I had read that Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s best destinations, but I had no idea how much we all would love it here. There is something in Hoi An for everyone…a quaint, old town perfect for strolling, shopping, & dining, awesome beaches for the kids, and a perfect phối of countryside and villages lớn be explored by motorbike. We spent three và a half days here and could have been happy with a week or more.

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Hoi An, Vietnam

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Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located just a half hour drive south of da Nang. Khổng lồ get to Hoi An, we flew Vietnam Airlines from Ho chi Minh thành phố to da Nang và then had a driver from our hotel transport us lớn Hoi An.

During the month of February the weather is perfect. The mornings would start out overcast and cool, but by noon it was bright & sunny with temperatures in the mid 70’s. It was wonderful to get a break from those 90° plus days we’ve been having for the past few months.

From our hotel, the Golden Bell Homestay, we would borrow không tính phí bicycles and ten minutes later would be parked in the heart of Hoi An. Tyler và Kara loved cycling through the streets, dodging cars & motorbikes và pedestrians. The streets in Vietnam can get chaotic, making it so much fun for our kids, lượt thích playing dodgeball on a bicycle.

Things to bởi in Hoi An

The main section of Hoi An is closed off to cars and motorbikes, making it much more pleasant for walking around. Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s best destinations for dining. This is the perfect place to lớn grab a seat at an outdoor cafe, have a drink, và watch the sunset over this historic city.

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We ate in Hoi An three of four nights while staying here & most restaurants sell a phối of Vietnamese food and western/European food. One of Hoi An’s more famous dishes is Cao Lau, a bowl filled with thick rice noodles, pork, và local greens. The dish is seasoned with fresh lime juice and red chili peppers and tastes delicious!

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Hoi An is also popular for its numerous tailor shops. Visit a shop, pick out your favorite fabric, usually silk, and by the next day a hand tailored suit will be awaiting pick up. We did not purchase any suits và we did not buy much of anything in Hoi An, but we did enjoy window shopping.

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Hoi An is also filled with ancient historic buildings. The most famous is the Japanese Bridge, which dates back khổng lồ the 16th century. During the 18th century, Hoi An was the most important trading port in all of Asia, linking nhật bản and china with the rest of Asia.

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In Hoi An, there is a law stating that every cửa hàng must hang lanterns from their facade. As the sun sets, the lanterns turn on, lighting up the town in the warm glow of yellow, red, và green light.

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An Bang Beach

If you ask Tyler và Kara what was their favorite thing to vì chưng in Hoi An, they would very enthusiastically answer, “the beach!” From our hotel, a ten minute bike ride in the opposite direction from the old town of Hoi An, is the South china Sea & a long stretch of amazing coastline. We came here several times, eating lunch at one of the cafes that overlook the beach và giving Tyler and Kara some playtime in the water.

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Even though it was February and daytime temperatures were a little on the cool side, Tyler & Kara were eager khổng lồ play in the ocean. We have not seen a beach with waves since South Africa. For kids, being at a beach without waves gets boring rather quickly. These waves were almost a little too rough & they couldn’t go out very far without being knocked over. That made it even more fun!

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So here we are, on a beautiful beach on a postcard perfect day, so where are all of the people? This is a great beach destination…low cost accommodations, great food, great weather…we loved it. And for those who lượt thích luxury resorts, just south of da Nang are world class five star resorts lượt thích the Hyatt & Vietnam’s luxury hotel line Vinpearl.

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Exploring the Rice Fields

Between the beach và our khách sạn are large fields of rice paddies. We could ride our bikes on the small dirt and concrete path among the rice fields, enjoying the scenery & meeting the people. Kara got a chance khổng lồ sit on a buffalo & I learned how to plant rice.

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I was handed a bunch of rice seedlings which looked like a wet clump of long blades of grass bound together with a rubber band. One by one I pulled off a seedling & plant it in the ground. Just underneath the water’s surface was very wet soil. All I had to vị was lớn gently push the seedling down into the soil. Simple! Easy for me lớn say. I just planted ten to lớn fifteen seedlings. These men & women spend all day bent over at the waist, planting new seedlings or harvesting the rice that is fully grown.


Touring Hoi An on Motorbike

Tim’s favorite activity was renting motorbikes for the day and exploring on our own. We left Hoi An, rode along the coastline, & explored the narrow, residential lanes outside of the city. Still new to driving motorbikes, there was an element of excitement just getting out on our own & wandering through the countryside.

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At one point we stopped to take a break along one of the many canals. It was here that we were invited to join quan tiền at his house. We drank fresh coconut water while watching life along the river. Quan liêu knew hardly any English & we know only a few words of Vietnamese but we still enjoyed each other’s company. He was thrilled lớn have Tyler & Kara as guests at his place.

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Hoi An is located on a river delta và we rode on street after street located along the water’s edge. Most people get around by motorbike but fishing boats and round bamboo boats are very popular as well. This seemed like a great place lớn live…palm trees by the water, the people were friendly và happy, & life here seemed to be very peaceful.

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Our Impressions of Hoi An

Hoi An, the perfect set of history, culture, shopping, cuisine, và relaxation. It was so much better that we expected và a place worth coming back to lớn in the future. For anyone considering a visit to Vietnam, put Hoi An at the đứng top of your list!

I recommend a minimum of three full days to explore all that Hoi An has to lớn offer. This gives you enough time to see Hoi An & its beaches, spend an afternoon in domain authority Nang, và maybe take a day trip to lớn My Son (see below). Having more time makes it possible to really get to lớn know Hoi An, take a cooking class, or take one of the many bicycle or motorbike tours that are popular here.


Visiting My Son Holy Land

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Many people take a day trip from Hoi An out to My Son Holy Land. We made the trip as well.

My Son is located an hour and a half by car west of Hoi An. It is also a UNESCO site that is trang chủ to ancient Cham temples. It reminded us of a smaller version of the temples in Bagan, Myanmar or Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

This site is much less impressive, due to its smaller size. It doesn’t help that US Army bombs destroyed some of the temples of My Son during the Vietnam War (the Viet Cong was using My Son khổng lồ stockpile their artillery).

In our opinion, visiting My Son was not worth the time và effort. It was small, crowded, và honestly not very exciting. The best part was heading inland from the coast, traveling up into the misty mountains, where temperatures got a lot cooler và the scenery changed dramatically. Read more about My Son here.


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