The Dr yesterday knew his stuff because today is much better 🙂 A local tour guide at the hospital suggested rice and soy sauce as a good diet for today and it works – wasn’t sure about the soy sauce but it went down well. Once we were up and about – quickly negotiating the chaos of the morning market and entering the motor free zone took us to the oldest part of Hoi An. The Japanese bridge built 400 years ago still is used to enter the old Japanese quarter of the City.
Based on the height of the monsoon season flood waters it it is amazing that the old buildings and structures are still here at all. The photo above of two flood water height marks in the last few years in a restaurant we ate at today gives you an idea of how major the flooding is. Many buildings have trap doors in the ceilings of the first floor. When the flood waters start rising the furniture is pulled up on pulleys to the second floor.
After crossing the Japanese bridge we visited a communal house – Cam Pho – as well as an old house Tan Ky – that has been occupied for 400 years. Descendents of the founding family still live there. Our final cultural stop was a Lantern manufacturing factory.. I keep looking for a small one to bring back but they are all huge. The city is decorated right now for the Vietnamese new year Tet with Lanterns hanging in all the streets and in front of all the houses.
It is our final day here – we fly to Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow.
On the 14th day of every lunar month – Hoi An celebrates with a Moon Lantern Festival. The town shuts down most artificial lights, and the river is covered with paper lanterns with candles. Street performers can be found on corners and the town is like it must have been 400 years ago. We were incredibly fortunate that February’s festival fell tonight our last night here in town. What a magical send off 🙂