Sunday, 4 August 2013

HOI AN - AWOKEN BY A KISS


Hội An is a city in Vietnam, on the coast of the South China Sea, in the was our home for ten days. This is place also recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.








As you wander round Hoi the old parts of the city you see lovely example of a South-East Asian trading port. At night especially the old shop fronts and coloured lanterns reflect on the waters.

The city boasted the largest harbour in Southeast Asia in the first century and until the 1700’s controlled the strategic spice trade. The Chinese Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled. The town was a divided with the Japanese settlement across the Japanese Bridge. This is the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.

In the 18th century Chinese and Japanese merchants continued to flocked here to trade. The Jesuits set up a mission. Hoi An became as a powerful trade outlet between Europe, China, India, and Japan. Recently, shipwreck discoveries have shown that Vietnamese and Asian ceramics were transported from Hội An to as far as Sinai, Egypt.
Hội An became a sleepy backwater end of the 1700’s century. The Nguyễn dynasty has sold out to the French. Đà Nẵng became the new center of trade (and later French influence).
Snow White-like, Hoi fell asleep for two hundred years eventually to be awakened finally by the kiss of tourism. 


FOOT NOTE
This was part of a wonderful two-week stay in Vietnam in July, we were based in Hoi An, half way up the countries long and exciting coast, about 1000 km north of Ho Chi Min City (Saigon).