Vietnam: A Hoi An Experience 

Hoi An, the home of bespoke tailoring and streets of yellow painted buildings. We spent 3 nights in the town voted ‘most favourite destination for tourists’ by Wanderlust UK. 

  

 With Tailors on every corner, this town is becoming increasingly popular for paying only $120 dollars for a tailored suit, made and ready in just 1-2 days.

We had a very chilled time there, no big tours or premeditated plans; just us and our feet walking a fair few kilometres, running laps around the Ancient Town and making a dart for the beach on the one hot day we had. 

Hoi An is a charming and romantic area with a beautiful riverside setting. The ancient world UNESCO site is impressively well-preserved and infuses a mix of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese culture all into one. 

    
  

The days

The ‘city centre’ is around 4 streets in length, making it easily accessible for walking, as long as you avoid being run down by all the motorbikes of course. It is here that you can head over to view the Japanese Bridge, and go through it to the preserved part of Ancient Town for a small fee. We gave this a miss.   

 Hoi An reminded me a lot of Chiang Mai; a wonderful place that doesn’t necessarily have the ‘oh my god there is something unbelievable to see here’ landmarks, but it’s just one of the very few places that has preserved it’s area to how it used to be. A great place to experience the real unindustrialised Vietnam.

On the one day the skies blessed us with 28-29c and no rain, we headed for the beach on a long straight 4km road.  

We stopped every so often, taking in the sites, enjoying a beverage or two by the riverside and had a bite to eat. Granted, you can rent bikes from your hotel for a mere $1 which would be a quicker option, but with Liam’s still iffy ribs we decided that walking was the safest bet.  

  

The south part of Cua Dao beach was lined with sandbags and wooden posts. Not the most scenic but the waves were violent, so I assume this was for people’s safety?   

Opening a cocunut

The northern part of the beach was much nicer, clear sands and a rock backdrop. Well worth a walk along on a nice day. 

   
    
 

The Nights

Hoi An really comes alive at night. The history in the ancient town vs. the new drinking culture means that there is something for everyone. 

The hustle and bustle of the street vendors down Le Loi street, paired up with the English speaking bar promoters, selling all you can drink and BOGOF deals over An Hoi bridge gives the area a contrasting mix.  

    

Tasting mango cake

There are authentic Vietnamese restaurants side by side with crazy bars that offer you unlimited drink for 100,000 dong. Thankfully, there isn’t enough of these to create a Magaluf bar strip atmosphere. The area still holds on to its culture and beauty, but I’ll be interested to see what this place looks like in another few decades, and whether tourism funded greed will get the better of this vibrant city. 

       There is a long night market straight down the middle of the small strip for you to immerse in.

 
 The lantern shops make the road very picturesque but unfortunately the constant pestering: ‘you buy something here’ every time you glance over at a stall, started to get on my nerves a bit.

Is it just an English thing? You know where we get instantly wound up and on the defensive in a retail shop if a worker asks if we need help with something. Like no woman, stop being salesy and leave me to lurk and doddle in peace ha. 

    
If you’re a true night owl and you want to continue the party after most of the town has lights out at midnight, head down to ‘why not bar’ where you can carry on the drinking and fun until 3am. 

   
   
Hoi an is listed in top 25 destinations in Asia 2013 by trip advisor and after my enjoyable visit here I can see why. 

LwL X 

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