By night, Hoi An, Vietnam is transformed into a dazzling paradise glimmering with brilliant silk lanterns, paper luminaries, and warm candlelight. With the sky cloaked in darkness, we strolled by the Thu Bon River and watched as the colorful luminaries danced on the water. Vendors of all ages sold them along the water’s edge to visitors who passed by to admire the night’s splendor.
We spent several relaxing hours walking and dining along Hoi An’s riverside. At midday, some locals made meals on weathered, wooden boats.
Along Hoi An, Vietnam’s riverside, numerous boat owners offer to rent their wooden vessels for journeys of an hour or more. Since Hoi An’s coastal position afforded it such a great trading fortune in centuries past, we were eager to explore the Mekong’s waters by boat.
With a Vietnamese dong rate negotiated, we hopped onto the watercraft. The last morsels of a bundle of incense sticks burned at the helm, honoring the spirits and expressing the driver’s and passengers’ wishes for a safe voyage. Like most boats in the region, a primitive eye was painted on the bow – designed to ward off evil spirits and to find the way.