a day in the yellow city
Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most visited cities. It’s an old colonial trade town well known for its yellow walls, the color of emperors.
There’s a strange thing about this town. In the evening, it’s a crowded, touristic place like many others. It’s Disneyland without a castle and fluffy cartoon characters.
But if you come earlier, between sunrise and late afternoon, there’s a totally different kind of vibe. As you cycle from the outskirts to the old town in the morning, you’re greeted by the smell of jasmin – which is a treat compared to the fumes that the heavy evening traffic can cause. It’s a delightfully peaceful place, where locals are cleaning their motorbike, go to the market, hang out and open their shops with prayers and incense.
If you’re lucky, some might even invite you into their homes, as the son of a 96 year old lady did to us. She had an air of mystery around her, and I was very curious about the stories she might have to tell. But she was so old she barely noticed our presence.