Famous for its relaxed attitude, great street food, ancient old town and its colourful lanterns Hoi An is a must visit city in Vietnam. A historical gem, Hoi An’s vibrant colours and rich flavours simmer with the feel of centuries past. Hoi An was an influential port city along the Silk Road, an ancient trade route from east to west. For over 500 years merchants from China, Japan, France and Portugal settled in the prosperous town resulting in a distinctive blend of culture, cuisine, religion and architecture.
Here’s how to spend the perfect 48 hours…
Start with a walking tour of this laid-back UNESCO listed town. See the elaborate Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese temple, meet a family who have occupied the same house for more than two hundred years. Finish the morning with some shopping at the bustling markets.
Visit the Reaching Out Arts and Crafts Workshop. Here you can visit the workshop to watch crafts being made and purchase traditional Vietnamese arts and crafts handmade by persons with disabilities.
Explore the cobbled streets of Hoi An old town and soak up the history and culture. Over the centuries merchants from China, Japan, France and Portugal settled in the town making it an important port city along the ancient Silk Road. Easily accessible from town take a trip to see Hoi Ans beaches – Cua Dai and An Bang.
Love street food? You’re in luck! Hoi An is a street food paradise and at night it gets even better. Night markets pop up all over the town, but head back to the Japanese Covered Bridge for unforgettable food.
In the morning visit a local community farming project at Tra Que village, just outside of Hoi An. Here the community has come together to create a large shared vegetable farm. Learn how to farm using traditional Vietnamese methods going as far as sowing seeds and harvesting crops.
Head back into the city for a delicious lunch of Banh Mi – traditional Vietnamese sandwiches with chicken, beef or pork with pate, mayo, cucumber spears and pickled vegetables on a fresh bread roll.
Head out to My Son, an Ancient religious centre built by the once thriving Champa Kingdom. A UNSECO World Heritage listed site set amongst green valleys and hills, the site comprises of twenty temples and monuments of Hindu influence.
Watch the locals dressed in Ao Dai, a traditional garment worn by women, as they light paper lanterns with small candles and send them floating down the river. Buy some lanterns and participate yourself. Later enjoy drinks and live music in one of the many bars in the Old Town or An bang Beach.
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