The view from my balcony in the new East Wing at La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa is enticing: a saltwater lagoon pool dotted with palm trees, surrounded by a courtyard of ochre European- style villas. The view inside my spacious, colonial- style Junior Suite is pretty decent too: gorgeous handcrafed teak furniture, polished wooden foors and a blend of modern Asian décor.
But what’s grabbed my attention is a striking blackand-white photograph on the wall; the portrait captures a wizened old Vietnamese couple sharing an intimate joke. Her unforgettable toothless grin beams from ear to ear as her mischievous husband, with an equally iconic tuft of white beard, tenderly tousles her hair. Te absolute joy and mutual affection radiating from the seemingly poor
elderly couple is powerful and utterly captivating.
Other art pieces are dotted throughout the room showing moments from Vietnam’s past – much of it serene scenes of local life. There are conical hat-wearing farmers watering their crops, children playing by lily ponds and fishermen steering traditional boats through waterways. It’s the perfect foreshadowing for the next few days of relaxing and soaking up the charming appeal of
Vietnam’s slow-paced rural life.
Hoi An, in Quang Nam province, is worlds away from the frantic moped-swarming cities of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, or glitzy resort-filled neighbour Danang, just 40 minutes up the coast and the entry point for most Hoi An-bound visitors via Danang International Airport
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