Hội An is one of those places that make you wanna go back as soon as you have left, the ancient part of the town with its character filled yellow buildings, nestled between the slow paced river will stay in our memories.
The nearest airport is Da Nang, from there you can get a Taxi/Bus to Hội An. There are a couple of options of where to stay, either close to the beach or with-in the ancient town.
We tried both, so where would we recommend? This depends on what you are looking for, we spend most of our year in Thailand which boasts some of the most amazing beaches and islands in the world, and the beaches here cannot compare, however that being said, after a long day exploring the ancient town of Hội An it was so nice to come back and relax near the sea with a large pool to swim and cool off in.
Staying at the coast will mean a 20-30min transfer to & from the Ancient Town, most hotels do provide a free shuttle, but taxis are also very cheap.
Staying in the Ancient Town means you may not get a pool, but some of the hotels and guesthouses are full of character and are simply beautiful, sitting enjoying a Local Coffee whilst taking in the atmosphere from your balcony adds so much to the experience.
What are some of the things you can do in Hội An?
Wondering the Ancient Town of Hội An is like stepping back hundreds of years with so much to discover down every road, alley, and bridge.
At various points you need to purchase an entrance ticket which is around £4, it says it is for the day but you are actually allowed to use this for the entirety of your stay in Hội An. The tickets are not overly enforced, so many choose to be “clever” and avoid paying, however it is a VERY small amount of money and this helps go towards the restoration and up keep of the beautiful ancient town, so don’t try and be “clever” and cheap, BUY a ticket ha ha.
With the ticket you will be given several points of interest to go and find, each time you enter they will tear a different section of your ticket until you have visited them all. These points of interest include Old Houses; Assembly Halls; Structures; Traditional Arts, Museums & Communal Houses each having a fascinating history, we didn’t visit them all but the ones we did go to were so interesting.
EAT & DRINK
Hội An is renowned for its food and drink, every few steps you will discover another cafe, bar, restaurant with each one boasting an incredible array of food and cakes to choose from. We just wished we could of eaten more. So plan to incorporate into your day scheduled stops to try as many as you can.
Some of the things to look out for:
Thịt nướng – BBQ Grilled Pork, Chicken or Shrimp on skewers, with rice paper to wrap them in and then often a peanut spicy tomato sauce, herbs and toasted sesame seeds.
Cau lao – Hội An famous noodle dish which has been eaten since 17th Century, hand cut noddles with crispy rice crackers, sliced pork, herbs, in a yummy meat broth.
Bia hơi – 24Hours Brewed Beer, its only around 3% & super light. A long the Thu Bồn river side are stalls and tables, grab one and spend the time people watching, taking in the sights whilst enjoying this local beer that costs around 20p for Half a Pint, YES 20pence!!!
Cà phê trứng – Egg Coffee, sounds strange but WOW this is incredible. Its a mixture of whipped up egg yolk, condensed milk and a little coffee then poured on top of an espresso. SOO Tasty.
Bánh mì – French inspired baguettes, that are filled with either pork, chicken, hams, cheeses, pâté, all I can say about these is WOW, one of the tastiest sandwiches we have ever eaten.
As well as spending time eating and drinking, there is also some great cooking classes and tours to go and see where these amazing ingredients are grown.
We loved our time in Vietnam and cannot wait to go back, but the town, particularly the Ancient Town of Hội An is a place that will live long in our memories. If you get an opportunity to visit Vietnam make sure you plan to spend at least a few days in this place.