Tangled up in Vietnam: why Hoi An is like a Disney movie…

ladiesAll around me, women of different ages and different generations are wedging candles into piles of white sand inside tiny cardboard rafts.

lanternThe sun is setting in old Hoi An, Vietnam and slowly, as the silver linings of every cloud are highlighted for all to see in a blaze of indigo, pink and amber, the candles flicker their way along the water, bought for a dollar apiece and set free by the hands of young lovers making wishes on the river banks.


I’m a Disney princess in a twirling dress, leaning on the bridge, where the silhouettes of gold and scarlet dragons frame a thousand photos taken by tourists. I’m waiting to board my boat into the sunset and a stream of lanterns turning ripples into a moving kaleidoscope of swirls…


All my life, watching from the windows.

All my life, outside looking in.

All this time, never really knowing,

just how blind I’ve been.


Now I’m here, blinking in the starlight.

Now I’m here, suddenly I see.

Standing here, it’s crystal clear,

it’s where I’m meant to be.


And at last I see the light,

and it’s like the fog has lifted.

And at last I see the light.

And it’s like the sky is new.


And it’s warm and real and bright,

and the world has somehow shifted.

All at once, everything is different.

Now that I see you.


And that’s why Hoi An is like a Disney movie 🙂