Hoi An is definitely my favourite place in Vietnam. The vietnamese words “Hội An” translate as “peaceful meeting place” and this is still clearly evident today. Hội An is home to all of the lanterns that tend to takeover Instagram feeds when anyone visits. I was so excited to go and if I’m perfectly honest these lantern lit streets are just as magical in person!
Where to Stay
We decided to treat ourselves and stay in a nice hotel a little bit outside of the town (10 minute walk!) at the Lasenta Boutique Hotel. This hotel is modern, with a really good breakfast and infinity pool overlooking rice fields. It was so nice and definitely a place I would recommend to anyone visiting Hoi An.
Things To Do
Walk along lantern street
While many streets in Hoi An have lanterns donning the sidewalks, there is one street in particular – Nguyễn Thái Học – that is unlike the others. Colours from red to pink to green to white, lanterns are everywhere and your bound to get a photo here. Expect many tourists bumping into one another and higher prices for food along here.
Do a cooking class
I adore Vietnamese food so a cooking class was always on our list. After some intense research of menus, we decided to go with Thuan Tinh Island cooking school. We made our decision based on the food we would be cooking. It had all of our favourite dishes including – fresh spring rolls, rice pancakes, beef salad and traditional Vietnamese noodle soup – Pho. The class was excellent. We started with a trip to the market to buy the fresh ingredients to cook with. After, we took a boat ride to an island where the cooking class was held and spent the morning learning how to prepare four Vietnamese dishes before returning toHội An at about 4pm.
Buy Tailored Clothing
Hội An is famous for its tailoring. It is one of the cheapest places in the world to get high quality clothes, custom made. Andrew decided to get a suit made in Yaly Couture (recommended by our hotel) and with a 10% discount provided by our hotel it cost him just €120. The price is dependant on the quality of the fabric that you choose so you can either save and opt for really cheap material or spend a little more for high quality. Andrew chose somewhere in the middle-higher end of the scale and the end result was amazing!
I got a pair of brown boots custom-made. I find it hard to get a nice pair at home, so this way, I was able to choose the leather, style and they fit my feet perfectly! At just €40 they were a bargain and I am absolutely delighted with them.
It took one day for my boots to be made and two for Andrews suit to be made and altered slightly. Make sure you factor this into your trip if you are planning on getting some clothes while you are here.
Visit the Ancient Town
The ancient town of Hội An is full of culture and history. There is a ticket you can buy for 120,000 vnd per person that gives you 5 entrances to the 22 attractions, so that you can choose a handful of them to see. We paid the Japanese Covered Bridge and Hội Quán Quảng Đông Assembly Hall a visit before shopping got in the way…
Compared to the big cities, Hoi An has much higher quality goods on offer. Everything is custom-made, and whether its a wallet, bag or belt, you can design it based on your personal taste.
There are loads of boutique shops including one of my favourites called Sunday. This store has tonnes of fashionable items from accessories to candles to homeware. If I had more luggage space I would have brought home a lot more from here!
If you are bringing home gifts, I would recommend stocking up here. You will be sorry you didn’t buy more!
Take a boat ride along the river
Hoi An is located on the banks of the Thu Bon River. At night time, this river becomes a massive tourist attraction. For just 50,000 vnd each you can take a 30 minute rowing boat ride up and down the river where you can light little water lanterns and watch as they drift along. It is really beautiful to see, and definitely a must do when inHội An.