You'll love this enchanting, historic town!
Hoi An is a UNESCO Heritage site. Despite being popular with tourists, there is so much character and history, you are instantly charmed. The colour, lively atmosphere and sheer enjoyment of being able to walk the narrow streets free of traffic, was so refreshing.
We took a flight to Danang, where a driver( pre arranged with the hotel on booking) met us, and took us the remaining distance. We had seen the swathes of water from the air, so were unsure of what we would find.
Set on the edge of the Thu Bon River, Hoi An is prone to flooding.
Looking for a restaurant, we settled on Before and Now. Very appropriate as only a few metres on,we were surprised to see boats being rowed down the main street!
Remarkably, it had all disappeared by the next morning. With cars banned from the old town, you can wander freely, which makes for a most enjoyable experience.
Sightseeing in Hoi An Multi Entry Tickets Buy a one day ticket from one of the many kiosks around the town, choose from the sightseeing options and follow your free map.If you want to see more, the tickets are cheap enough to buy a second one the next day, and see more lovely old halls, pagoda's temples or homes.They are only valid for one day.
Japanese Covered Bridge Built by the Japanese to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream, this is a gorgeous pink enclosed bridge, with open “windows.” The wooden floor is humped, and you are treated to the baleful eye of large ornamental monkeys at one end, and dogs at the other. Halfway across is the entrance to a small shrine. Stories abound about the bridge, built originally in 1590.It has had several changes, but stayed true to its original design.
Tran Family Chapel Typical of the old Chinese houses built of dark wood, this home had had a metre of water through it the day before...........yet it was immaculate when we went through. They had moved all the beautiful old antique furniture and ornaments upstairs for safe keeping. They had restored the house very quickly, ready for visitors. Inlaid mother of pearl, and a lovely collection of antique family heirlooms made this a lovely house. One of the ladies we met was a relative of the original owners.
Chuc Thanh Pagoda With an impressive bell collection, this is the oldest Pagoda in Hoi An. There were many interesting artifacts and a small, but detailed garden.
Handicraft Workshop Not only do you see the handicrafts being made out the back and upstairs, but you can also see an impressive concert displaying many facets of Vietnamese Cultural music and dance. This is on twice daily – 10.15.am and 3.15 a.m
Tan Ky House This house has been well preserved and is almost identical to its original appearance when it was built in the early 19th century.
Phung Hung HouseStill a family home this house is over 226 years old and features embroidery and souvenirs.
Museum of Trading and Ceramics This is in an old restored house and is suggested as one of the must see choices with your Multi Use Ticket.
Day Tours from Hoi An Cham Island Part of Cu Lao Cham Marine Park we had planned on a day trip to the beach. Unfortunately the weather was not favourable. Our raincoats were well used! The easiest option is to book through a travel agent , as permits are required.
My Son( Me Sun) 55 kilometres from Hoi An these remains of the ancient kingdom of Champa are another of Vietnam’s UNESCO heritage sites.
Set in a valley the surrounding fresh green hills create a lovely backdrop to these historic creations. Unfortunately many of the buildings were bombed in the Vietnam war, and only 20 remain.A restoration project is underway.
If you have been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Bagan in Myanmar, you may be a little disappointed. There was quite a similarity of the style of architecture to some of the smaller temples around Angkor Wat.
What to Buy In Hoi An Hoi An is where you should have your clothes tailored. Winter Coats, jackets, suits, dresses, trousers – choose your fabric and have them made to measure. A wool winter coat costs $90US.A man’s suit $99.There are some tailors exclusively for evening suits and dresses.You get what you pay for. The tailors situated a little out of the main Old Quarter were better priced.
Silk Scarves, colourful handmade silk lanterns, jewellery, paintings, pottery......... it is all here. The men enjoyed a shop with the most intricate model ships, and ships in bottles.Shop for all kinds of Handcrafts from the treasure trove in Hoi An.
Eating Out in Hoi An There is a plethora of restaurants offering delicious local cuisine to choose from.There are several cookery schools if you are keen to learn some Vietnamese cuisine.Some of our favourite restaurants were
- Cargo Club
- There and Now
- Hai Cafe
For more information on restaurants go to Vietnam Food.
A Recommended Hoi An Hotel We stayed a little out of town at the best value hotel you could ask for. Once again booked through HostelWorld the Southern Hotel has a huge, beautifully set swimming pool.Our rooms were upgraded and were very well specked with fresh fruit each day, tea making facilities , and French doors that opened out onto a cooling palm garden.Breakfast was included and a good buffet with eggs of you choice cooked on the spot, juices, coffee and tea, fresh fruits,bread and croissants.
There is a good selection of hotels to suit all budgets in the town. You will find Travel Tips, and General Information about Travel to Vietnam here.
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