons in a light mint & star anise soup.
Banh BaoBanh Bao
Banh Bao

Translates as "white rose" - another Hoi An specialty dish comprising delicious steamed rice-flour dumplings filled with shrimp & vegetables.
Bringing in the New YearBringing in the New Year
Bringing in the New Year

On the stroke of midnight after paying respects to the National Flag of Vietnam, drums and gongs were banged followed by fireworks.

Locals and tourists alike enjoying the fireworks display
Dancing in the streetsDancing in the streets
Dancing in the streets

Party's only just begun
Funky kidFunky kid
Funky kid

This little cutie was boogying in the streets
New Year bloomsNew Year blooms
New Year blooms

Homes are decorated by spring blooms to celebrate the New Year.
Tet offeringsTet offerings
Tet offerings

On their altar all Vietnamese families have a tray of 5 fruits plus Banh Chung (glutinous rice cakes), and perhaps wine & sweets.
Tan Ky houseTan Ky house
Tan Ky house

Late 18th century merchants house. Jackfruit wooden column with poem-boards made of inlaid mother-of-pearl
Trieu Chau assembly hallTrieu Chau assembly hall
Trieu Chau assembly hall

Late 18th century chinese assembly hall with amazingly detailed wood panels.
Phuoc Kien Assembly HallPhuoc Kien Assembly Hall
Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall

All families pay respects during New Year at the altars in the various chinese assembly halls. They can purchase above incense tents on behalf of the family which burn for a month.

24th February 2007

Hey Ges wish I was there with you eating yummy food! Did have Vietnamese spring rolls with Christina and Alvin today, and they tell me you're back next week! I've given them your stuff, so hopefully it will find its way back to you. Alas, the bolivian fridge magnet from Dan is still in Hobart, but it will find its way to you I promise! See you soon!
7th December 2008

Slight Error.
I might be mistaken but the dish you labeled as "Banh Bao" is actually "Banh Bot Loc".

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