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People watching (street)
Temple & Monument
Hoi An Ancient Town is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Hoi An Ancient Town is special ?
Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Hoi An has been through a few centuries of history, but still remains as in the very first days of its being born. Its two main historical landmarks are the occupying of the Japanese & Chinese, and the Western (Dutch and Spanish) during the 16th and 17th centuries. During the period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Sea Town) in Vietnamese. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the "Japanese Bridge", it used to be the Japanese settlement (16th-17th century). Then it was known to the French and Spanish as Faifo, a major international port city. Thanks to these days, the foreign comprehensively possitive and special pastimes and culture had made deep influences on the today's Hoi An.
What to explore at Hoi An Ancient Town?
1. Tailor some clothes, bags, or shoes
Custom tailoring is a huge industry in Hoi An. Hoi An is home to more than 400 tailoring shops and thousands of tailors who are not only talented at making clothes but are skilled in making shoes and handbags as well! Average turn around time for full suits is a day and about 4 hours for handbags or shoes! If you are interested in getting custom made items, try to find a shop of your liking as early as possible during your visit.
2. See the countryside
The countryside and rural areas of Vietnam are simply stunning. Visiting these areas gives you a glimpse of the romanticized vision of Vietnam – the rice fields, the conical hats, the quaint architecture, the friendly faces… As the cities have become more industrial and cosmopolitan, these rural areas have become more remote and harder to reach. Fortunately for Hoi An, it is still quite small in size compared to other big cities in Vietnam so the countryside is more accessible.
3. Go for a stroll and explore the Old Town
Once you return to the city after the tour, the afternoon is the perfect time of day to see some of the famous sights within Hoi An. Check out the famous bridges in Hoi An. The first is the historic Japanese covered bridge built by Japanese merchants when Hoi An was an important trading port. If you are a museum enthusiast, you can visit any of four famous museums in the old town area. Or, for a greater insight into the history of Hoi An, visit some of the Assembly Halls built by Chinese merchants. You can buy a composite ticket that allows you entry into one bridge, one assembly hall, one old house, one museum and one other place of ‘intangible culture’. All these sites are within the Old Town of Hoi An and are within walking distance from each other.
4. Enjoy the scenery
Hoi An is surrounded by a series of inlets and small channels and some residents of the town have capitalized on this by offering boat rides along these channels. Although this may initially seem like a very touristy thing to do, it is actually one of the best ways to view the old colonial architecture from afar. Many boat owners sit along the boulevard closest to the water and offer boat rides. Feel free to ask several different boat owners to find the one who offers the best price. Often times, their initial price will fall dramatically if they feel that you will take a boat ride with one of their competitors.
5. Enjoy Hoi An’s regional cuisine
As we mentioned earlier, the regional cuisine around Hoi An is unique, and we recommend that you take the opportunity to try it out. Hoi An has an eclectic mix of restaurants and you will have plenty of dining options. Look for Cao Lau on the menu, which is a noodle soup unlike pho and other noodle soups you will find in Vietnam. Also be sure to try white rose dumplings, which are shrimp dumplings shaped with the translucent cover formed in the shape of a rose.
6. Visit the Lantern Market and enjoy the nightly entertainment
After dark, the Old Town in Hoi An transforms into a mystical row of lights and lanterns. In fact, Hoi An is a big centre for paper lantern manufacturers and merchants. Every shop or establishment will have a few lanterns outside, but the real sight is the lantern market.
- A great experience
- Perfect ancient vietnamese atmosphere
- Old world charm
- My favourite place from North, Central and South Vietnam
- Excellent old town and fishing port
Hội An Quảng Nam Vietnam
Tips for you
This small little town is so beauty in the night, don't missed
Be sure to check out Chef Dukes restaurants Mango and Mermaid. Also Yaly fashion will custom make clothing with a fast turnaround time.
Try the street food: from BBQ Chicken & Pork, the local Cau Lao, the national Pho Bo, the excellent Banh Mi (fresh baguette with egg &/or pork), the ubiquitous rice & noodle dishes & fresh juices
Soooo astonishing!!!!rent a bike and have too much fun!!!!10+
Try Son Cafe, about three km east Cycling towards the beach, the view, the birds and the food are fantastic (chicken with cashew nuts is sublime
My husband and I visited Hoi An for a couple of nights. Our accommodation was very central and right by the Old Town which made shopping/eating there very easy. Hoi An Ancient Town is a well-preserved old South-East Asian trading port with many interesting and colourful houses/buildings. Because of its compact size it is all very accessible but also the alleys/roads fill up with tourists ++ which makes walking around them somewhat frustrating at times (evenings). Add push bikes and motorbikes to the mix (only at certain times as there are some motorbike free times in the Ancient Town which makes for a nice time to get around) and I found myself getting somewhat irritated the first night we were in the Ancient Town. I think this was just an exceptionally busy night as the other nights were less crowded and every time I went to take a photograph some unaware tourist walked straight in front. There are many shops + with a lot of them selling made to order clothing and shoes. We had shirts made for my husband in a few different places and they all seemed to be much of a muchness in quality really. Beware of restaurants advertising one Trip Advisor review outside their restaurant- we fell for this and realised one good review picked out and blown up outside their restaurant was just that- one review. Some tourists steer clear of such a busy tourist hot spot, but it is a hot spot for a reason and I really enjoyed the flavour of the town. When you have had enough of that flavour, you can easily hop on a bike and head for the beach or take to a boat and head up the river. Hoi An was definitely worth a few nights in our itinerary.
We love old town and it is especially great as during certain times of day traffic is forbidden, so no worries about walking! We enjoyed that tremendously, and shopping choices are many, some very nice products.
I've been to Hoi AN plenty of times during the last thirteen years and from being a quiet almost serene place, it is now very busy (which is understandable) and has lost some of its charm. They will need to do something about motorbike traffic that is getting worse with young boys driving fast between the walking tourists. If not, they will lose their place as a top destination.
What an unexpected pleasure it was to stroll the streets of this ancient town. It certainly helps to know the history so you can appreciate the various landmarks. There are many good bars and restaurants as well as shopping opportunities. It is possible to pay in US dollars or VN dong in some shops. Try spending time in town after dark to experience the many lanterns, lit bridges, and floating candles while dining on food that can only be found in Hoi An. Boat tours during the day are also worthwhile. Don't forget to barter.
If you travel down the coast, this is a place you defintinly should not miss. Beautiful City with an romantic atmosphere, the beach close by (4km),cheap accomondation and delicious restaurants.