Vietnam’s former capital city will not disappoint. From the sights of the Forbidden city, temples and tombs. Make your way around the ancient town as it reveals the centuries-old architecture. Hoi An’s ancient town sits a short one hour drive south of Da Nang. You can find yourself easily loosing a few days in Hoi An. With so much to explore and see it really does have something for everyone.
Cycling in Hoi An
One of my favourite things about Hoi An is that it is close enough to explore most things by foot or bicycle. Compared to Hanoi where you can barely cross a road safely, Hoi An’s centre is closed to motorised traffic most of the day. Cycling will take you to places that you wouldn’t have seen in a car. We enjoyed getting lost and making our way around rice paddy’s and Lakes. The beach is only a short ride away from the town centre. If you don’t feel comfortable to go exploring on your own, you can join a cycling tour around the city. Most hotels offer free bike hire – alternatively you can hire one in town.
Hoi An Ancient Town
A town where tradition is still very much alive. A walk around the Ancient town will take you to the major attractions and land marks. Be sure to visit the Japanese covered bridge, the Chinese assembly halls and the museum of the history culture of Vietnam. The river is a beautiful place to find yourself walking day or night.
As darkness sets in over Hoi An the river becomes alive with long tail boats. You will find the paths filled with people trying to get you on their boat to release a candle in the water. It’s a beautiful things to do whilst there. I felt myself feeling like a Disney princess. Be careful how much you pay and the time that you negotiate for.Pay no more than $10 including the candles for a private boat for 20 minutes.
You will not quite see a night market like this one. The colours pop from the rows of hand made lanterns. Located across the river from the town centre you will find the busy night market lining the streets. You can find a variety of speciality foods, survivors and clothing. I found this night market to be one of the cheapest in Vietnam. Don’t forget to negotiate the price. You will always get the items at least 50% cheaper. The market is on from 5pm – 11pm.
Stroll Around the Ancient city at night
Even if you have walked these streets during the day, night time gives it a while new wow factor. Now lit with lanterns it makes a beautiful romantic walk. Enjoy a beer or a cocktail as you enjoy the colour and ambience of the lanterns.
Enjoy the beaches
Cua Dai beach is the closest beach to Hoi An. Just a short bike ride from town centre passing rivers and rice paddy’s. The beach is beautiful. Lined with palm trees and white sand its a holiday makers destination. One thing we noticed was that the sand was unbearably hot. We found ourselves running to the ocean. An Bang beach is the more popular tourist spot. The beach is lined with restaurants and bars. Sun beds are available for hire and shaded umbrellas. With a swim safe zone sectioned of its a great spot to relax.
The best Vietnamese Roll
You can not come to Hoi An and not try the best Vietnamese roll. I found myself revisiting most days. When the line out of the door by the locals and tourists it’s an indication that its a winner. For just $1.20 we tasted the most amazing baguettes. From pork, chicken and veggie delights. The famous baguette house is called Banh Mi Phuong.
My favourite was number 9. Filled with pork, pate, herbs and a delicious dressing.
Location – 2B Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An 560000, Just outside the town centre.