Hội An: a city of lanterns

Hội An was the highlight of my trip. Hội An is a city full of lanterns on the coast of the Perfume River. There is plenty do and see including shopping, boat rides, and visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Buying one ticket allows you access into five UNESCO World Heritage sites over the course of several days. The first site I entered was one of the temples. I found it amusing that one of the offerings to the gods were a box of Oreos.

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The second site I visited was the Chinese bridge. I would suggest not wasting a ticket on this site. It was pretty, but you can see the bridge from the outside. Once you cross the bridge, there are a few shops on the other side but nothing worth visiting.

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Next, we went shopping. We found the majority of our gifts for family members, friends, and ourselves in Hội An. The shop owners are keen to haggling, and it is possible to get a lot of gifts “discounted”. There was also a marketplace within the old city walls. I made sure to stock up on fresh fruit.

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Hội An at night is the most magical place in Vietnam. All the lanterns are lit up above the streets and near the river. You could get lost in the streets of Hội An just by following the lanterns.

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The last night we had in Hội An, we took a 15 minute boat ride on the Perfume River. It is optional to light a lantern and let it float on the river. Any wish you have in your mind when you light the lantern is supposed to come true.

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There are a bunch of great bars with balconies and views of the lanterns and river. We stumbled into a bar with live music. The singers were great and sang songs in English. Later on in the night the lanterns are all shut off, so Hội An lost some its magic.

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There are many tailors that you can go to get custom made clothing at. I got a beautiful custom tailored red dress made for me that I love. It’s such a flattering fit. All in all, if you don’t visit Hội An on your Vietnam trip, you haven’t really seen Vietnam at all.

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