Saturday, April 2, 2016

Peaceful Meeting Place

Hoi An means a Peaceful Meeting Place and is just that. 
Entry to Shrine

Founded as a trading port sometime around 1595, Hoi An flourished and became the most important trade port on the South China Sea.  English sailors and are known to have made at least one trading mission to Hoi An (around 1619). The early Portuguese Jesuits also had one of their two residences at Hoi An.   
In the 18th century, Hoi An was considered by Chinese and Japanese merchants to be the best destination for trading in all of south-east Asia, even Asia. The Japanese believed the heart of all of Asia (the dragon) lay beneath the earth of Hoi An. The city also rose to prominence as a powerful and exclusive trade conduct between Europe, China, India, and Japan, especially for the ceramic industry. Shipwreck discoveries have shown that Vietnamese and Asian ceramics were transported from Hoi An to as far as Sinai, Egypt.
Mosaic Dragon and Koi Fountain.

The towns buildings reflect a fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures (principally Chinese and Japanese with later European influences). The town comprises a well-preserved complex of 1,107 timber frame buildings, with brick or wooden walls, which include architectural monuments, commercial and domestic structures, notably an open market and a ferry quay, and religious buildings such as pagodas and family cult houses.
View from the Bridge

The houses are tiled and the wooden components are carved with traditional motifs.  They are arranged side-by-side in tight, unbroken rows along narrow pedestrian streets. There is also the fine wooden Japanese bridge, with a pagoda on it, dating from the 18th century.
Another Wedding Couple
Traditional Home - 1700's
Hoi An has been our favorite and the most delightful town we have visited since arriving in Vietnam. Perhaps it is because of the heritage. Perhaps because it’s a beach town and historical site. There is much less traffic here, easier to navigate the streets, calmer – more relaxed. One could say that Hoi An is the Venice of Vietnam.
2016-Year of the Monkey
More mosaic Dragon Sculptures

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