Hoi An is everything you imagine Vietnam to be. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a good reason. The historic town is picturesque. However, the reason it’s been designated a UNESCO site is because it is an example of a well-preserved South-East Asian trading port (explains the variety of foods here). Also, one of the boat tour guys told us Hoi An means “peaceful meeting place” and I found it to be true to its name. The old town is such a refreshing break from the traffic and noise that you get used to in Vietnamese cities.
Things to do in Hoi An:
- Walk the streets – especially along the river.
2. Eat the food in the “expensive” restaurants.
I am normally a huge advocate of street food wherever you go to experience a place’s culture but here please also go to all the nicer restaurants – they’re totally worth your time and not pretentious at all. The food at places like Rice Drum and Mango Room was amazing. And almost all the cafes we tried were so good for breakfast items. Hit me up for more recommendations.
3. Get some custom tailoring done! We went with Kimmy’s which is more expensive than the other tailors in the area but the quality of materials and work is totally worth it. It’s also still slightly cheaper than back home and you get something that fits like a glove. I’ve never seen Calin look better in a suit because finally it’s fitted in all the right spots!
We also went to Marble Mountain but I didn’t find it particularly worthy of our time given how little time we had in Hoi An but here are some photos and you can judge for yourself! (Also, know that the ticket you buy at the bottom is a one way ticket but if you want to go down again you have to pay again… I think that’s half the reason I didn’t like it – I just felt cheated).
All in all, Hoi An is a place I’d go back to one day. It’s relaxing with enough to do and a good representation of central Vietnamese culture. I highly recommend it!