Hoi An is an ancient and small town with many things to do. In the centre, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can visit some wood historic houses, like the Tan Ky House, the Phung Hung House, the Quan Thang House, the Duc An House and the Ancient House, just to name some examples. Its architecture is a combination of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese styles and most furniture and details are maintained intact through the family generations. Most houses require a fee for entrance and some only donations.
The streets are filled with local stores, tailoring is one the arts that sells the most. But not only, coffee shops and restaurants, souvenir shops as well as, spas also find their way into the hearts of tourists. The Cantonese Assembly Hall, famous for its dragon made of pottery, is located in the extension of the street that connects to the Bridge of Lights, an 17th-century bridge that became the symbol of the city. Several boats are to be found in the area but only by nightfall do they start with the standard touristic rides. The Japanese Covered Bridge, an 18th-century landmark featuring elaborate carvings and a pedestrian passageway, is not far from there.
A 30min break for a well-deserved massage.
On the opposite side of the island, yes I forgot to mention that the centre of Hoi An is an island, there are dozens of less-known food stalls which are crazy cheap and offer cooking lessons. We always ate there in a mix of locals and adventurous tourists. Beer was the cheapest we found in whole Vietnam, 4.000 VND per glass (or 0,15 EUR).
Again we had good timing, as we arrived the day before the start of the Lantern Festival. The festival occurs with the full moon, as the darkness falls around 7 p.m., and when the lights close to the Bridge of Lights are turned off and substituted by colourful lanterns throughout the streets and river. A scenario made for romance. You can come across many people, specially children, selling small paper lanterns for you to put in the Thu Bon River. After 6 p.m. the Night Food Market opens for business and is right next to the bridge, where also many bars are situated.
Next day, we had some time to spare before our 18-hour bus drive to Da Lat and so we went to the Central Food Market to grab some tasty local delicacies (try the mango cake!!!).
Note: the city is sadly starting to be too touristic and you'll notice in the way you will be treated, but nevertheless is still one of the best spots in Vietnam.
Tip: Hoi An is also known to be a town where fine tailoring is made, so get yourself a nice jacket, dress or suit for a small price.
Next Stop: Da Lat, Vietnam
Next Stop: Da Lat, Vietnam
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