Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ancient Hoi An

It is difficult to choose a favorite location so far, but Hoi An is in contention. Our resort lies on the banks of a small, picturesque river. Last night we sipped a pineapple juice and watched a wooden boat placing paper lanterns filled with candles on the river after sunset. Waking up in Hoi An and looking out across the water is very peaceful.

Our time in Hoi An was filled with relaxing, riding and cooking. Our ride to Marble Mountain and back was much wetter than we’d planned, but it was fun riding in the rain. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been much fun to ride for 5 days in the rain, but riding for a half day in the rain was fun. In the evening, we walked through the perfumed streets of Hoi An (incense is burning throughout) and learned to make Vietnamese spring rolls and fish wrapped in a banana leaf from the local "celebrity chef”. We met some other travelers and had a good time. The next morning we took the wettest boat ride of our lives.

Rain drenched Hoi An during our stay and it couldn’t have been more lovely. It lies just south of Danang, the largest US military base during the "American War" (as the Vietnamese refer to the conflict). Like Hue and Halong Bay, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site (I think I forgot to mention this about Hue in my previous post on Hue!). It is the kind of place where you welcome the rain – the kind of place where the sound of the rain and the smell of the air make it even more magical.

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