THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF LIVING IN HOI AN
What’s it like living in Hoi An? Emma Sothern’s explores her favorite things about living in Hoi An … plus the things that are more challenging!
VINPEARL LAND HOI AN
Vinpearl Land Nam Hoi An has brought Disneyland to Hoi An. There’s waterworlds, river safaris, amazing fun fair rides and more – this is not to be missed!
THE VIETNAMESE BABEL FISH
The Vietnamese Babel Fish explores the consequences of computer translations like Google Translate with hilarious results.’Coffee tea or toilet’
MY EXPERIENCE IN HOI AN
Hoi An Now is committed to helping young, aspiring writers. As part of this effort we publish non-commissioned articles submitted independently by young authors. This allows the young person to experience being published. The following article ‘My Experience in Hoi An’ was submitted by 19-year old Anastasia Bolshova who is currently on a gap year before she begins her university studies in England.
TET IN VIETNAM: TET TET TET DEN ROI (TET HAS ARRIVED)
Tet (Lunar New Year) in Vietnam is the country’s greatest festival. It is both spiritually important and a time to really let your hair down.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS DANCE: EXPLORING THE MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL
For the first time in months there is a chill in the air. The unpredictable rains of September keep the people of Hoi An in tune with nature, sensitive to the changing seasons. The recently harvested rice fields are still smoldering in the distance, the smoky haze floating in over the street like an apparition.
HOI AN FOOD SAFARI
Hoi An Food Safari introduces you to 10 different types of street food, drinks, and dessert at street food stalls and restaurants in Hoi An.
HAI VAN PASS: THE HISTORIC MISTY MOUNTAIN TOP
As soon as I’d heard about the Hai Van Pass I knew I wanted to go and see it – “a deserted ribbon of perfection – one of the best coast roads in the world.”
THE EYES HAVE IT: A TALE OF ANCIENT MONSTERS AND GODS IN HOI AN
The ancient port of Hoi An was once at the heart of the silk and spice trade. Situated between China and the sea route to India, the Chinese and Japanese settled in Hoi An and the town thrived for hundreds...
WILL LY SON ISLAND EAT ITSELF?
At noon, the sun bears down on the narrow, largely deserted, streets of Thôn Tây – the harbor village of An Vĩnh commune on Ly Son’s big island. Prudently, most locals are taking a mid-day nap.
FROM LIVE HOI AN TO HOI AN NOW
It’s hard to believe that almost a decade has passed since my virginal visit to Hoi An. Especially when one considers the time continuum of the heritage town – as expat Phil Mellifont articulated once in an article he penned for my magazine, Live Hoi An – one ‘Western’ year is equal to ten Hoi An years. In my experience, I’ve found the calculation to be true. A decade is like 100 years.
CHESS ON A FULL MOON NIGHT
The night is festive – music and laughter echo throughout the Old Town’s lantern-lit streets. Colours shimmer across the Thu Bon river. Against a milieu of UNESCO-listed heritage buildings, two elderly men sit, in traditional silken Vietnamese tunics and turbans, engrossed in a game of Cờ tướng – Chinese chess. Every month, on the night of the full moon, chess players gather together to play and maintain one of the town’s most time-honoured and cherished traditions.
THE HOSE OF ALL HOLIES
NOTICE: DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE A) CURRENTLY CONSUMING FOOD B) CANNOT REFER TO YOUR ‘DOWN THERE’ PARTS BY THEIR RIGHTFUL NAMES C) ARE GENERALLY CONSERVATIVE ABOUT ‘TOILET HUMOUR’.
MY SON VIETNAM
How have the buildings at this Hindu sanctuary lasted for millenia when they were put together without mortar? Explore this & many more mysteries at My Son.
PARADISE FOUND: A CAVERNOUS EXPLORATION
It could be a scene straight out of a Jules Verne novel. Gigantic stalactites, lit up in fantastical green and bluish hues, mushroom out from a slippery, dripping canopy. The natural detail of each limestone formation is extraordinarily surreal; similar to a 3D sci-fi flick, causing you to think for a moment you’re on the set of ‘Forbidden Planet’ or are, in fact, journeying to the center of the earth.
THAI PHIEN: ONE OF MY FAVORITE STREETS
Think you are finished with the ancient town? Head away and a short walk of just a couple of blocks brings you to Thai Phien. This is a real picture, not of ancient but of traditional Hoi An. The block between Nguyen Truong To and Tran Cao Van is the most fascinating. Thai Phien is on the maps and you can’t miss it because the Nguyen Truong To intersection has the Travelodge on one corner and a large church is on the other.
AWESOME MONKEY MOUNTAIN: DA NANG’S UNTAMED BACKYARD
Da Nang’s Monkey Mountain offers amazing views, Vietnam’s tallest Buddhist statue, monkeys and a fascinating history. Read our review here.
WET, WET, WET: HOI AN’S RAINY SEASON
So there you are, stranded under some old town shop front awning, wondering whether the downpour is ever going to cease. It’s Hoi An’s Rainy Season. Every minute a smiling peddler (where do they keep coming from?) approaches you with the aim of selling a ‘raincoat’ – a thin plastic poncho that bears the semblance of a life size condom.
