Not far away from Da Nang, Hoi An town is small and peaceful – the kind of place where you might get stuck for a few days whether it is intentional or not. Its quite roads lighted with lanterns, sleeping old houses and dazzling riverfront restaurants, carry an echo of history and charm.
Once a bustling maritime commercial port of Asia between 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An is now a peaceful town of exceptionally well-preserved architecture, lifestyles and traditions. The town exemplifies a fascinating fusion of cultures between Vietnam and the outside world including China, Japan… This is the place for every kind of travelers: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, slow-paced way of life, sandy beaches, custom-made suits and tasty dishes. A walking tour is the best way to see its entire ancient town. And despite a more-than-ever amount of tourist, Hoi An remains a “lost in the time” beauty that seems to defy the ravages of war and time.
Highlights for sightseeing include the town’s iconic 400-year-old Covered Bridge with a small temple attached to one side as a prominent example of Japanese architecture, the Museum of Trade Ceramics which is an elegant Vietnamese style wooden house built in 1858 showcasing antique ceramic artifacts, the 200-year-old Tan Ky House typifying an ancient Chinese merchant residence, Chua Ong Temple built in 1653 by Chinese settlers to worship Guan Yu, an ancient Chinese general whose character stands for loyalty, bravery and justice. Last but not least, stroll through some villages and the vibrant local market to observe the local daily life still carrying an old-fashioned touch from the past.
If you want to discover the rural life, travel out the town to traditional villages, in which Kim Bong woodworking village for its carpentry and traditional woodcarving products. The village craftsmen contributed their skills to many different architectural structures, including Hue Imperial capital. Just a couple of kilometers Northeastern Hoi An, Tra Que herb village is renowned for growing many kinds of vegetables and herbs and providing for the region. Take a bike trip to Tra Que, have fun with local farming activities: plowing, fertilizing, watering and so on.
Five kilometers from the town, Cua Dai Beach is popular with both locals and travelers alike for its sandy beach, warm water and fresh seafood. A cluster of 8 small islands that can be approachable from Cua Dai Beach is called Cham Islands. The islands are set in aquamarine sea, making it an ideal excursion for diving and snorkeling the corals and marine life. You can make a day trip to My Son Sanctuary, where the capital of the once great Champa Kingdom situated.
Hoi An is full of shops selling artworks, souvenir statues, ceramic plates, and “antique” bowls. Tourists are often being lured into shops to buy silk and have quality clothing custom made. You can have everything from dresses to trousers to shirts made very quickly at a cheap price.
The town also get big reputation for its fantastic food, a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. It is always a delight to taste local delicacies and even much more interesting to try your cooking skills in making them by yourselves.