Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Magical Lanterns for the Super Moon

Raining again. We hired a private car and driver to take us on the four hour drive to Hoi An with stops along the way.

We turned off the highway and drove awhile down some dirt roads to Elephant Springs waterfall where people go swimming during better weather. It was a bit of a slippery walk over mud and rocks to get there from where the car was parked. It was more of a river with big rocks than a waterfall but it’s probably more impressive with better weather.

Our next stop was the beach. It would be stunning in warm weather.

The next time we turned off the highway was to check out oyster farms in a lagoon. They use old motorbike tires for the oysters to grow on.

We started driving up a mountain and stopped for a wonderful view of where the lagoon meets the sea.

Continuing our climb, we reached Hai Van pass for a great view of Da Nang which is the third largest city in Vietnam. Da Nang is a more modern city than Saigon or Hanoi.

In Da Nang, we stopped at the Marble Mountain. We took the elevator up and climbed even more steps to explore the caves, temples, statues and pagodas at the top. 

Around 3pm we arrived in Hoi An at our accommodation the Moon Villa Homestay. It is a lovely place; pretty, clean and has a friendly staff. You need to take your shoes off in the lobby where they provide slippers. The slippers are sized for the smaller Asian foot...John’s heels hang off the end.

It was to be a super moon that night, a lunar occurance that happens only every 150  years or so. The night before in Hue we noticed that people we setting tables with candy and incense in front of their stores and were lighting fires in cans. We thought they were burning garbage but were told that they were burning paper and fake money for the gods during the full moon.

In the daylight old town Hoi An is lovely, prettiest place we have seen in Vietnam. We sat at the front of a restaurant at the riverside for a supper of traditional Hoi An food.

As soon as night set in, it became magical. Lanterns blazed all around, boats with lanterns glided up and down the river and people floated paper lanterns with candles down the river...unfortunately the wind was fairly quick to blow them out.

The lovely Japanese style bridge was lit up as were some dragons and mythical creatures at the rivers edge. Live music played from restaurants and the streets were filled with performers and people.

This was the most beautiful night of our trip.

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