It’s been a week since my last post about Vietnam. Five days ago I arrived in Hoi An and I am staying in a lovely family homestay called the Mai Hung Homestay. The owner used to be a literature teacher for second-grade students until he had to retire. He is always a well known published author in Vietnam. He wrote a book full of poems specially written for students.
Hoi An is definitely one of my favourite destination in Vietnam. I loved spending time by the river, watching the sunset and strolling through the Ancient Old Town of Vietnam. The town is packed with picturesque historical homes, pagodas and street-side cafes. It’s very popular for buying handmade clothing. There are so many tailors to choose from. You can get anything made here – from custom-made suits to gowns to sundresses to leather boots to sneakers. But even if you don’t want to shop, Hoi An makes for a relaxing destination. After all, a day at the beach is a fifteen-minute bike-ride out of town. I have created a list of the top 7 things to do in Hoi An.
Hire a bike
I hired a bike to cycle through the city. Hoi An is great to cycle through, especially at night. You get to see a different picture of Hoi An with all the lampions that are lighted at night.
Get some clothes made
There are many tailors in Hoi An that will make pretty much anything you want. They measure you up and they get busy. I got myself a custom-made dress in berry red. I was surprised at how fast it was done. In only a few hours it was done and ready to be picked up. Shop at the Central Market – Hoi An’s Central Market is probably one of the best in Vietnam. The market sits on the riverside and is packed full of excellent food at rock-bottom prices. This is the place to pick up spices, souvenirs, try local food and have your tailoring done. There is also a great fish market worth visiting. Besides the Central Market, there is also a Night Market which is an absolute must-see.
Everything is good. EVERYTHING. I love their Pho Bo soup, fried spring rolls, Chicken rice, Coconut pastry and I can go on and on. The owner of the Home Stay I am staying in took me to a couple local food restaurant. I also took a cooking class from his wife. We went to the Central Market together to get a few ingredients. We made Pho Bo and Fried spring rolls ( my favourites 🙂 )
The first days I went walking towards the beach and the Central Market. I love getting lost in a city I don’t know. It’s a good way to explore the city. But also great to do temple visits or visit museums. And on your way back you can take always take a foot massage ;). Spa and beauty salons are basically around every corner.
Go coconut driving
A fun activity to do. You get to ride in these little round boat to fish and to drive towards the coconut plantation.
Relax on the beaches
An Bang and Cua Dai beaches are both within close proximity to Hoi An and are a great place to spend some time. Cua Dai is designated as one of Vietnam’s five UNESCO World Heritage sites but both beaches offer soft white sand and wonderful beach-side restaurants to get fresh Seafood.
Visit Pagoda and museums
A pagoda also is known as a temple. Local people usually visit them regularly to receive blessings, to pray or to organise charity events. The first time when I came to visit one and left, there was a lady screaming at me: “Excuse me, excuse me”. I turned around and said: “Yes, madame”. She put a coin in my hand and said: “Lucky coin for you”. On side of the coin had a bull and the other side Buddha. I was surprised because I knew that these coins were linked to your birth year. So how she knew I was a bull I will never know. I never asked – I like the mystery behind it :).