Hoi An is a well known city that is VERY popular for tailors and all the streets are literally lined with tailor shops. They will make anything under the sun for you at fairly reasonable prices, although I found some of the pricing to be a bit high in comparison to similar items of the same quality in Thailand. You also need to be careful about the various ‘tailor scams’ that are present here. We opted not to have any clothes made, we didn’t want to be spending our time going back and forth for fittings and whatnot but I did buy an already made silk dress that I saw on a mannequin
We spent quite a bit of time wondering the streets in the ‘Ancient Town’ of Hoi An which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We spent hours looking at the different wooden chinese shophouses and sampling the food – the food was fantastic in Hoi An.
We were pretty lucky because on our last night it was the full moon lantern festival. It was super crowded and all the lights were shut off in the ancient town, the only light came from lanterns and candles. People were flocking to the river to make a wish and float their makeshift lanterns.
We came across a very important game the night of the festival, even the guy making balloon animals had to stop and watch. We watched for a while and tried to figure out the game (it looked similar to chess) but we couldn’t…there was just a lot of slamming the playing pieces going on.
One morning we awoke at an ungodly hour to go see the sunrise at My Son (a Hindu sanctuary). It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it was the capital of the Champa Kingdom that was in use from the 4th-13th centuries AD. It’s not a really large site to visit but it was beautiful and definitely worth seeing.
After we visited My Son, we went back to Hoi An by boat. It was a relaxing way to go back and we enjoyed the river scenery.
Hoi An also has a very pretty beach around 4 kilometers from town and it can easily be reached by bicycle, almost all the hotels rent them. We had fun with one of the vendors on the beach and visited with her for quite a while – she wanted me to wear her hat for the picture
I feel I really need to mention that Hoi An is where we had the best Banh Mi EVER! It’s a little place called Banh Mi Phuong. There was a line up at this place ALL the time and it doesn’t matter when you go, so be prepared and go there hungry – you won’t regret it.
Also eating Cao Lau is a must, especially from the vendors that set up along the river. It was the best Cao Lau we tried.
Every evening we stopped in for a beer at this tiny family run business across from the night market. They mainly served fresh sugar cane juice and fresh coconuts. The first time we stopped there and sat down, they were a bit surprised because there are so many ‘trendy’ places for foreigners to take a drink in Hoi An. One of the best things in Vietnam is to sit at a local establishment street side and people watch. When they saw us return the next day they were very happy, waving us in, getting our little table ready, and serving us with great big smiles.
Instead of flying on to Nha Trang, we decided to take the train. The flight was quite expensive and we thought the train would offer us some nice scenery, and it certainly did.
Where we stayed: Nova Villa
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel