This summer, I was very lucky for visiting many amazing places, meeting many amazing people. Each place had a special beauty, and my favourite one is Hoi An ancient city.
Hoi An is located in Quang Nam province, about 30 km from Da Nang city,. By train, it took me 12 hours to get there. But all my tireness immediately disappeared when I saw the landscape. It is so wonderful. Closely houses turned up beside a poetic river, Thu Bon. Then I got to my resort. I was so impressed that the employees here gave me a lot of advices about what places I should visit, what food I should try, when I should visit the old quarter,… All of them were very useful for me because it was just the first time I had been here. I thanked them, came to my room and wondered where I should visit first.
After taking a nap, I decided to go out to try local special foods. First, I visited Ba Buoi restaurant to try the chicken rice. This restaurant is very famous for chicken rice. Located in 26 Phan Chau Trinh street, it is the same architecture with every old house in this small city: old and archaic. The processing methods of this restaurant was handed down from generation to generation for many years, with first appearance in 1950s. Because its history and secret recipe, the chicken rice of Ba Buoi restaurant is very muchin demand. On my opinion, this dish here was very delicious. It not oly had a fantastic taste but also be cheap with just 30000 VND for a full bowl.
Beside chicken rice, Cao Lau was also a special food that I decided to try. Cao Lau is an unique dish of Hoi An. Cao Lau looks like noodle but it is not noodle. People little know about Cao Lau not because it is not delicious, but because it is a humble delicacy. Many people said that Cao Lau had origin from China, but Chinese in Hoi An did not recognize it. Japanese argued that it was like their udon noodle but having different tastes and processing method. A Cao Lau bowl with chewy noodles, pork, fresh raw vegetables, beansprouts and fried bread at first sight looked like a strange mix but it made a very impressed tastes. Cao Lau totally deserves the praises because to make a Cao Lau that making tourists unforgettable from the first try, processors must abide many principles of picky food. In fact, when just came there, I still confused Cao Lau with Quang noodles, but after tasting Cao Lau, I immediately fell the difference between them. The harmonious combination of flavors made me, who once enjoyed, unforgettable. That is the reason for the Cao Lau to become the quintessential dish, typical of the ancient city of Hoi An.
Not just food, Hoi An’s architecture is also very wonderful. According to the researchers, the architectural style in Hoi An was modified in the early 19th century, after the Hoi An ceded as a commercial port to Danang, a new port being built built by the French. Common patterns in the house’s architectural style is tubular shape linked by many folds running from town to other towns. The narrow frontage is usually used for trading many kinds of goods. Backhouse is used as warehouse or for living. And the back door is usually to the road to the riverside. Old house in Hoi An was built totally from woods, divided into three compartments with a walkway in between. The front door always has door’s eyes. They are two wooden round knobs which were carved yin and yang, bagua or tiger’s head. Decor inside the house is so sophisticated and beautiful.
Finally, it got dark. At that time, Hoi An in front of my eyes was awfully gorgeous. It is no coincidence that this city this city is named as one of 20 places with the most beautiful “nighlife” on our planet or the second destination in Asia. First place I visited is Bridge Temple – Japanese Brigde in the heart of the city. It was built in seventeenth century. It is the dear and unique symbol of Hoi An. As night falls the bridge is illuminated by colorful lights, constantly changing color. I encountered many couples take wedding photos in there, and also the kids selling flower lights. Still this bridge, but the bridge Japan in the evening is shimmer than daytime a lot.
Another crowed, bustling destination near the bridge is night culinary street. This street is quiet at the morning, but in the evening it is extremely busy. Street vendors are displayed beside simple tables and chairs, on the bank of the Hoai River. This landscape made me feel like I was back to the ancient town of Hoi An. In here, they typically sell specialties of Hoi An: Cao Lau, chicken rice, Quang noodle,… with affordable prices. It was really a interesting place for me.
In the evening, after 6.00pm, when old town begins to light as well as at the candle lantern started being glittering. Walking on the waterfront in the evening, nearJapanese bridge, I saw cute little girls wearing “ao dai” and conical hat, holding many flower lights along the streets near the waterfront. Then, they came to small boats, dropped all the flower lights. Theyslowly floated on the river like twinkle stars in the sky. What a magical beauty!
Bach Dang street at night become so shimmering by the yellow light from old houses, sparkling on Hoai River. This street corner makes Hoi An called Venice of Vietnam. Bach Dang street is the lowest area in Hoi An so that every nightfall the water rises making the road flooded. It not caused discomfort for me but on the contrary made me so excited and photographed this scence of flood a lot.
Hoi An ancient town at night is very beautiful, perhaps, to me, the most beautiful time is when no tourists, restaurants. Then the truly ancient city backed to its ancient, taciturn beauty. However, to see this scene, you took my time to wake up to 2.00am waiting for the morning. And then, I immersed myself into the beauty of Hoi An - one in 50 city should come once in a lifetime. If I have another chance, I will certainly come here again.