Sunday, 6 January 2013

Vietnam Day 5 - Hoi An

 After a 5th day in a row of hearty breakfasting (I will be running like a mad woman once I get back into a routine in Tokyo), we headed out to do a walking tour of Hoi An. Its characteristic buildings survived being bombed during the war, and its rich history in trading means it has many crafts on offer. The sad thing is that the town is very much a tourist enclave and every shop and restaurant caters for that, losing any feeling of mystery it may have had. Having said that, it was nice to visit some of the old houses, temples and museums which gave an insight into how the town may have been during its height of trading.

This was New Years Eve and the hotel we were staying in decided to put on a 'gala' for all the guests. We had no idea what to expect, but donned our glad rags and headed to the Oak restaurant where we were handed cocktails before heading upstairs to their function room where many tables and chairs were set up, as well as a buffet. We were treated to dragon dancing, traditional dancing, a fashion show (!) and strange games, as well as a slap up buffet.

 We managed to last it out at the gala until about 11pm and then slunk away to see in the New Year down by the river. It was quite magical there, with all the buildings lit up with lanterns and people letting off candle-lit lanterns into the water. Quite a lovely way to say goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.

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