Vibrant Vietnam - 2007

HOI-AN There was another couple of hours to drive to reach Hoi An where we would spend the night, so we left Da Nang after the museum tour. The rains continued right along with us; we began to realize that we would not outpace the oncoming flooding. We saw more and more water- filled rice fields and side roads through the villages between the highway and the shore and there was no let up to the rain. Lan warned us, too, that Hoi An is always subject to flooding and has been throughout its history because of its coastal position and the river that runs through the city to the sea. We were to see dramatic evidence of this truth during our stay in this lovely old city.

S HORT H ISTORY OF THE C ITY Hoi An was a small settlement until the 1600s when the Ming Dynasty in China collapsed, causing many Chinese people led by five top generals from five different Chinese provinces to flee from probable persecution because they had “backed the wrong horse” so to speak. These immigrants came with the idea that they would settle in this area permanently and they began to build homes and meeting/worship complexes for their own use. The five complexes were different in that they reflected the cultures of the five separate provinces from which the people came. They are still functional today with the same purposes as originally planned. Of

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