Travel Vietnam | What to do Hoi An

cover photo
Where?


Situated on the central west coast of Vietnam, Hoi an is a breath of fresh air after the commotion of Vietnam’s more busy locations; such as Hanoi. Still reminiscent of the town used to harbour foreign traders back in the 17th and 18th centuries, Hoi An almost has an ancient Japanese feel to its surroundings.

What to do?

Enjoy the lack of mopeds! Seriously, after a few weeks of dodging mopeds from every direction you will fall in love with the fact that the ancient town is a bicycle and pedestrian town only. Many shops and hotels hire bikes out for the day for you to explore the town, the surrounding rice fields or to spend the day at the beach.

hoianbrdige

Hoi an is known for its tailor shops, not just for suits, ladies can get any dress their heart desires custom-made to measure. My boyfriend had a custom suit made from scratch in just 18 hours at a fraction of the price you would pay in the UK. Aside from the tailor shops, Hoi an also sells a lot of unique hand crafted lanterns; if you can find room for one in your backpack! If you can’t every evening paper lanterns are lit to be sold (around 50p!) and released down the river that runs through the middle of the town. It is beautiful and can only be described as something out of a Disney movie.

hoianlantern

Wander, the many adjoining roads of the ancient town all start to look the same after a while, but don’t be afraid to just wander, you’ll soon stumble upon set back temples and independent shops that sell fantastic art work that can be rolled into tubes and brought home. On one of our evening walks, I found a lovely lady who does free hand beautiful mehendi henna designs outside the Dive bar between 7.30 – 10pm each night. Check her out at Henna Art Hoi an, she is so talented and I am now so inspired to learn mehendi henna even more than I was before!

hennahoian

Talk to the locals; there is no better way to learn the culture of a country than speaking to the people who live there. We took fishing boat ride down the Thu Bon river one evening with an older Vietnamese lady, after the getting over the initial fear of the boat nearly capsizing at every movement, it was wonderful to just to speak to her and I have come to realise that Vietnamese genuinely love speaking to the tourists as well.

thubonriver

Where to eat?

Admittedly Hoi An wasn’t my favourite place for food in Vietnam but we did have a really tasty low-cost meal in a restaurant on the outskirts of town – greatly called ‘I think you like’, it is a humble sibling run restaurant after the opportunity was given to them by their parents – and well these days it takes ALOT not to have a single negative review on trip advisor.

lanterns

How to get there?

We flew into Danang airport from Hanoi, then took a 30 minute taxi which cost just £11. However there are a lot of different ways such as the 7 hour moped journey from Hue – as seen on Top Gear (something I would love to do in the future!).

hoi an bridge
boat hoi an Have any of you been Hoi An? Where is your favourite place in Vietnam?

hoi an pin

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Janna C
    November 21, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Hi there! I haven’t been to Vietnam but I’ve always heard of Hanoi but reading this, Hoi an seems like a nice place to visit. I agree with you on talking to the locals. Some of them even give the best advice on what places to go to! 🙂

    • Reply
      Sam
      November 21, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Exactly! They also know the best places to eat!

  • Reply
    Meg Jerrard
    November 21, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I havent been to Vietnam but my parents just returned and they visited Hoi an too – also said that the tailors were amazing – dad came back with a stack of suits and mum had these amazing brand new dresses. I would love to get there for some new fashion!

    • Reply
      Samlouise88
      November 21, 2015 at 10:58 am

      I really wish now I had a dress made!

  • Reply
    Sumti Bhadani
    November 21, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Hello,

    It was short and sweet post which gives us the feeling of the place…Good writing..Keep going the good work..Lookiing forward to read more…:)

    • Reply
      Samlouise88
      November 21, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    mark
    November 21, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Vietnam is very popular with Australians and it high on my bucket list. We have friends who have been and my mate got a green leprechaun suit made for St Patricks day its great. enjoyed the read
    cheers
    Mark

  • Reply
    Jo
    November 22, 2015 at 3:47 am

    You’ve presented an interesting and pretty view of what looks like a pretty and interesting place! I particularly love how there’s no mopeds. While they are cheap and easy transport for locals and tourists alike – the smell of two stroke can just be overpowering in some parts of Asia.

  • Reply
    Lesley
    November 23, 2015 at 3:23 am

    I’ve never had henna art done before but I’d love to try it. Yours looks beautiful.

  • Reply
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    December 19, 2015 at 10:58 am

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  • Reply
    Sarah Christie
    March 16, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Wow a suit in 18 hours! It looks so incredible beautiful I would love to visit x

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