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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Vietnam (Day 6) Hoi An: Exploring Ancient Town

Good morning from the Ancient Town!

It was a real treat waking up in the center of Hoi An and walking around before it got busy.  We walked right outside our front door from Vinh Hung Heritage and into the calm of the Ancient Town.  It was so busy the night before when we were admiring the riverside. This morning I got to enjoy the views and take some pics without being jostled and without fear of losing the kids in the crowd.

The Japanese Covered Bridge is an iconic Hoi An landmark. It was built in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link them to the Chinese quarters. Crossing it, we felt ourselves step back in time as we admired the elaborate wooden architecture of the most famous bridge in Vietnam.

Charming Hoi An! Even if you don't stay at Ving Hung Heritage, it would behoove you to get up early and get to the center of this UNESCO World Heritage Site before it gets crowded. I fell in love with its beauty and old-time preservation. Even when it gets busy, there is such a delightful vibe as everyone strolls about enjoying the colorful sights and lovely lanterns.

After a good stroll, we headed back to the hotel for our complimentary breakfast.  It was delicious! Then, we went and got our tickets for entering the UNESCO Heritage sites after breakfast. 

Rob surprised us by hiring two cyclos (3-wheeled bicycle taxi) to take us all around for a 1/2 hour. Yes, we were THOSE people that I had made fun of yesterday. Hahahaha. Today it was our turn to look like silly tourists.  But, you know what?  It was fantastic fun!  Make sure you put sunscreen on your legs because even with the cover pulled over, they will be exposed.  Besides, you may not want to block your view with the cover.  After opening it, we fairly quickly pushed it back again.

Whew! After all the effort of being pedaled around, it was time for a cool down with smoothies and snacks.  I finally got to try the famous egg coffee and it was AMAZING - my new favorite of all time coffee!! The spring rolls in Hoi An are so fluffy, but I exercised master-level self-control and only had 837 of them.

Afterwards, the kids whined that they wanted a break (isn't that what we were just doing?! *scratching my head*), so we took them back to the hotel and left them there perfectly content with their electronics and AC.  

Kid-free and skipping along with glee, we checked out Quang Trieu (Cantonese) Assembly Hall (1885) - one of the most famous historical buildings in Hoi An, built by Chinese Cantonese merchants. The dragon sculpture was very cool!

We loved the experience of staying in the Ancient Town! It's very hot in the middle of the day though and quite busy, so for our last 3 nights in Hoi An, we moved to a small boutique hotel Lantana Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa with a pool just 7 minutes walking distance away from the edge of the heritage town. It's quieter out here and we can easily walk back into the Ancient Town. The kids were thrilled to have a pool again! It took 2 motorbikes (1 making 2 trips) to get us and our bags here. It was arranged so quickly that we didn't have helmets as it was difficult to understand exactly what we were doing due to the language barrier. Caitlin and Molly went together on ONE motorbike with a carry-on luggage and a couple of backpacks (I wish I had gotten a pic). I was brought over first with 2 carry-on and my backpack (same as Rob who came with the girls). Anyways, the hotel is gorgeous and the personal attention from the staff top-notch. We got a family suite (connecting rooms), but only our room has an interior bathroom window. That view! Hahahahaha.  Why?!

Look - a window to our bathroom!

A view to enjoy from the toilet - hahahaha!

The food is really good at the hotel, so we ended up over-snacking at the pool. Decided just to keep it simple and stay on this side of the bridge for dinner. There is actually a lot of storefronts and restaurants that line this side and little side-streets to explore if you are wanting to get away from the crowds in the evening.

I don't know why we were so tired, maybe from the heat of the day? As such, we went to pho for dinner and pretty much called it a night excited for tomorrow. It was going to be an early start! We would be going exploring the Hoi An countryside, a very deserving reason to add extra nights on your Hoi An itinerary.

Up Next: Hoi An My Grandma's Home Cooking

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