The Ancient Town of Hoi An, Vietnam

Thursday, March 16, 2017

We reached Hoi An after a short flight from Hanoi to Da Nang and a private van which we booked online at Daily Tours Hoi An Express. They were very professional, as they waited for us at the airport and sat us in a cozy lounge until the van arrived.
We knew about Hoi An that it is an old town famous for its tailored suits, colorful lamps, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, later on we got to discover its unique beauty. In no time this little town became my favorite place in Vietnam.
From the very beginning we were greeted by an old lady who tried to lure us in her tailor shop. As there were not many blondes in Vietnam and as Hoi An is such a petite place, we were easy to spot and it made it even easier for the old lady to chase us all around the old square several times. As expected, we ended up visiting the shop…however we managed to escape without buying anything. I mean, where were we to fit a 200$ suit in a small backpack? J
Hoi An is yet again another Vietnamese city which blooms at night. Compared to Hanoi, which is a big city and everything is commercialized, this place is as cozy as it gets.

Things to do (and eat) in Hoi An:

1. Central Food Market
They have a small alley with street food, with a lot of options to choose from if you want to eat like a local. You can eat dinner for less than 50000 VND for 2 people (more or less 2$).
Honestly, don’t waste your time eating at fancy restaurants made especially for tourists. The real Vietnam is on the street!

2. Cao Lau and White Rose
In this amazing place (Central Food Market) we had the most delicious Vietnamese dishes ever, Cao Lau (for just 1$/portion) and White rose. These two are specific for the Hoi An region and cannot be found everywhere in Vietnam. We did have Cao Lau in Saigon as well, but it was awful compared to the one in Hoi An.

3. Banh Mi
A delicious type of sandwich with all sorts of Vietnamese ingredients. 
I would recommend to get it from Madam Khanh - The Banh Mi Queen.

4. Try the traditional Egg Coffee at The Hoi An Roastery (it is really really sweet).

5. Visit the Hoi An Night market and gaze upon the lovely colourful lamps.

6. Take a stroll at night along the pretty lighted Thu Bon river

7. Light a candle to make a wish.
You'll see a lot of candles floating down the river making a lovely painting of Hoi An.
We also spotted a lot of newlyweds with many candles that they lit together, making the same wishes. Yeah...this place is pretty romantic <3.

8. Banana pancake (made on the side of the road)

9. Japanese Covered Bridge

This little bridge is emblematic of Hoi An and also very old as it was constructed in the 1590s. You need to buy a ticket to go on the bridge, but it can be admired from the outside (even better, I would suggest).

10. Lotus Herbal Drink - refreshing and healthy

11. Visit a Tailor shop and a Silk shop 

12. Admire the lovely Vietnamese paintings 

My Son Sanctuary would have been also on our list (but as we were heading to the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia, we decided to skip it).

All in one make sure you explore this pretty city by day and by night as it has a lot to offer. They even have hidden speakers throughout the entire ancient city playing traditional Vietnamese music; it adds in creating a romantic and cosy atmosphere.

Colourful and pretty lights, lovely music in the background, cute and unique shops were you can buy all sorts of traditional things, make Hoi An a lovely town.

Until next time...

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