The sky was a beautiful shade of purple with a hint of orange. The town wasn't noisy, but it wasn't silent either. Motorboats were passing by in the river. Time stood still. It felt like a place where I could be happy.
Hoi An is a coastal paradise. Clear skies, still water and serene clouds, but beware of the red ants. They can bite.
I understand why people like Hoi An so much. It's a charming city, and the romance can be felt everywhere when the red lanterns begin to glow at dusk and the old quarter comes to life.
This city is full of surprises. The biggest of which is rain. It brings lovers closer than ever before, under an umbrella (holding hands) and bodies touching. And as suddenly as the rain comes, it dissipates. The intimacy remains.
There are lanterns all across the streets. Red and yellow, and French street lamps next to the tall trees. Two lovers sit next to each other unaware of all the beauty and noise. There is gentle breeze in the air. They look happy.
Many couples sit in a boat and get their pictures clicked. Pretty women in wedding gowns and handsome men in tuxedos. They stand together, a smile on their face, and the flash comes on. It's beautiful.
There is lightning in the sky. It always rains in the evening. That's just how Hoi An works. People know it, prepare for it and enjoy it.
I run and take shelter under a bus stop, where a young couple is sitting. It is a small space. My presence is taking away from their moment. I walk out. I will find another shelter, they may never find such a moment again.
The locals can be pushy at times. They will approach and ask you to come inside their restro bars and coffee shops. But they are good people. Like the lady who insisted that I sit inside her restaurant when it started to rain.
A worker at one of the most famous pubs in Hoi An, Tiger Bar, ushered four gorgeous girls inside. He was holding an umbrella to protect them from the rain. The back of his shirt said, "Don't be a pussy, be a Tiger."
Lesson: It's okay to wear silly clothes but perform good deeds.
Image: Bertrand Gimat
Every restaurant faces the river, enjoys the same breeze, offers the same Vietnamese food and beer. All of Hoi An speaks in once voice. Forever ready to share its charm.
The Rugby World Cup is going on. I don't think the Vietnamese understand the R of rugby. But every bar offers a live telecast and every local follows the game with interest. Every traveller becomes one with Hoi An and Hoi An becomes one with them. A never ending party.
Every girl here looks stunning and dresses in colourful clothes. Every man appears cool. Hoi An is a quaint town sweet and sinful, just like a cocktail.
I cycled to the An Bang beach, which is about seven kilometres away from the city. There are paddy fields half on either side of the road, an open sky and endless possibilities. Your heart will begin to dance. It's totally worth the trouble.
The combinations of wave after wave and a gentle breeze is mesmerizing. Locals come here to enjoy themselves. Be it football, long walks or time with loved ones. Everyone is jolly and content.
In Hoi An, you don't want more from life. You don't want less. You feel content.
There is always some sadness in goodbyes. I felt it while leaving Hoi An. I grew attached to this town slowly, then all at once. Some day our reunion will be just as sweet.