Didem Doğan

Hoi An, the city of oil lamps and the reeds

Hoi An and Hue attract visitors as two old cities on the shore line in the middle of Vietnam while the country coils up on the world map like a long serpent. An important port city between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An in that period was the meeting point of Southeast Asian trade and an influential settlement due to its strategic significance. Today it is a magic place where one can admire the architecture of the period, walk in its old town which is under protection and closed to motorized traffic, ride a bicycle, browse the ceramic paraphernalia, and take in the fairy tale atmosphere created by the colourful oil lamps that adorn every corner of the city at night. One of the best things to do in Hoi An is to take a bike, pass through the old pedestrian town, leave the crowds behind and head to the reeds. While peddling on two wheels, the locals with conical hats will pass by you, a gentle breeze from the sea will kiss your face, your rhythm will adapt to the Asian tranquility and you’ll feel as if you’re in a postcard sent by a dear friend from a distant country. Do not forget to reach the beach! When the Night Falls and Oil Lamps Light Up you can take a seat in one of the cafés by the river and watch the colourful scene.

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