Almost smack in the center of Vietnam along it’s coast is a paradise called Hoi An. This little city is overflowing with great art, greater food, and magnificent tailors sometimes doesn’t get the respect it deserves from many guide books. Hoi An is worth a couple days whether your holidays take you to the South and Saigon or the North and Hanoi. Hoi An is also deeply entrenched in Chinese and Japanese culture as it was a major trading ports hundreds of years ago and those relationships are still evident on every street here. Now, sit back and relax and enjoy this list.
Top 10 Things to Do in Hoi An, Vietnam.
- Get mobile. Hoi An is easily walkable on foot but so much more fun to explore on a moped. They can be rented from just about any local for $5 a day w/o proof of insurance.
- Go to the An Bang beach. Not as amazing as the beaches in Thailand, Vietnam’s eastern border is the South China sea and beaches are slowly catching up.
- Eat local. Hoi An has a percolating expat community as evidence in some of the fabulous Vietnamese fusion restaurants. Highly recommended Mango Rooms.
- Japanese Covered Bridge. Hoi An’s most famous landmark and photo op and in the gallery district.
- Buy art. I was amazed by the number of galleries good and not so good. If you have patience and a good eye, you can ferret out the copies and duplicates from the genuine artists and find some truly amazing pieces.
- Spruce up your wardrobe. Hoi An has not just a couple tailors but hundreds of them. You might say it is the fashion center of Vietnam and the speed that Hoi An tailors can whip something up is amazing. Leaving here without getting a couple tailored shirts or suit is a crime. I still wear the Vietnamese style shirts I bought form my trip.
- Bar hop. With drinks ranging from $2-4 at even some of the posher bars (Bar Q) and tons of ex-pat specials, you’ll have no problem tippling the night away.
- See unique Eastern architecture. Because of Hoi An’s trading past, there are lots of Chinese and Japanese influences on the architecture of temples and family homes.
- Take a tour. Several local tours to take advantage of: Thuan Tinh Island tour for cooking, bicycle tours of the surrounding area, and Cham Island Tours
- Coffee break. Try Vietnam’s version of an iced coffee (pronounced cafe soo da). They take dark ground beans and and place them into this little coffee contraction that hovers over a glass and the coffee slowly funnels over the ice and condensed milk mixture and it packs quite a punch!. Do I hear a diabetic coma coming on?