Hoi An is our favorite city in Vietnam. Has its charms and many tourists fall in love with the place.We are not exception and we immediately felt in love with Hoi An. The centuries-old architecture, the beautiful scenery, delicious food, unique shopping, relax on the beach, and much more will catch your heart. Hoi An is not for a one day visit. This place offers so much and its so beautiful that you really want to spend at least 3 days. We would like to share our tips and photos from our favorite Hoi An.
We stayed in a lovely Hoi An Sunny Homestay which is on halfway to town center and the An Bang beach. It’s a really nice homestay with new modern rooms. And the breakfast was the best we had on the road! We have tried delicious noodles, tasty omelette, and always get a big fruit plate. To get around homestay offers to rent a bike only for 30,000 VND per day. If you are hungry you can enjoy a lots of good restaurants in neighborhood. Like it? If yes, please book your stayhere.
Let’s talk little bit about Hoi An
Hoi An is from 1999 recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This ancient and peaceful town reflects a fusion of Chinese, Japanese and later European cultures. The town is a well-preserved complex of 1,107 old buildings, with brick or wooden walls, pagodas and ancient homes. The houses are tiled and the wooden components are carved with traditional motifs. The town used to be frequented trading port in Southeast Asia and foreigners come from all corners of the world. Hoi An is still a trading port and center of business. The heart of the city is full of atmospheric streets and Chinese-styled shop houses. Hoi An is magical especially in the evening as the sun goes down and colorful lanterns illuminate streets.
How we enjoyed our favorite Hoi An?
See our top things to do in Hoi An. I have added two memories that I experienced 4 years ago with my friend Tasci.
1. RENT A BIKE– In our homestay we have rented a bike and easily get around to most of Hoi An’s attractions, beach and neighborhood. It’s so relaxing and comfortable to ride a bike there.
2. GETTING DRESS TAILOR MADE – Hoi An is famous for it’s tailors.You can get perfectly fitting dresses, suits, shoes, shirts, actually anything. With Tasci, we bought very cheap four dresses (both of us). Prices are increasing but you can get a good price if you are bartering and looking around. However, getting clothes tailored in Hoi An is less stressful when you know what you want. I would suggest ordering your items as soon as you arrive. Have the first fitting the next day and finish on your 3rd day.
3. EXPLORE AN ANCIENT OLD TOWN – Purchase the coupon that can be used to enter different attractions: museums, old houses, assembly halls, the handicraft workshop or the traditional theater, and either the Japanese Covered Bridge or the Quan Cong Temple. Tickets are sold at various entry points into the Old Town. Note that the city requests to dress “decently” while visiting sites in the Old Town.
4. VISIT LOCAL MARKET – I need to visit every local market, so while Tomas was still sleeping I took a bike and went to the city to walk around the local market. Hoi An local market is next to the river and is full of vegetables, fruits, herbs, meat and fishes. I took some photos and tried some exotic fruits. It is also a perfect place to buy a Vietnamese vegetable peelers. I recommend to park your bike and walk around. When you want to take photos, touch or smell food please be nice, smile and ask for permission. You will see that locals will act different 🙂
5. EAT BAHN MI –Tomas is very picky about food. From Vietnamese food he loves Bahn Mi. It is a Vietnamese baguette. Baguette? Yes, it sounds french because the French colonial times influenced some of the most famous dishes and Bahn Mi has become a culinary delicacy. Bahn Mi is crunchy, light and fluffy baguette stuffed with a large serving of fresh ingredients. Wait for a taste explosion. You can enjoy different taste and do not be afraid to try local hams and pates. Yo can find Bahn Mi on every corner in Vietnam, but not such tasty as here in Hoi An. We didn’t try every place with Bahn Mi but we recommend a small restaurant called Bahn Mi Phuong. Even from a distance you see people queued for Bahn Mi. After tasting you will be surprised that Asian baguette could taste so good!
6. RELAX ON THE BEACH – One day we took a bike ride to the An Bang beach. It’s a little bit far then the local beach but be sure that is much much better. One couple told us not to park in the front but go straight, then in front of the beach turn left, and park in “Soul Kitchen” beach restaurant and bar. As soon as we entered we knew that this is the place we want to be. They offer inside comfortable seating or you can enjoy beach front sunbeds. We checked other bars and they are not so nice, trust us! The food is delicious and during evening you can enjoy a live concert. This place has a soul 🙂
7. TAKE A COOKING CLASS – Tasci and I we love food and cooking. Take a cooking class was a one second decision. Based on reviews we have chosen a Red Bridge Cooking School. It was 4 years ago but when I check the rating now it’s 9th best cooking class in Hoi An. In the morning they took us on the local market to introduce Vietnamese food and seasonings. After we jumped on the small wooden boat and moved to the cooking class place. We were so surprised how beautiful the place is. They have their own herb garden and they introduced us all the local herbs. After that we were ready to cook the famous fried rice in pineapple, Vietnamese eggplant, Vietnamese omelette, home made rice paper and fresh spring rolls. We also learned some decoration technique. It was a perfect day and delicious food! My favorite one is a Vietnamese eggplant. Do you want to cook it? Recipe here. I highly recommend take a cooking lesson in Hoi An, not only for cooking but for the atmosphere and location.
8. ENJOY NIGHT HOI AN – While most cities in Vietnam are known for turning their lights off early, Hoi An can’t wait till sun goes down to change its nightlife scene. We were fascinated by thousands of colorful lanterns and street atmosphere. Many Vietnamese sell floating candle which enhance a vibrant display of Hoi An Riverside. There are so many bars, restaurant and cafes to choose from.
After you visit our favorite Hoi An you will be in love in this city. If you have more tips how to enjoy Hoi An please leave a comment.