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Vietnam - Hội An

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

I've been in Hội An for almost two weeks. At first, it was bad weather that kept me there, I didn't feel like riding my motorbike in the sleet and Hội An is beautiful even when it's raining.

It was when the sun came out, or rather when it stopped raining, that it amazed me because it is magnificent even at night with its thousands of lanterns and its lovers' rowboats that populate the Thu Bồn River.

In the evening, a multitude of kiosks set up for us to discover the culinary specialties.

Cao lầu is one of these specialties. It which is composed of noodles, pork, soy and aromatic herbs. Cao lầu is Hội An in a bowl. I tasted it in a dozen places, restaurants, stalls, kiosks, without ever being disappointed.


I also tasted the durian, this fruit with a sulphurous reputation. I who have a very fine sense of smell, I was not put off by its smell or its taste. In fact, I don't understand all the bla-bla that surrounds it. It's sweet, it's good, it's different and... I would eat it again.

The old town of Hội An is particularly well preserved. It is a unique place in Vietnam where several cultures mix: Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and European. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Several artists are installed there to present their works, such as these heads sculpted in bamboo roots.

One of the most interesting monuments is the Japanese Pagoda Bridge (Chùa Cầu), a covered bridge built in 1593 to connect the neighborhoods inhabited by Chinese and Japanese communities.

credit: Minh Nhat

There are also a multitude of temples...

Nearby, less than 2 km from Hội An, I went to the Thanh Hà pottery village. Works of art have been made here for over 400 years but it was put on the map during the time of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 to 1945), when craftsmen were brought in to fashion decorative items for the palace.

Nothing is mechanized in the village. All pottery is made by hand, from mixing the clay, through molding, burning and firing, to enamelling. The clay comes from the beds of rivers and rice fields located nearby.

You can visit a multitude of workshops. I was even invited to create a work of art with a little, a lot, of help.

Some have a very special technique for moving the pottery wheel.

A short walk on Bình Minh beach. I had the project to do Enduro in Quebec... but I have to face the facts, it's much more difficult than it looks. I missed "failing" a time or two. Hazardous driving will remain one of my vivid memories of Vietnam.

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