July 17, 2015
Our day began at the crack of dawn. We were awakened at 5:30 am by a funeral procession, complete with drums and bells/chimes. After acknowledging the procession on the streets below, we fell back asleep until breakfast time, around 7:30 am. We enjoyed the delicious banana pancakes and chocolate sauce accompanied by fresh passion fruit and pineapple.
After re-organizing our clean laundry (only $1.00 US per Kilo) and adding to our travel blog, we set out to explore more of Hoi An’s historic town.
Our first stop was the Covered Japanese Bridge, which connects the main walking and merchant streets. The Bridge is guarded by symbolic monkeys and has a small shrine and living quarters at the rear.
Our next stop was the Cam Pho Communal House. Archaeological excavations on this site have revealed many ceramic and wooden pieces that help us better understand how people lived and gathered in the past.
Our walk through the town and along the river was a very slow one as we were extremely warm in the +40 degree Celsius and high humidity weather. We were asked several times to come with the locals to their tailor shops to have clothes and shoes made for us. We politely declined. We were also hailed by several boat tour operators to join them on board for a river tour. To this we also politely declined.
Our attempt to see the Vietnamese Water Puppet presentation was unsuccessful as the performances on the day conflicted with our evening activities. Instead, we strolled through the food markets which sell raw fish right off of a plate held by the seller and all kinds of imitation clothing and bags. Calls of “Hello Madame” followed us everywhere. However, as we didn’t want to carry anything more with us, we also declined the offers to buy.
Our last historical ticket was used at the) Museum of Trade Ceramics. Here we learned of the preferred routes of travel over the centuries and the location of items coming from and going to Hoi An. We saw many ceramic pots, jugs and bowls recovered from archaeological sites (such as the Cam Pho Communal House) and ship wrecks along the coast and in the river. Amazingly the items from 300 years ago and earlier resemble the items available for sale in the shops across the street! Amazing how the simple and intricate designs are still popular today.
After a very long circle around the town, we crossed over the Covered Japanese Bridge again and made our way to a lovely open-aired but shaded patio restaurant. We sat, sipped tea and water and enjoyed some lovely food. This was our nice and easy (yet hot!) day in Hoi An.