The ancient town has grand architecture cut through with canals, and features a mix of eras and styles, from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda. If you’re there on the 14th day of the lunar month, you can catch the lantern festival.
Hoi An is not only its ancient town: given its prime location on the coast, Hoi An has plenty of beaches to choose from, so there’s nothing stopping you from grabbing your beach towel and heading down to the sand.
Alternatively, if you want total peace and quiet, take a boat trip out to Cham Island for your own private tropical getaway- even if it is yours just for the afternoon!
I went to An Bang beach by bike, and it was a very nice ride by the paddy fields. I was surprised to find such an organized beach, with umbrellas, deckchairs and restaurants. I’m not sure it’s the best beach in Hoi An, but sure it’s convenient!
When you get to the beach, walk to the right and skip the first few lidos, that are known to rip off the clients. Keep walking to the fourth or fifth lido called “Paris”, where grabbing a beach umbrella and chairs is free as long as you drink or eat something: more than fair enough! The coffee and the food at the restaurant are very good, and the prices are fair.
Hoi An, Vietnam, is often considered one of the food capitals in the country: in fact, I found the Vietnamese food here to be better than most places.
One of the specialties of Hoi An is white roses, shrimp dumplings made from translucent rice dough, and made in a way they look like roses. There’s only one place in town that knows the original, secret recipe, so skip all the other Hoi An restaurants and come to White Rose. They only have two choices in their menu, so choosing a plate will never be easier.
Not only is there plenty to see in the city, but given its location, there are also plenty of things to do around Hoi An, Vietnam. First on your to-do list should be Da Nang, one of the largest cities in Vietnam, and one which has benefited massively from the country’s modernization program.
Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located just a half hour drive south of Da Nang. To get to Hoi An, we flew Vietnam Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang and then had a driver from our hotel transport us to Hoi An.
During the month of February the weather is perfect. The mornings would start out overcast and cool, but by noon it was bright and sunny with temperatures in the mid 70’s. It was wonderful to get a break from those 90° plus days we’ve been having for the past few months.
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