Well, here we are in Hoi An, a world heritage town on the central coast of Vietnam. I’m sitting in an Internet Cafe with a rather slow connection but it’s only costing me 5000 Dong per hour (AUD$ 45c). This is an historic trading town with some buildings dating back to the early 17th Century.
Hoi An is the centre of tailoring in Vietnam. It costs somewhere between $6 – $12 to have a shirt hand tailored but in order to move around town have to put up with almost every local touting with an opening of “You come visit my shop?” In one handicraft shop, we saw women embroidering pictures from photos. They were about the size of large TV screen and sold for only $200. Some took over a month of full time work! There is a very busy market which seems to be always crowded with people. The town is very busy with motor cycle traffic but cars are not allowed.
This morning we had a walking tour and saw a number of historic buildings. There is a mixture of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese influence here as a reflection of the intial traders that visited this port. One house that we visited had been owned by the same family for 200 years and some of the Chinese temples / meeting halls date back 500 years. This area was the domain of the Cham people in the medieval days.
It is not as hot here as it was in Saigon but is still tropical. You cannot drink the water here (or anywhere else in Vietnam) so the best thing to do is to simply have another beer. I’m off to have another before I dehydrate!