Of all the places to visit in Vietnam, travelling to Hoi An is certainly my favourite. A beautiful city, showered in history, bursting with culture and an infectious energy you cannot help but fall in love with.
And that’s only my opinion. Ask anyone lucky enough to have travelled Vietnam and I can almost guarantee the majority, if not all would tell you something very similar. And along with the readers of Travel & Leisure who voted it the best city in the world, we can’t all be lying right?
Where is Hoi An?
Situated in central Vietnam, this riverside town set back from the beach is a backpackers hotspot as they journey from North to South.
But what is it about Hoi An that truly captivates the young traveller’s heart?
I think I know a few reasons why:
1. The Narrow, Quirky Streets of the Old Town
Whether it’s midday or as the sun starts to set, aimlessly wandering the narrow streets of Hoi An is time well spent. It’s ancient, picture perfect town is almost like stepping into a time machine back to colonial Vietnam.
With influences from the China, Japan and most obvious, the French, Hoi An is a city beaming with distinctive architecture, impressive culture and hella amounts of character waiting for you to explore!
2. Great Location 👌🏼
As most backpackers travelling Vietnam will adventure from either North to South or South to North passing through the centre to Hoi An is almost unavoidable, which makes it extremely accessible for people just like.
With riverside life to enjoy one day and the beach only being a 15 minute bike ride away, travelling Hoi An makes for a relaxing destination in an otherwise crazy country!
3. Cheap Beer & Buzzing Nightlife
Although Hoi An is associated with those laid back, relaxation vibes, when the sunsets the quaint streets of the old town illuminate with colourful lanterns and this is when the city really does come alive. Whether you’re sipping cocktails in a trendy bar or chugging some of the world’s cheapest beer at a live-music venue. Hoi An creates this buzzing atmosphere on an evening that you’ll never forget. Well maybe you will after way too many beers at happy hour!
4. The King of Streetfood
For all you foodies out there… Hoi An is going to be your heaven on Earth. Regardless of where you are in Vietnam you’ll always be served delicious cuisine but it seems no place does it as well as Hoi An, especially when it comes to the street food.
A few dishes you’ll want to try when you’re here;
- Cao Lau Noodles
- White Rose Dumplings
- Banh Mi
- or Vietnamese Pizza
5. City of Colour
Hoi An is one of the most colourful cities on Earth which creates this warming atmosphere that is almost indescribable. Whether it’s the brightly coloured lanterns that float down the river, the golden glow that reflects off the yellow painted walls or the incredible cotton candy skies you gaze at as the sun starts to set… colour is literally everywhere! Make sure you charge those camera batteries and clear that memory card, you’re going to need it!
5. A Sh*t tonne of Things to See & Do
Although wandering the streets of this quirky UNESCO town for hours is something you’ll find very easy and enjoyable, we would recommend making a bucketlist before you arrive.
So here’s a few recommendations to get you started;
- Learn to cook up a storm at an authentic cooking class
- Take a trip down the coconut groves in a bamboo basket boat
- Make your own colourful lantern
- Get measured up at a local tailors #wheninhoian
Simply put, if you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, a visit to Hoi An is an absolute must. The most beautiful city with its irresistible charm will have you falling head over heels in love. I’m sure of it!