Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Fall under COLOURFUL City's Spell; Vietnam's Hoi an IS A FEAST FOR THE SENSES. DESPITE THE BUSTLE, You Will Find a Rare Sense of Calm in the Ancient RIVER City

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Fall under COLOURFUL City's Spell; Vietnam's Hoi an IS A FEAST FOR THE SENSES. DESPITE THE BUSTLE, You Will Find a Rare Sense of Calm in the Ancient RIVER City

Article excerpt

Byline: WORDS: JANN BURMESTER

Silk lanterns in every colour of the rainbow line the streets.

Incense burns everywhere, mixing with the enticing aromas of spicy street food which have my tastebuds on overdrive.

Children line the riverfront foreshore selling colourful lit paper lotuses to tourists, and boat drivers tout for business.

Pink bougainvillea trails from old wooden verandas and caged birds add to the cacophony of sounds that play out a song that has captured my heart.

I'm in the popular UNESCO heritage town of Hoi An in central Vietnam and I've fallen under its spell.

Known for its well-preserved ancient town or old quarter, the former port city's rich history is reflected in its architecture - a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colourful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese houses and the iconic Japanese covered bridge with its pagoda.

After more than 30 trips to Bali, I was keen to dip my feet into another Asian melting pot of cultures and curiosities and I wasn't disappointed.

Hoi An is a travel destination with much to offer.

On sensory overload, I'm mesmerised by the hundreds and hundreds of colourful lanterns, in all shapes and sizes, which are strung across the street, from building to building. When they light up at night, it takes my breath away!

There's no traffic in the old quarter, making walking a pleasure in the pretty tree-lined streets.

I gasp in awe at the gorgeous old wooden buildings - many in shades of yellow, pink and blue.

Verandas and shopfronts are adorned with plants and flowers and, even though it's busy with tourists, Hoi An has a calm about it, unlike any other Asian city I have experienced.

My travelling companion and I spend our days wandering the streets, shopping for wonderful local handicrafts and arts, visiting the traditional markets, having some dresses made by the cheap and cheerful tailors who are everywhere, watching life on the riverfront and eating the most delicious food.

We dine at Ms Vy's famous Morning Glory restaurant - an outstanding restaurant in historical premises that concentrates on street food and traditionally prepared dishes. …

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