Hoi An is a popular UNESCO World Heritage site that despite the tourists, manages to maintain its traditional charm and relaxed vibe. Peter has visited several times and it was a beautiful and romantic town for us to celebrate our engagement in with plenty of amazing and cheap food options.
How to Get There
- There are direct flights from Hong Kong to Da Nang International Airport however I highly recommend option 2 below
- Hue Rider tour from Hue to Hoi An (see Hue Rider site here)
- This full day tour takes you through villages, lakes, and lagoons along Vietnam’s central coast. This is a beautiful and unique way to see Vietnam and you can either ride on the back of the motorcycle with a driver in front, or if you are an experienced motorbike driver, the company will set you up with your own bike. Peter and I both loved this tour. The gorgeous views on the Hai Van Pass along the way are where Peter decided to propose.
Banh Mi Showdown – Banh mis are a popular Vietnamese sandwich made with various fillings stuffed in a baguette. In Hoi an there are two main shops that claim to be the best. Try them both and decide for yourself, but I’ll state for the record that both sandwiches are absolutely delicious and actually quite different from one another. Peter is on Team Banh Mi Phuong and the owner was such a friendly local that I have to join her team too.
- Banh Mi Phuong- 2B Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An, Vietnam
- Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen – 115 Tran Cao Van Street, Hoi An 065, Vietnam
Ms. Vy’s Vietnamese- Ms. Vy is a well known chef in Hoi An and the owner of four famous restaurants in Hoi An. We tried 3/4 of the restaurants and I’d happily give them all raving reviews.
- Morning Glory – 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An, Vietnam
- Perhaps the most famous of Ms. Vy’s restaurants. Reservations are a must, but well worth it. The food is incredible and the restaurant is full of energy from all the happy diners. Everything is delicious but my favorite dish has to be the BBQ Chicken and Lime Leaf and the White Rose Dumplings.
- Vy’s Market Restaurant and Cooking School – 3 Nguyen Hoang Street, Hoi An, Vietnam
- You can find many of the same dishes from Morning Glory at this open air restaurant, but the dining scene has a much different vibe. The restaurant is set up like a traditional Vietnamese market with several different stations where diners can watch their favorite dishes being made.
- Cargo Club – 107 D Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An, Vietnam
- The go-to spot for after dinner desserts. Grab a table outside and fill your table with sweet treats (all for a dollar or two) while you watch all the visitors and tourists walk past.
What to Do
- Eat, eat eat (see above)
- Custom Made Clothes
- Hoi An is known for its excellent tailors and you can have custom suits, dresses and just about anything else you’d like copied or designed and made just to your measurements. Many people will point you to Kimmy Tailor and although we didn’t have anything made on our trip I’ve heard personal reviews from friends that match the glowing reviews on Trip Advisor.
- River Kayaking – Paddle down the river and chat with the friendly locals (try for early morning before the sun gets too hot)
- Japanese Covered Bridge – A beautiful 16th century bridge in the heart of Hoi An — a quick tip– tickets are not required to cross the bridge. They are only required to enter a small temple on the side of it. When I entered the bridge there was a woman in uniform standing at the entrance but she did not speak to me. When Peter followed me shortly after, she suddenly exclaimed that he “needed” a ticket. He refused to pay her and entered the bridge regardless. Watch out for this and make sure you are paying only if you want to enter the temple