Posted by: James Shannon | December 17, 2011

Hoi An Part II: Wandering Aimlessly Through Emerald Green Rice Paddies

With the night time attractions of Hoi An no longer a secret to me, I set out the following day to what I usually do whenever I happen to be in a town/city that inspires me: I wander aimlessly, in search of everyday life and hidden gems that would otherwise go undiscovered.

Before I got off the beaten track though, having seen it under the cover of darkness the night before, I decided to see the Old Town by daylight…

Having heard a weird noise from this in-town rice paddy, I stood here for several minutes, and eventually worked out that it was some kind of toad … really bizarre croaking, to be sure!

 Beautiful plants/flowers fill the frontal courtyard of a Chinese Buddhist temple, in Hoi An, Vietnam

 Even the side alleys are gorgeous in the Old Town of Hoi An!

 Prime example of some smashing French colonial architecture in the Old Town of Hoi An

 Hoi An: human tested, kitten approved!

 Pastel-coloured wildflowers … even the weeds are beautiful in this town!

 After a hearty lunch, I took to the street that I was told would lead me to Hoi An’s beach, 5km out of town.  Renting a bicycle would have been the logical choice here; however, I felt like hiking it out (in 70% humidity and 33c temperatures — sound decision making James 😛 ) … the scene above is where the road breaks away from the new town, crossing rice paddies on its way to the main highway, and eventually, the sea.

 Fresh daisies complete a landscape that cemented Vietnam as a place to return to, and soon … rice paddies outside of Hoi An, Vietnam

 A ways down the road, I was flagged down by a local, wanting to show me a historic sight … out of nowhere, he regaled me of a tale of a Chinese trader, his adventures, and his final resting place, where I am photographed above.  He then demanded 25,000 dong ($1.25) for his troubles, which I paid (he had my camera as collateral) … be wary of anyone who acts as an impromptu guide … this scam also happened to me at Angkor Wat, so be on your toes!

 The rice paddies and river beyond it provide an outstanding natural surrounding for some nice houses … how much per month?

 Clearly, electrical safety is of paramount concern in Vietnam :S

 Fishing boats rest in a major river, not far from the ocean proper.  Unfortunately, my stamina was failing me at this point, and I was told later that I turned back 1km from the beach!  Reason enough to head back here ASAP … I have unfinished business to conduct … with a rum coconut on said beach! 😛

Most Unfortunately at this point, I heard the sound of a ticking clock in my head not long after this blissful moment in Central Vietnam … I had *4* short days left before flying back to Canada! Not even being half done the Vietnamese coastline, this meant I had to some serious bus riding … next time, we go allll the way to Hanoi, Capital of the North, and the ned of the road for this sojourn through SE Asia! Tears are welling up in my eyes as we speak! 😦 😛

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