Photo Essay: A morning at the beach

Like most of skinny, central Vietnam, Hoi An is near the coast and surrounded by nice beaches.  In January the beaches are mostly deserted, mercifully void of tourists unlike the rest of the city.

The end of the year is considered lucky for weddings in Vietnam.  Brides often wear white western dresses instead of traditional ao dai.  Photos are usually taken three to six months before the actual wedding and may involve multiple costume changes and locations.  The photos are displayed at the wedding.

This wedding party, separate from the couple doing photographs, kidnapped the tall blonde and grey-haired Americans in the center of their group for photos as they walked along the beach.  Rice wine will make anyone friendly at 10 in the morning.

Along the beach were groups of oddly shaped basket boats, called thùng chai in Vietnamese.  They are a type of fishing boat that does not exist in northern Vietnam.  I’m not sure if it is unique to the area around Hoi An or if it exists further south as well.

 Thùng chai in action.  It’s a wonder they don’t capsize.


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