Considered to be a spotlight of the Middle of Vietnam, Hoi An ancient street is not as hustling and bustling as the Old Quarter in Hanoi but it truly does a great job at welcoming and attracting tourists in its own way that hardly can anyone planning to visit Da Nang give Hoi An a miss. That’s probably because Hoi An not only maintains the authentic culture and diversified architecture but also offers intangible cultural value which is represented via local residents’ daily lifestyle, traditional festival, cuisine, etc.
What to see
Diving into the rich cultural history of Hoi An, it’s impossible to run out of things to see and explore than what you expect from this stunning ancient street from the lantern street, historical spots, boat trip, shopping to beaches. The foremost location probably comes to Japanese Covered Bridge a precious gem in the center of Hoi An dated back from the 16th century. The bridge has also inspiring many artists and photographers considering its harmonious combination among Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Western architectures. The 200-hundred-year-old house of Tan Ky typically designed following Hoi An’s architecture style is also worth a visit that tourists can partially picture a hundred-year-ago Hoi An in their mind. In addition, fine arts workshop gathering almost all conventional job sections of Hoi An and Quang Nam such as mat weaving, cloth weaving, ceramics, lacquer, etc. While having a chance of directly observing how local people make these goods, tourists can’t help buying some souvenirs in the workshop as gifts for their friends and family. Other alternative options include Museum of Sa Huynh culture, Museum of culture and history, Quan Cong temple, other ancient houses (Phung Hung, Quan Thang houses), etc.
If your are passionate about discovering, just grab a bike and wandering around, outside of the town and you will be well rewarded with relaxing time either exploring some local sites for instance Moc Kim Bong village producing fine arts, Thanh Ha ceramic village or soaking up the sun on magnificent beaches such as An Bang, Cua Dai Beaches. Another option is to pay tribute to Cham isle, an incredibly natural and stunning place with 7 sub-islands and highlighted with diversified marine creatures and imposing coral reef you cannot neglect, you just can’t.
What to eat
In contrast to the size, Hoi An offers a various types of food, both delicious and affordable that tourists should give it a try. Down here is the list that you should check it out when visiting Hoi An.
Hoi An chicken rice dedicatedly cooked with a combination of onions, sour papayas, local herbs along with a small bowl of specialized homemade sauce will undoubtedly embrace Hoi An into your mind for a long time.
Cao Lau (cao lau noodle with pork, local greens and special stock) started its first journey in Hoi An from the 17th century which is hugely influenced by Chinese cuisine and Japanese’s Udon noodle; however, Cao Lau in Hoi An cannot be mistaken owning to its regional and featured stock made from the water of a local well that rarely can tourists taste a better Cao Lau at anywhere else.
Banh bao (dumplings)-banh vac (shrimp dumplings) are also two of the foremost must-try dish in Hoi An which are almost the same and served in a same plate. The distinguishing feature lies at the delicious stuffing inside the cake.
Apart from these highlighted choices, visitors can also have a look at dry pancake with fried mussels, corn soup, Hoi An bloating fern-shaped cake, Quang noodle, fresh spring roll with pork, shrimp pancakes, and the list still goes on.
Best time to get to Hoi An
Tourists are recommended to take a trip to Hoi An between February to April when the weather seems to please travelers with moderate and cool atmosphere. Additionally, if you are lucky enough to plan your trip on every 14th of the month following the Lunar calendar, you will be charmed by the sparkling light of the lanterns hanged at every single corner of the ancient street. On the other hand, visitors are suggested to avoid the rainy season starting from October to November and the summer time due to the burning weather.
How to get to Hoi An
If you wish to come to Hoi An one day, there are several options for you to choose from. As a matter of fact Hoi An belongs to Quang Nam; however, the nearest airport, train station or passenger car station lies in Da Nang which means tourists will have to stop at Da Nang then head to Hoi An by bus, taxi or motorbike after. Notwithstanding, Hoi An is only 30 km away from Da Nang city’s center. Aside from plane, train and car; motorbike doesn’t lose its priority to adventurous travelers which is convenient but challenging.