Hoi An, simply put, is a gorgeous town inhabited by the most friendly charming people you could meet.
Located in central Vietnam it was once a bustling trading port that was famous for its silk, with ships arriving from China, Japan, Europe, Indonesia and the Americas. The picturesque central part, known as “the old town” is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
The first thing you may notice is the yellow houses. Originally they were painted with cow’s skin which had the purpose of keeping the houses cool and protecting them from insects. The effect of this odd “paint” was that it turned the houses yellow. They no longer use cow’s skin and opt for more modern paint, but the traditional colour scheme remains in place.
There are a few blocks of streets in the Old Town that are pedestrian only – a break from the swarms of motorbikes (for which Vietnam is famous). Cruise down the river on a rowing boat (you can let someone else do the rowing for you), get lots of things made at the tailor (there are hundreds), step into one of the many amazing restaurants, shop for silk or cashmere scarves, have prescription glasses made … stay until after dark and watch the town light up - Hoi An is famous for its lanterns after all.
And speaking of lanterns, you can take a lesson in lantern making. If you feel like exploring there is plenty to see and do. My Son Holy Land (pronounced Mee Sen) is less than an hours drive away and is Vietnam’s most important site of the ancient kingdom of Champa. Take a trip to Marble Mountain where you can climb the stone steps leading to the Buddhist pagoda and visit the caves. Visit some local fishing villages or take a bicycle ride through bamboo lined streets surrounded by rice paddies. Sip a coconut whilst lazing in the tropical sun at the beach – Hoi An offers something for everyone and more.
Our advice for Hoi An is not to cut your time short here. In fact, for many people Hoi An is the highlight of their trip to Vietnam. You’ll see why once you’ve been there.
Below is a selection of our Vietnam Tours that include a visit to Hoi An.