More on Hoi An (sorry – I got distracted writing about the food!)
November 28th, 2009 by Kate

A few shout outs are in order for Hoi An before I move on to Na Trang…

First and foremost – we connected with a great guy that lives in Hoi An through www.couchsurfing.org named Randy.  We didn’t end up staying with him, but he gave us a lot of invaluable insider tips on the ins-and-outs of Hoi An – PLUS he let us borrow his Kindle cord (ours got confiscated by customs in China!)  which was mighty kind and trusting of him.  If you are ever passing through Hoi An, I highly recommend stopping by his cool bookstore called Randy’s Book Xchange – he has the biggest selection of English language books I’ve seen in Asia, plus they’re used so you’re doing a good deed for the trees of the world.

One of the highlights of our trip to Hoi An was going to see Marble Mountain on China Beach (yes, of China Beach fame).  It is yet another giant limestone karst, but this one is climbible by some darn steep stairs.  But you are incredibly rewarded up towards the top with a massive cave that is the home to a beauiful and solumn Buddist Temple.  It is one of the most spiritual looking places I have ever seen.  Forget the great cathedrals of Europe and the massive Temples in Japan – this place is where you go if you want to chat with your God. 

Interestingly, it was used by the Viet Cong during the war as a hospital.  They were moving people in and out of the caves right under the noses of the American GI’s who were taking their R&R across the street at the beach.  I took some amazing photographs, but unfortunately I had a spaz moment in the market the next day and erased all my photos of Marble Mountain.  Its okay though, I’m going back again someday and you really should see if for yourself anyway.

Tessa enjoying a good book and some shade at La Plage on An Bang Beach

Tessa enjoying a good book and some shade at La Plage on An Bang Beach

Lastly, I want to mention the beaches in Hoi An.  They are a reason in and of themselves to visit the area.  White sand, great shells, lots of little shacks on the beach with cold beer, fresh fish, and comfy lounge chairs.  Our favorite beach was ”Bien An Bang” (An Bang Beach) and our favorite beach shack was La Plage Beach Club  (5th shack on the right if you are looking at the beach from the end of the dirt road.  The fisherman here fish out of boats that look like big round baskets (about 12 feet in diameter).  A few of the bigger boats cast these giant yellow nets and they look like ballerinas from the shore. 

***Note:  Add Hoi An as one of the places to check out to retire to…

3 Responses  
Cricket Bourget writes:
December 3rd, 2009 at 9:16 pm

I’m intrigued by Marble Mountain, sounds awesome, sorry you spazzed your pics. (I always heard that if you want to find God you should go to jail, since so many inmates seem to find Him there. And it IS a lot closer than Viet Nam…. but then, no beach… tough call…..)

Duffy writes:
January 11th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Mom,dad and I loved Marble Mountain when we were there…did you know that I purchased a half container of marble from that area when I was still sculpting.

Denis writes:
May 28th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Thank you and see you soon….. Beautiful pictures and interresting text… :-)
Denis “La Plage”

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