Day 11– Part 1: Hoi An Central Market + Phuoc Kien Pagoda + Japanese Covered Bridge
This was one of my favorite days. The markets in Hoi An are full of color and energy that bring life to the streets. There are tons of fresh produce, noodles and fish, not to mention many foods I’ve never seen before. It’s captivating, and even now looking back through pictures, I can’t look away.
Friendly Planet itinerary:
Continue to Hoi An, on the banks of the Thu Bon River. The colorful market town of Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a major Southeast Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th centuries, with ships arriving from all over the world to obtain silk and other fabrics, sugar, tea and ceramics. Hoi An’s traditional Vietnamese architecture has been preserved, an there are many historic temples and pagodas in the area.
This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An. Along the way, visit the Japanese Covered Bridge which features a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side and the town’s most famous landmark, a beautiful Chinese Assembly Hall built in 1740 as a meeting place for all Chinese residents of the town. The hall is lavishly decorated with murals and a replica of a Chinese ship, and Phuoc Kien Pagoda, also called Kim Son Pagoda, built in 1697 by Chinese Phuoc Kien merchants at Hoi An.
Conclude your tour at the Central Market, where you will find everything from fruit and flowers to tailor-made clothes and silk lanterns, whose flexible bamboo frames are designed to collapse, so they’re easily transported home as a souvenir. Spend the afternoon at leisure to explore further on your own.
I will note that the tour itinerary sounds relaxed and easy going. Every day was PACKED. In a good way. There was not much extra time to do anything “on our own” but I’m appreciative for that. The tour guides were phenomenal and I highly praise their efforts to make everyone feel accommodated, educate us everywhere we went, and give us an experience that was far more than I ever expected. I was 20 years younger than everyone else and I was still exhausted every day!