Located on the coast of the South China Sea, Hoi An is found in the Quang Nam Province. It is home to gorgeous old buildings, traditional temples and the Japanese Covered Bridge and the old town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There is plenty to see and do, and even more to eat. My best friend and I spent some time in Hoi An and loved the temples, the food and the gorgeous paper lanterns that lit up the night sky. Sadly there was a typhoon due to hit us when we were there so alot of the time was spent bunkered down in our hotel room watching old movies. However when the weather permitted and we could explore we had a great time.
sleep: We stayed at the Huy Hoang Garden Hotel, Hoi An. It is located just walking distance out of the old town. It is not a 5 star place but is clean, has a nice big pool and very friendly staff. The rooms are super cheap as well and are relatively quiet and breakfast is generally thrown in. If you are looking for a bit more luxury then there is also plenty of accommodation just out of the town on right on the beaches. You can get here in a taxi or mini van straight from the Danang airport.
activities: We stayed in the old town for most of the time on this trip (thanks so much typhoon!) However we did have the time to explore temples with a “Old Town Ticket”- my favourites were the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation and the Tan Ky House. We spent days walking and admiring the beauty of the Japanese Covered Bridge- well worth a look at night time when it’s all lit up. Nights were filled with fabulous food and walking along the river watching young girls place candle lit boats into the water.
We also took a guided day trip to ‘my son’ which was organised through our hotel. Although it was pissing down with rain it was still great to see the impressive sculptures and stonework surrounded by lush greenery.
We also spent the day at the Morning Glory Cooking School, participating in a cooking class and market visit. At the market we tasted and learnt about all the local fresh fruit and vegetables that are used in traditional Vietnamese cooking. The rest of the afternoon dabbling in local cuisines made by chefs at the cooking school/restaurant, followed by cooking several meals ourselves under the guidance of Trinh Diem Vy. It was one of the highlight of our trip.
shop: This can be the overwhelming part. There are so many options when it comes to having clothing made- We had clothes made at the Clothing Shop 52- lovely ladies and nice materials, but be sure to ask for a price before you have your goods made. There’s also beautiful leather stores around where you can get yourself a relatively cheap leather bag or purse.
eat: about 80% of our trip to Hoi An was eating and eating in our hotel room (and by eating I mean gorging on oreos and pringles) When we wern’t bunckered down we ate at this amazing places- some even twice!
Cargo Club- selling reasonably priced western and Vietnamese food. Dine upstairs and alfresco, gorgeous views, mouth watering desserts.
Mermaid- curries, poh and traditional Vietnamese at a ridiculously cheap price.
Morning Glory- the most delicious spring rolls to grace your lips. Everything we ate here was incredible!
The place next to cargo club- where you can get a delicious ham and cheese baguette and brownie in a takeaway pack. Its perfect for those who are day tripping- we used ours for when we were hotel bound.
Reaching Out tea house- a cafe run by the hearing impaired and supporting artisans with disabilities, in this tea house you use place cards to order your drinks. Try their red lantern tea its smokey and fabulous. They also sell locally made gifts like jewellery, hand-painted Vietnamese hats and toys.
local knowledge: don’t buy goods off of small children that come to your table- it encourages them to not go to school and make money. wear plenty of mossie spray- you can find it at some small shops but it’s not as strong. oh and the most important- drink beer in the old town. it’s cheap and delicious!
have you visited Hoi An? what was your favourite thing about this beautiful town?