CUA DAI BRIDGE
On an unrealistically warm late December day in 2014 I joined a group of motorcycle riders at a small ferry terminal in Cẩm Thanh ward close to Hội An. We were headed across the Thu Bồn river to a terminal at the harbor village of Duy Hải. My friends – all surfers – were intent on exploring the undeveloped stretch of pristine coastline south of the city of Hội An in search of ‘pounders’.
HOI AN AT FIRST SIGHT – A WORKAWAYER’S EXPERIENCE
What is it that makes Hoi An so special? What is it that makes tourists turn expats and expats turn residents? Is it the oh-so-picturesque Old Town? The blunt market vendors? The food? And what is that special vibe everybody talks about?
VIETNAMESE ZODIAC: THE DARK SIDE
Ever wonder why zodiacs all over the world only have good things to say about everyone? Even faults are seen as positives as everyday reality goes out the window. You have to wonder where all the misery, war and poverty in the world comes from when reading these ‘fairy tale’-like descriptions where everybody is smart, compassionate and talented. This is a good marketing ploy that sucks in readers but it’s not much use to anyone.
WILD BIRDS – ANOTHER HERITAGE IN HOI AN
For those who want to see wild birds and go deeper into nature’s wonders, the common advice is (especially in Vietnam): ‘Go far from here! Find a National Park, a nature reserve or the rainforest wilderness of the mountains!’
SPRING INTO THE NEW YEAR: TET IN HOI AN
The Vietnamese new year, or Tết Nguyên Đán (commonly shortened to ‘Tet’), is the biggest event on the Vietnamese calendar. Also referred to as the ‘Spring Festival’ to typically mark the beginning of Spring, Tet is a grand affair, filled with ceremony, tradition, family reunions, and, of course, food. It falls at the same time as Chinese New Year (in correlation to the lunar calendar) however there are various Tet customs that are unique to Vietnam.
FLOODS IN HOI AN: 2016
By all accounts the floods in Hoi An: 2016 were about average. Only the lower stretches of the Old Town were affected and everybody knew exactly when the waters would rise. Those affected calmly cleared out their first or ground floors and moved everything up a flight. Then, as the water receded, the frenzied clean-up began. Within a very short time it was business as usual.
Hoi An Market is a colourful and chaotic place that has the contradictory characteristics of being alluring and at the same time just plain scary.
EXPLORING CAM KIM ISLAND
Explore Cam Kim Island. If you have the time, then you could easily spend a day losing yourself in this bucolic setting. Find all you need to know here!
THE ROAD TO TAM KY
When venturing out of Hoi An most visitors head north towards the attractions of Da Nang – Monkey Mountain and Marble Mountain – or south-west towards the ruins of My Son.
MS. LONELY: TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS OF A HOI AN EXPAT
Please be nice to me, I have no friends.
If the look I am going for is lonely and nervous, I’m nailing it. I am sitting in a café on my third coffee in a row, doing my best impression of a nonchalant, seasoned local. Deliberately facing the entrance, I look up and flash a dazzling smile at everyone who comes in, pretending to casually look up from my ‘work’. One of them will love to be friends with me. Surely?
FANTASTIC FOODS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM PART 1
The world is a loud place these days with countless blogs and all the so-called ‘experts’ screaming for another click, another like. After all the ‘Top 10’ lists, TripAdvisor reviews and other siren songs thrown at a modern traveler, the single greatest catalyst of genuine discovery happens through one vehicle: food.
‘AFTER KOREA, WHAT’S IT LIKE LIVING IN VIETNAM?’
‘How’s life in Vietnam?!’
Beats bare concrete steps. Jeonju University, Jeonju, South Korea
I stare at my best friend’s face. She’s contorted it into some sort of overly-excited mask reminiscent of a dog waiting impatiently for the treat hidden in my pocket.
HOI AN’S CENTRAL MARKET
Hungry for breakfast, I arrived at Hoi An’s Central Market at 9am on a Saturday. I wasn’t sure what I was searching for but was certain I’d know it when I found it. Walking through the market, with the fresh produce and bustle of locals and tourists, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm.
TAM THANH MURAL VILLAGE: ‘ART FOR A BETTER COMMUNITY’
Tam Thanh explodes into pinks & blues, yellows & violets. The main street is a kaleidoscope of painted walls – don’t miss out on visiting this magical land!
CAPTIVATING CHAM ISLAND
Discover the unique Cham Island, allowing for swimming, snorkeling and diving over coral reefs, shopping, parasailing, motorbike rides and more!
Sitting on the outskirts of the Coconut Palm Village, the Taboo Bamboo Making Workshop is an incredible opportunity to make something special in bamboo.
VINTAGE SIDECAR TO SON TRA (MONKEY MOUNTAIN)
Whether you’re a tourist or long-term Hoi An resident, the vintage sidecar tour will be a remarkable experience that’ll stay firmly etched in your memory.
THE HEADSTONE AND THE WIZARD
I received a call from a local friend who asked me to stop by his place to check out a gift he had for me. Propped up against the wall of the washroom was a graveyard marker; a Headstone.