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Vietnam Bicycle Tour: Imperial Roots (Central)

   

Hoi An

Points of interest: Old Town, art galleries, Japanese Bridge, Chinese associations, market, river

 
  Hoi An Hoi An was a major 17th, 18th & 19th C port and trading center for southeast Asia.  It was also the first Chinese settlement in Vietnam.  Over time Song Thu Bon (the Thu Bon River) became silted up and operations moved to Danang and other ports, and Hoi An became a backwater. Song Thu Bon (the Thu Bon River)
  Hoi An Without commerce and money to change, Hoi An stayed relatively unchanged for a century.  In the late 20th century, when money was again becoming available and they were "modernize" the town some wise leader realized that it was more valuable staying the same than being modernized. Hoi An
  Traditional music performance, Hoi An Another initiative to keep traditional art forms alive is a twice daily singing and dance concert at the Handicraft Workshop, housed in one of the traditional grand houses. Hoi An old town
  Art gallery, Hoi An Old town Hoi An is now designated a World Heritage Site.  It has also become a magnet for artists and tourist.  It many place this becomes the kiss of death, but so far Hoi An is pulling it off superbly.  art gallery, Hoi An
  Hoi An Most residents seem to politely ignore the swarms of tourist.  An those in business to serve the tourist seem to keep their pride and integrity while selling their goods and providing their services to the tourist. Cargo cart, Hoi An
  Hoi An Street scene, old town, Hoi AnStreet scene in old town Hoi An, looking towards Cho Market (left). Hoi An
  Non-motorized vehicle area The sign (left) says "Non-motorized vehicle area" and it is nicely decorated with potted plants.  Beyond the sign a couple is pushing their motorbike down the road -- a policeman is standing just off to the right.  For those who don't want to power themselves around town you can hire a cyclo (right). cyclo
  Vietnamese modern fashion This picture is all about the shoes.  The current fashion is thin high heals with very long pointed toes. Chariot of bicycles
  Memorial of Quang Nam (Prov) Patriots Memorial of Quang Nam (Prov) Patriots (left).  Confucius Temple (right) Confucius Temple
  Japanese bridge, Hoi AnJapanese Bridge, built in 1593 to link the Japanese community with the Chinese community across the stream. Japanese Bridge
  shrine in the room off of the middle of the Japanese Bridg The shrine in the room off of the middle of the Japanese Bridge. shrine in the room off of the middle of the Japanese Bridg
  Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation. Alters in the Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation.  There are a number of associations for the different Chinese ethnic groups who came to settle in Hoi An in the 1700.  The centers were used for weddings, socializing, discussions, festivals and eating. Cantonese Chinese Congregation.
  Boat alter memorializing  the passage of the Chinese Boat alter memorializing  the passage of the Chinese from China to Vietnam. (Chinese Assembly Hall.)  
  Alter (Chinese Assembly Hall) Alter (Chinese Assembly Hall)Shrine, Chinese Association, Hoi AnAlters (Chinese Assembly Hall and other associations.) Shrine, Chinese Association, Hoi An
  garden of the Chinese Association Back garden of the Chinese Association with landscaping, ponds, bridges and sculptures. Dragon statue, Chinese Association, Hoi An
  sculpture at the Chinese Association Many headed sculpture in the back garden of the Chinese Association.  The sculpture is covered and colored with broken pieces of ceramic pottery. sculpture at the Chinese Association
  Four seasons panels, left to right, winter, spring, summer, autumn. Chinese Association: Four seasons panels, left to right, winter, spring, summer, autumn.  
  Wise men (Chinese Assembly Hall.) Chinese Assembly Hall
   Hoi An street scene Interior decoration (right) in the parlor of a Tanky heritage house, built by a wealthy Vietnamese merchant in the early 19th century.  It is still occupied by the family.  The backdoor to the house opens onto the river side. Tanky heritage house
  Tanky house family shrine Tanky house family shrine (left) and a traditional firm bed (right).  The family lived downstairs and kept the trade goods on the second story.  This is because when the floods came, sometimes annually, it was easier to move the family belongings out than it would be to move the merchandise. traditional firm bed
  Typical Vietnamese smile This girl (left) demonstrating Hoi An's friendly welcome and warm smile is the clerk in the antique shop (since closed and remodeled into a more upscale business) across the street from the Tanky house.  The furniture shop (right) is next door to it. furniture shop
   Brass shop Brass shop selling musical instrument and other things made of brass.  
  woman potter A woman potter.  The wheel was powered by an assistant (right). This afternoon she was making closed-top vessels that are lined up on the board in the foreground (right). It is not clear what the objects are for. woman potter
  Veitnamese high school students on bicycles Don't miss the cycle chic.  For a grand parade it is good to be near the high school when the students emerge at about 5 PM.  It takes about fifteen minutes for them to all stream out of the gates.  Cycle chic is a new phenomenon in the West by it has been normal in Vietnam for decades. Veitnamese high school students on bicycles
  Veitnamese high school students on bicycles The images of Vietnamese high school girls with there uniforms is very photogenic.  I know that it is not my perversion because it is the subject of thousands of pieces of art, in a wide range of mediums, all over town.  These pictures don't do the subject justice. Veitnamese high school students on bicycles
  Veitnamese high school students on bicycles Beside the bicycle, another great subject would be the hats of high school girls.  Almost all of them wear one and they seem to be carefully selected to fit their style and project their personality -- I won't expect anything less from a teenage girl anywhere in the world. Veitnamese high school students on bicycles
  Veitnamese high school students on bicycles The cycle chic head home today but they will be back again tomorrow.  
  full moon celebration Hoi An Every month on the full moon Hoi An celebrates.  Buddhist shop keepers set up alters in their store fronts with candles, incense, flowers, fruit and other food, and say prayers at sunset.  About 10 PM they take them down and burn fake money for good luck.  
  monthly latern festival, Hoi An As part of Hoi An monthly full moon festival the regular street lights are turned off and the old town area is lit just with lanterns (left).  The lanterns are made in town.  By day you can see the frame of the lanterns being carried around and stacked in workshops (right). lantern frames
  monthly latern festival, Hoi An monthly latern festival, Hoi AnA store fronts (left) and a balcony (right) lit by lanterns during the monthly full money lantern festival in Hoi An. Lantern frames, Hoi An
  monthly latern festival, Hoi An Lantern shop, Hoi AnTo supply all the lanterns, there are entire shops dedicated to selling lanterns. monthly latern festival, Hoi An
  silk worms One of Hoi An's major crafts is silk cloth and silk tailoring.  You can see some of the silk production in town; silk worms eating mulberry leaves (left), and silk worm cocoons (right). silk worms cocoon
  silk worm cocoon The cocoon is then places in boiling water (left) a the tread is pull from the cocoon, unraveling the cocoon with one long piece of thread (right). spinning silk thread
  Monthly lantern festival, Hoi An Monthly lantern festival, Hoi AnAlong the river, hundreds luminaries (candles in small bags) are set afloat and people take row boats in and out of them.  Almost the entire participating in the festival was locals. Boys at monthly lantern festival, Hoi An
  performances of music and skits Also near the river, there were a couple stages with live performances of music and skits.  By sunset the tourist, who had crowded the streets, shops and cafes by day, had retreated to their hotels.  For the few tourist left there was no problem getting a street side seat to enjoy a drink (certainly fresh juice.)
  Two men play checkers by candlelight. Not so taken up by all the festivities around them (or the tourist paparazzi photographing them) were these two gentlemen playing checkers.  The seemed to be oblivious to the fact that they were the subject of dozens of photographs.  
   
 

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