Through my eyes: Faces of Hoi An (part 1)

The people in Hoi An are some of the loveliest I’ve ever met. Though there was often a language barrier to overcome, they still made an effort to understand and be understood. They were happy to joke and barter with us in the market place, explain the different teas and coffees on offer at the tea houses, and apologised when they didn’t understand our questions – not that it could possibly be their fault that we had come to their country unable to speak their language!

Some of my favourites photos from the trip were of the people; so much so that this is a two-parter. Let me start to introduce you to some of the faces and souls that make up Hoi An…


This older woman was slowly pacing around the market place, utterly oblivious to everything going on around her. Including the speeding motor bikes, almost stopping my heart several times.

We watched this beautiful lady from the porch seats of the Hoi An Roastery coffee shop. She was sitting there with a dreamy look in her eyes, until the family dog came out to investigate. Look to the balcony above her head and you’ll see it; apparently pup was unhappy with the goings on outside, and made it known very loudly. Not long after this photo was taken, the lady left her post and soon later appeared on the balcony, at which point pup was unceremoniously thrown inside.

I was actually trying to take a photo of the stunning building that houses the Sakura Restaurant and divides the street, but this lady was shooting for a photobomb. When husband pointed that out, I told her to smile and I’d take her photo instead, and smile she did 🙂

We had the most amazing cao lau here! The lady on the left in the polka dot top is Bee and she runs the show like an absolute boss. Watching her make food, greet and seat guests, collect money and tidy up was  street choreography at its best. Later that night, I drew up the scene in watercolour, and showed her the next night when we went back for dinner; the squeal of excitement she let out and the way her eyes lit up as she grabbed my notebook from me to show her friend was pure magic, and one of those moments I’ll never forget.

And this lady we visited for donuts. She just calmly cooked her donuts in the tiny little vat of boiling oil in the middle of her cart, amidst the mayhem of the night, and looked like nothing could possibly disturb her zen…

5 thoughts on “Through my eyes: Faces of Hoi An (part 1)

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