The Hoi Polloi of Hoi An

     The historic town of Hoi An on the Thu Bon river attracted traders from China, Japan and Europe from the 16th through the 18th centuries. Its rich cultural heritage had it designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

We started our visit with a morning walking tour of the old town. The daily local market was chock full of all life’s necessities. We checked it out much closer later in the day.

The 1885 Cantonese Assembly Hall is a strong sign of the Chinese influence in Hoi An. It’s filled with traditional Chinese paintings, and images of the Goddess of mercy.


A view from the balcony down one of the quaint streets of the old city. The lanterns are part of the ongoing Tet (new year – year of the monkey – my year).

Display of early Chinese pottery

The Japanese bridge connecting the Japanese and Chinese sections of the town. Until the bridge the two communities operated separately.

We ended the morning tour with a delicious open air lunch by the river. Our guide, Tam was prone to purple – a natural match for Marsha.

With the afternoon on our own, we decided to take a taxi to the pottery village nearby.

The modern, three-story museum was a surprise and a cute little tour guide was a little too detailed, keeping us from seeing the working village itself. We excused ourselves and wandered behind….


To find the real thing. Here two local potters us the tandem technique of throwing pots. One kicks the wheel while her partner throws the clay. They enticed Marsha to give it a try. Here’s a little video of her efforts….

(We’ll try again tomorrow. YouTube not cooperative in Vietnam)….
It wasn’t easy with clay softer and rougher than hers, and an erratic wheel speed out of her control. But, she did impress then with a nice bowl. Of course we ended up buying a few pieces of their work.


Potters from opposite ends of the earth

It was now back to the local market…

Went for happy hour at our hotel….

And back to town for dinner at a great Vietnamese restaurant, the Morning Glory. Back at 10 to make ready for a 4:45 wake up for the flight to Hanoi and Halong Bay .

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2 Responses to The Hoi Polloi of Hoi An

  1. Jessica says:

    Abyl says, “I like when it says ‘welcome to hoi an”
    Miles says, “I want to watch Clone Wars!”

  2. Great pics! hope the video makes it… gotta see that.

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