Some Photos from Hoi An, Vietnam

Arriving in Hoi An, the difference between what we saw in the north of Vietnam to what we were about to see in the south had become glaringly obvious.  Long gone were the rough culture-shock worthy streets of Hanoi and the offbeat spots like Catba Island.  Hoi An, for better or worse, is basically a tourist town.  Especially down in the center of town, you’d be hard pressed to find any business at all that doesn’t relate directly to tourism.

I guess part of the shock here in Hoi An too deals with my image of Vietnam before arriving.   I guess I imagined it more raw than places like Thailand, and this stop certainly detracts from the idea.  Sure, Hoi An is beautiful and there are some really lovely places to look at.  But, it’s not somewhere that inspired me.  It’s not a place that made me want to tell stories and seek them out.  It was very watered down.  One evening, we went to eat at what nearly all tourists agreed to be the best place to eat in town.  What we got instead was a westernized version of the typical dishes for ten times the street value.

But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Hoi An, I did. There were a heap of opportunities for the travel photographer in me, even if the story-teller was left out of the party.  Thus, instead of a long drawn out article here are some photos of Hoi An for your viewing pleasure.

Hoi An, Vietnam

One of the tourist streets in town

Hoi An, Vietnam

A water taxi. These ladies selling water taxi rides must be the most annoying sales people in the world.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Says it all.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Love the outfit and conical hat. I’ll rock this same outfit, just give me a couple years.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Playing checkers.

Hoi An, Vietnam

The grumpiest man in Hoi An.

Hoi An, Vietnam

The Japanese Covered Bridge

Hoi An, Vietnam

Girl selling candles at the Japanese Covered Bridge

Hoi An, Vietnam

Kids selling candles to float away down the river, carrying enough trash to build an island.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Lanterns for sale in the Night Market.

Hoi An, Vietnam

A night shot of the Japanese Covered Bridge.


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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16 Comments

  1. You sum up Hoi An perfectly. It is really beautiful and charming and I love it and has great food, but there isn’t really a lot to say about it – it’s all a show!

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    • Right?! I think Hoi An is the type of place I could spend a week just people watching and photographing… but nothing really inspires me.

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  2. Nice Blog!! Thanks for Sharing.

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  3. Such great photos Brendan!

    I loved Hoi An, but I know what you mean about it being more touristy than the other cities. I think my love for it may have peaked because of all the clothes I had made there… maybe it’s a girl thing? But I do think the place is incredibly beautiful and you’ve captured it perfectly!

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    • Haha, true Helen. I really wanted to get a couple suits done there, but didn’t have the time, nor do I have the space available in my luggage.

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    • Thank you Paige, it’s one of my favourites from anywhere in Asia, actually! Cheers for checking out the photos!

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  4. great photos! I can’t help but love how “real life” they look (A strange description considering they are real life photos

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    • Thanks Rebecca! The key to great street photography is making it feel real, so I understand what you’re saying! Thanks for checking out the blog, as usual!

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  5. Sounds like just the kind of place Iwant to avoid as a tourist. It is beautiful though. Great pictures.

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  6. Vietnam is so captivating day or night. I love your shots.

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  7. Nice post..!!! You’re a great photographer..!

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  8. Stellar photos Brendan, especially love the second one through the lanterns and also the night photos! Can’t wait to explore Hoi An.

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  9. These photos are great! I can’t wait until I get to Hoi An. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Vietnam is beautiful, You’re a great photographer

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  11. Wonderful shots of Hoi-An really evocative.

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