Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wednesday Snapshot: Hoi An, Vietnam

This photo was taken just as the sun rose in the riverside market in Hoi An. I have never been a morning person, but the year I traveled through Asia and Africa one of my favorite things to do was wonder around the streets in the morning light peering into the lives of the locals. Life begins before the crack of dawn. The energy is contagious; hearing the sounds of the streets come alive I could not possibly lolly-gag in bed for long.

Hoi An was my favorite of all of the places I visited in Vietnam. From the 17th to 19th centuries, it was one of Southeast Asia’s major international ports. Biking the shady streets, you will see influences from the Portuguese, Chinese, French, and Japanese: elegantly arched Japanese bridges, next to stately French homes with floor to ceiling doors open to the street, Chinese tea houses and women selling French baguettes next to a porcupine of burning incense lite to honor someone's Chinese ancestors. And, yes they all really do wear the conical hats.

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