Vibrant Vietnam - 2007

flooded up to five feet in 1991, but has been restored and is still used as a home on the upper floors and a shop on the ground floor. Most buildings in the Old City flood every year at least a foot! We were not expecting to see so much construction and renovation, but Lan told us that because of its designation as a World Heritage Site, Hoi An receives a lot of foreign money for restoration. There is even a project to bury the overhead telephone, electricity and television wires so that the Old City looks more like it did in its glory days. The continual flooding through the centuries caused the river to silt up and the businesses that were based on trade began to falter. Today there is money available for dredging and now Hoi An’s prosperity is more based on its tourism than its mercantilism.

F LOODED S TREETS We explored the Old City on foot and enjoyed the teeming central market with its plethora of stalls, sellers, buyers, visitors, and sightseers. Everything imaginable was on sale and there seemed to be a buyer for everything too. We had been promised a boat ride on the river but because the water was rising so rapidly, it was deemed too dangerous by the boatmen. So, instead, we got to observe the flooding in the streets.

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