We travelled to Hoi An the following day, travelling along the Pass of the Ocean Clouds, a mountain range shrouded by heavy cloud and passing through the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co, fringed by white sands and palm trees and washed by rivers, lagoons and emerald seas.
Hoi An, set on the Thu Bon River, started life as a sea port in the Champa Kingdom and continued to flourish under the Nguyen dynasty.
Hoi An fell into decline when much of the city was destroyed during the Tay Son Rebellion at the end of the 18th century. Da Nang became Vietnam's main port, leaving Hoi An to become the charming town it is today, a World Heritage Site, teeming with multi-cultural colour, architecture and atmosphere.
We wandered through Hoi An's streets crossing the covered Japanese Bridge, which links the banks of a tributary of the Thu Bon River. Constructed in 1593, between the Japanese and Chinese communities, this was the first bridge to be built with a roof, its yellow and green tiles designed to appear to ripple like moving water.
A pagoda stands in the middle of the bridge, while at either end, you will find statues of dogs and monkeys, indicating the years in which the bridge was built, according to the symbols of Chinese astrology.
We came across a bustling local market, much better than Dong Ba in Hue, and spent time wandering around the market, taking in the atmosphere & the mix of smells coming from all directions. We also got some great photographs along the way.