“A day of travelling will bring a basketfull of learning.”
– Vietnamese Proverb
I knew I was going to Hanoi… So why not stop by Hoi An?
Hoi An is a city with a population of approximately 120,000 in Vietnam’s Quảng Nam Province and noted since 1999 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Old Town Hội An, the city’s historic district, is recognized as an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century, its buildings and street plan reflecting a unique blend of influences, indigenous and foreign. Prominent in the city’s old town, is its covered “Japanese Bridge,” dating to the 16th-17th century, which is also in the official Hoi An logo.
I loved Hoi An so much I extended my stay by three nights. I managed to incorporate a trip to the My Son Sanctuary, but other than that I just wandered around Hoi An, ate at local restaurants and enjoyed the atmosphere. It’s a chill place, even with all the tourists and people. It’s bustling and alive, but not stressful. Relaxed, but not boring. Absolutely my kind of place ❤
I took a plane from Ho Chi Minh city to Da Nang because of time constraints (and I didn’t have anything between the two cities on my list, so I opted for the quick solution). Hoi An is full of homestays, meaning you stay at a family’s home. You have a room and a bathroom, a small fridge and some snacks and they make it up for you, just like a hotel, but it’s owned by a local family who happens to have extra rooms for rent. I was very happy with my two day stay at Moon’s Homestay, but then at the end I still switched to luxury retreat “Green Heaven Resort and Spa”. And this time I went to the spa. It was magnificent.
There’s not so much to do in Hoi An itself other than go for a boat ride on the river, shopping and checking out the local cuisine, but you can buy a 5-ticket-pass to see the older, historcally significant buildings (and the inside of the Japanese bridge). I bought one of these for $5 and went to see the bridge, and example of an old Hoi An household, a Chinese Assembly hall and a temple. You get access to one item per ticket and you can buy as many booklets as you want, so in theory you can check out ALL the assembly halls, museums, old homesteads etc… But it gets a bit repetitive, trust me. It’s interesting to check out one of each and maybe a couple of the museums, but I never got as far as them, I was derailed by a souvenir shop with chopsticks!!11