Instantly in love with Hoi An, Vietnam

Cars and motorbikes zoomed by me as I tried to navigate my way through a new town in the late afternoon. I left the street of my guesthouse and wandered along the footpath of a busier street, suddenly surrounded by tailor shops with the odd stall selling random items on the footpath. After hastily crossing two more busy streets, I suddenly found myself in a pedestrian and cycle only area, and I knew that I was in the right place.

Lanterns on a street in Hoi An, Vietnam

Lanterns light up the front of a restaurant

Instantly, just as the sun was going down and night time began closing in, colourful lanterns began lighting up along the street, and after passing through a narrow alleyway, I found myself exactly where I wanted to be. I was in the old town of Hoi An in Vietnam, where beautifully preserved 18th and 19th century old crumbling buildings line little narrow streets, and hundreds of silk lanterns light the way.

Wandering the streets of Hoi An, Vietnam

Wandering the streets of Hoi An as night sets in

Only the occasional pedestrian or cyclist passed by me as I wandered down the street, marvelling at the beauty of the scene before me. I had no idea where I was going, and I didn’t care. This is a place to just let your feet take you.

Lanterns in a tree in Hoi An, Vietnam

Lanterns in a tree along one of the streets

Eventually, I found myself at the river front, where boats float lazily in the calm water and lantern lit restaurants line the street along the river. There couldn’t be a more romantic setting.

Boats on the river in Hoi An, Vietnam

River view in Hoi An

Restaurants along the river front in Hoi An, Vietnam

Restaurants along the river front – the perfect place for a romantic dinner

Further along the river, a beautifully lit up bridge crosses to an island on the other side, where more restaurants line the opposite bank and a night market was already in full swing selling all kinds of touristy knickknacks, and of course, the famous lanterns.

Footbridge in Hoi An, Vietnam

View of the footbridge in Hoi An

Footbridge in Hoi An, Vietnam

Crossing the bridge

Green lanterns on the footbridge in Hoi An, Vietnam

Green lanterns lit up on the bridge

Flower lights on the river in Hoi An, Vietnam

Lights on the river in Hoi An

Night market in Hoi An, Vietnam

The night market

Lanterns for sale at the night market in Hoi An, Vietnam

Lanterns for sale at the night market

Wandering back across the bridge, my stomach was rumbling and those riverfront restaurants were calling to me, but not before visiting the famous 16th century Japanese Bridge, all lit up against the night sky.

Japanese Bridge at night in Hoi An, Vietnam

The Japanese Bridge

I had dreamed about visiting Hoi An when I travelled to Vietnam, and I could instantly tell that it was everything that I had hoped it would be. I knew right then that I would be staying here longer than I had planned. I couldn’t wait to get up and explore more of this amazing place the following day.

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11 comments… add one
  • Kristy Jul 10, 2013

    I love the colorful and different design of lanterns. It seems like Vietnam is sparkling like a diamonds at night with those lanterns.

    • Dean Wickham Jul 16, 2013

      The colours are amazing in Hoi An. It is a dream for photographers and artists.

  • Shaun Hoobler Jul 29, 2013

    Who wouldn’t fall in love with this place? Looking forward to visiting Vietnam again.
    Shaun Hoobler recently posted..secret recipes couponMy Profile

    • Dean Wickham Aug 1, 2013

      Hey Shaun. Yes, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like Hoi An. It is just that kind of place.

  • One of the most beautiful things I know is lights in the night. Looks like this is a place for that, I love all the different lanterns and lights. Thanks for sharing this!
    Annie@GreenGlobalTravel recently posted..BAHAMAS: The Swimming Pigs of Big Major CayMy Profile

    • Dean Wickham Oct 10, 2013

      Hey Annie. If you love lights in the night then you will LOVE Hoi An 🙂

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