Lucky me, I arrived in Hoi An, Vietnam on Friday, May 4. It was a full moon and Hoi An’s monthly Legendary Night celebration. It’s like a street festival with vendors and food, entertainment in the square, lots of candles and lanterns. A river flows through town so you could hire a boat to take you cruising or buy candles in small paper flowers to send floating in the water for good luck.
Fresh doughnuts and sweet fritters are popular.
Kem means ice cream (good word to know if you’re traveling in Vietnam this time of year!!)
This boy was selling candles with his family. I’m sure they were hoping his cuteness factor would draw people in since there are dozens of people trying to sell you a candle. But he was pretty savvy for such a little guy. His parents had taught him to check the money people give him for counterfeits (which apparently are not uncommon in SE Asia).
Lanterns are the big thing in Hoi An. Be prepared, though, for a hard sell in this tourist town. The vendors will be calling out to you all day and night. Still, it’s a great town for strolling, eating and shopping.
There is a nice variety of shops in Hoi An’s old town section including some very nice boutiques. Lots of tailors, of course. Great restaurants, galleries and at least 2 well done fair trade shops where I bought more than a few locally handmade souvenirs.
I also recommend Q Bar at 94 Nguyen Thai Hoc. Cool music, original cocktails, friendly staff, comfy seats, great vibe. I loved the Ginger Tamarind Martini! The Lychee Gimlet was pretty bomb too.
Hoi An is also famous for this particular Banh Mi stand on Hoang Dieu Street. Even Anthony Bourdain has stopped by for one during his show “No Reservations”.
These ladies were cranking out the sandwiches to the nonstop locals lining up, along with a smattering of tourists.
My sandwich gets made – fresh baked baguette, secret sauce, pork strips and pâté, lots of herbs, cucumber, tomato, chili sauce….probably more but she made it so fast I lost track! Mmmm mmmm gooood.
One food I have really enjoyed in Vietnam is anything they wrap in rice paper and serve fresh. Have not had an average one yet! All delicious! This one was a shrimp ommlette with, again, lots of fresh herbs (corriander, mint, basil, maybe thyme?) and greens.
Here was the rolling station
Hoi An’s version of the Staten Island Ferry…these were running every few minutes in the evening, taking people and their bikes across the Thu Bon River.
Mosaic dragon sculpture at the Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation.