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    Hoi An. A Love Letter in Pictures.

    Hoi An. You make my heart beat faster. I’m in love with you. Ever since I first wandered through your old city, I knew, every other town I will visit in future will have a hard time competing with you. It was love at first sight. I never wanted to leave you. But I had to. My travels were calling me. But, I promise you this: I will come back. One day, I will be back for longer.

    If that is ok with you?


    Hoi An lantern


    I wish I could put down into words properly what intense happiness you made me feel. Especially when I explored you on my bicycle. I felt free like I had never felt before. Pedalling through your beautiful streets – lifting my bike over your Japanese bridge, manoeuvring my way to the river to eat your delicious food.

    I will never forget how this day made me feel.


    Cycling in Hoi An - Vietnam


    Lying on this empty picture-perfect beach listening to soft tunes. Look how pretty your beaches are – aren’t you immensely proud? This day was more than I wished for. And I concluded it by cycling to a nearby beach restaurant, where I had a delicious mousse au chocolat. I closed my eyes in that moment. To savour – to enjoy – to store this moment.

    You remember, I know.


    Hidden beach Hoian - Vietnam


    Do you recall when I had lunch at Soi Hoian? When the owner was busy preparing lunch for his family? He offered me some of their lunch, if I wanted to try. Of course I wanted to. This is where I discovered your speciality: Mi Quang.

    The watercress blended beautifully with the turmeric infused noodles. How funny the texture of those croutons were. And the pork…it was perfect. It had been as good as the Duck Noodle soup you enticed me to try, this Tuesday afternoon, at Mango Rooms. You smiled back at me. You knew my love for bold colours and how much the interior will make me feel like I’m at home.

    ‘One day when I have my own home, it will look like this…’, you heard me say.


    Old town of Hoian


    Later the one evening, I cycled over to the other side to see your famous lanterns. If it wasn’t for my on-going travel plans and had I had a home to travel back to, I would have bought some of them. Because, look at this! Every garden would instantly transform itself into this enchanted fairytale with your lanterns. Do you realise how pretty they are? Yes, of course you do. You know. These are what makes you famous, my love.

    This is part of your charm.


    Famous lanterns in Hoi An - Vietnam


    I was fighting a cold that week. Had I not, I would have returned to my little cafe, you know the one with the yellow and blue interior (you laughed at me for taking photos in the bathroom…but come on…even the bathroom was tastefully decorated…I had to!) – the wine bar. I would have sat there, looking out to the street, dimly lit by lanterns, and I would have savoured this moment. And yet, I still enjoyed my time there:

    I ordered vanilla ice-cream…


    Wine Bar in Hoi An Vietnam


    I wanted to thank you for your kindness. For the kindness of your people. Thuy organised the bus for me to go to the airport the next morning. She promised to phone me and she did. She said ‘don’t thank me. One day, I would hope someone would do the same for my daughter’ and smiled at me, squeezing my hand. The owner of Soi Hoian – did you know he gave me a bag of this tea he brews at his restaurant every day? I enjoyed it so much and when I enquired about it, he said ‘Wait! I have something for you’. And he came back with a bag of tea, just for me.

    This kind gesture touched me so much, it made me all teary.


    Children selling lanterns in Hoi An - Vietnam


    Hoi An.

    You are magnificent. Tantalizing. Fascinating. Wonderful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

    Thank you for making me fall in love with you.

    I will be back.

    That I promise you.


    Fruit vendor in Hoi An - Vietnam

    Heart IconHas a city ever touched you so deeply you could write a love letter to it? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.


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    Hoi An Vietnam - Probably one of my most favourite places in the world. I fell in love with it. Literally. See for yourself.




    • Maaike

      20.03.2015 at 06:40 Reply

      Hoi An is so beautiful! I’ve been lucky enough to have spent 10 days in the gorgeous place for a project, and get to know its people. Especially the ones on Cam Nam Island (on the other side of the bridge). And of course I’ve a lantern hanging above my bed. You were absolutely right to write a love letter to Hoi An. You actually beat me to it.

      • Serendipity Tess

        20.03.2015 at 08:27 Reply

        Oh lucky you 🙂 10 days 🙂 I only had four…nowhere near enough. But enough to capture my heart. One day, I’ll have a Hoi An lantern dangling above my bed too! One day…

    • Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver

      07.04.2015 at 02:45 Reply

      Such a lovely post. It is totally true that sometimes the best way to describe what you feel about a place is through photos of it. I haven’t been to Hoi An but your photos make me want to go. I think right now if I wrote a post about somewhere like this it would be Rome, I’ve been missing it lately. Thanks for sharing.

      • Serendipity Tess

        07.04.2015 at 23:51 Reply

        Hey Megan, thanks for dropping by 🙂 I love Rome and I can totally see your fascibation with the place! As for Hoi An – oh if you could…go one day! It’s absolutely beautiful!!

    • Kelly

      28.07.2015 at 09:52 Reply

      What a beautiful post this is. I am back to read more about your Asian travels as mine kick off next week! Hoi An is an absolute must, I cannot wait to visit 🙂
      Kelly recently posted…A month in Iceland for £859 (all inclusive)My Profile

      • Serendipity Tess

        01.08.2015 at 09:23 Reply

        Ohhh Hoi An. The lanterns, the magic, the ambiance. The people, the food, the laughter…the wine…sigh. You will see for yourself 🙂

    • Nikita

      31.07.2015 at 16:38 Reply

      Your pictures are absolutely stunning! Loved looking at them, and reading the thoughts that went along with it. It’s such a magicaal feeling, to fall in love with a city… Though I guess I’m a bit promiscuous in that manner!
      Nikita recently posted…The Haunted Schoolhouse in PodlesiMy Profile

      • Serendipity Tess

        01.08.2015 at 09:16 Reply

        Thank you Nikita 🙂 I really appreciate your lovely comment 🙂 Hoi An has stirred up a lot of emotions in me. I would back there tomorrow.

    • Mee

      22.04.2016 at 03:52 Reply

      So touching! I found your blog randomly and after I read this post, I decided to follow your blog immediately! I wasnot born in Hoi An but I’m living now and probably next 2 years (cuz I’m running a business here ^^). I’m very happy to know someone in the world has same feeling with me about this city. I always call it my destiny. As you promised, I hope you will come back Hoi An soon and hopefully we can meet each other and share our stories!

      • Serendipity Tess

        24.04.2016 at 16:02 Reply

        Awwww Mee! So happy to meet you and thank you for your beautiful comment! Yes, I absolutely fell in love with Hoi An – it was one of my most favourite places I have ever visited! Really loved it! Yes, let’s meet one day 🙂 It would be lovely! So jealous that you are living there….lucky girl 🙂

    • Louise Terranova

      21.09.2016 at 16:30 Reply

      Your photographs are beautiful – such an exquisite place. I was lucky enough to go there a few years ago. Time to go back. Louise

      • Serendipity Tess

        12.10.2016 at 06:05 Reply

        Hello Louise, thank you so much! I appreciate your comment! Hoi An is one of my favourite places ever…would go back in a heartbeat.

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