Notes on the Geography of Vietnam: Hoi An
Since making UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1999, Hoi An has become an obligatory stop for tourists. The object of their attention: a 16th and 17th century entrepot for traders from Europe, China, Japan, and India. Hoi An's prosperity faded as its river silted. Da Nang rose in its stead, but Hoi An's decline meant that it was not obliterated by modernization.
We're coming down the coast from Hue. Here, Lang Co, a fine beach north of Da Nang.
Approach to Hai Van Pass.
The view from the pass back over Lang Co beach.
Fortifications at the pass.
South of Da Nang, hotels rise at China Beach (or, in early 2009, sit awaiting economic recovery).
Leftovers from the American war.
Hoi An at last: the Thu Bon River. Looks like a tinted postcard from 1900.
It's been successful.
Some of the visitors spend more than two days--or at least that's one promoter's hope.
Realty office straight from the Caribbean.
Tourists mean jobs, here for a ferry load of workers at the start of the day.
Notice the eyes on the boat?
Some Vietnamese are doing very well from this new economy.
Probably the town's most photographed structure is the so-called Japanese Bridge, built to connect a formerly Japanese neighborhood with its Chinese and Vietnamese neighbors.
Early in the day, the streets are very quiet.
How long has that Shell sign been there?
First signs of life.
The simplest building type: single ridge, one story, open front.
Built in a row.
Two-story row house.
The palazzo treatment.
Three stories, about as imposing as any of the old private buildings in Hoi An.
The qualification "private" was there to leave room for assembly halls and religious buildings, in this case the Phac Hat pagoda.
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