Hoi An is a quaint, ancient town that almost every type of traveller loves. It used to be a major trading port between the 15th and 19th century but has now become one of Vietnam’s most beautiful towns. This well preserved ancient town in the central coast of Vietnam is a beauty to behold. At night, the town’s centre is traffic free and becomes the most romantic town in whole Southeast Asia. Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Where to Sleep
If you’re staying at a hotel, you raked out the cash for, you might be tempted to rest all day indoors. There are several Vietnamese backpacker hostels, some of which come with breakfast and stunning views. You can also check some of the Hoi An travel diary blogs for suggestions suitable for travellers on a budget.
What to Eat
The central indoor market of Hoi An offers the best local dishes under one roof.
One popular cuisine you need to taste is the crowd’s favorite, Cao Lau. Hoi an is the only place in Vietnam where you can eat this delicious noodle dish with roasted pork and local greens. It makes use of unique rice noodles incomparable to any other in Vietnam. If you’re not in the mood for some local cuisine, you can opt for traditional European pastries. Thanks to the French influence of the town, you can find delicious cakes and pastries on every street corner.
Chuối chiên are deliciously fried banana fritters are a fried street snack that will satisfy your cravings for home. They are served hot and are as sweet as they look. Sticky, golden-brown, speckled with sesame seeds, crispy on the outside and oozing with fruity goodness on the inside, they serve as the perfect morning treat.
Hoi An’s beaches
Two nearby beaches; An Bang Beach or Cua Dai Beach are located 3-5km out of the city that varies in tourist numbers.
These quaint basket boats are traditional boats which have been used by fishermen for years.
For a little backstory, fishermen used to make this kind of boat with bamboo to circumvent paying taxes to the French Colonial government on their normal fishing boats. They argued that these aren’t boats but baskets, so they didn’t have to pay taxes on it. Present day Hoi An is one of the few places where woven basket boats are still being used actively, and this is due to the ease of movement and ability to navigate through the narrow canals in the city. For first time users, it might be a bit difficult, but you will still enjoy the experience. Hoi An Eco Coconut Tour fishing offers a must-see package where you get to enjoy the basket boat, fish and learn how to cook a local cuisine.
The Temple of My Son
The Ruins of My Son are a must see when in Hoi An. The temples are old, but they remain a tourist attraction situated in the valley of a beautiful green forest, about an hour away from Hoi An. Most of the temples were destroyed during the war against Viet Cong.
You might notice that they are not as well preserved as some other sites like the Angkor Wat, but its serene environment is worth checking out. Get there by bus with a tour or go by yourself with a motorbike.
The best way to get around Hoi An is by stretching your legs and exploring by foot, mainly through the old town. Cycling/Motorbike is another great way to explore and get to nearby beaches.
XO tours offer motorbike rides with the “Nguyens” as well.
If you’re traveling with a motorbike, you can use the Maps.me app to find the bicycle route. This route will allow you see the beautiful villages and a large part of the countryside.
Go with a Friend
You can spend less than 20 dollars daily together, creating new memories, eating fantastic freshly made meals and enjoying scenery like you wouldn’t see elsewhere.