Hoi An is unanimously Vietnam’s most loved destination. There are many reasons behind this universal adoration, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s primarily because it offers respite from the chaos of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Natalie and I enjoyed our time in Hoi An so much that we decided to stay two extra nights.
We selected our hotel based on its proximity to both the beach and the ancient town. Thankfully, most hotels in Hoi An offer free bicycles for their guests and it is the main form of transportation for tourists.
The ancient town is the most laidback of all the places we visited in Vietnam. Known for its well-preserved architecture (you’ll see a stunning combination of French colonial, Chinese and Japanese), its an endless array of tailoring shops, delicious local cuisine, stunning beaches, and soothing spas; the lantern city delights even the most scrutinizing travellers.
Eat & Drink/
Madam Khan aka the Banh Mi Queen: This was hands down our favourite banh mi experience in Vietnam. For $1 CAD, we chowed down on banh mi filled with fresh vegetarian omelettes. We even returned the following day because the bread was so fresh!
Reaching Out Teahouse: A social enterprise/garden oasis that employs disabled individuals. Natalie and I loved the serene setting of the teahouse and the assortment of teas and treats on offer. We communicated with our server through wooden blocks with words written on them (see photo below).
Be sure to visit the retail shop and workshop as well, (located just around the corner) which showcases exquisite crafts made by local artisans.
We were in dire need of some fruit and veggies, so thankfully Natalie discovered Cocobox and we ended up going there twice for their smoothies and cold-pressed juices.
Nu Eatery: This hidden restaurant is known for its appetizers and Vietnamese fusion dishes. I had some of the freshest spring rolls I’ve ever tasted. The bao was also a winner!
You’ll want to watch the lanterns turn on as the sun sets in Hoi An, and there’s no better place to do so than Fusion Café. They quickly accommodated our group of nine with seats overlooking the Japanese bridge. And as we sat down, a DJ started spinning popular tracks only adding to the ambience. The mojitos here are top notch as well.
Admittedly we ate a bit of Western cuisine in Hoi An because these gals like options. Popping into Hola Taco was one of our better decisions. Serving up some of the most flavourful fish tacos I’ve had anywhere, Hola Taco is a bright and welcome addition to Hoi An.
See & Do/
Ride your bicycle to An Bang or Cua Dai beach and lounge under an umbrella with a fresh coconut in hand. Go for a swim, but be wary of the enormous waves!
If you’re hoping to have some clothes tailor made, Hoi An offers hundreds of options! We didn’t research too thoroughly, but both Natalie and I each had one piece of clothing and one pair of shoes made. I’m happy I had shoes made because my feet and arches are an awkward shape.
Vietnam is also known for its well-priced, quality spas. During our two and a half week trip, I had a magnificent massage, a fantastic facial, and a well, less than adequate pedicure (but that’s another story!) Do your research on TripAdvisor and you’ll certainly find a spa that suits your needs and budget!
Thanks for reading!