Hoi An was most definitely our favourite spot in Vietnam.  Whilst we only (1st world problems) had 2 weeks to explore Vietnam owing to work commitments and annual leave allowances, we chose to spend a large proportion Vietnamese travel time, having worked our way south from Hanoi and with the aim to end up in HCMC. taking in the splendours of Hoi An.

Admittedly our hand was forced a little in a sense that my girlfriend hurt her back and could not fathom the overnight bus ride from Hoi An to Nha Trang as we had planned, but in truth neither of us really wanted to leave anyway.  Instead we extended our stay from the planned 4 nights to a whopping 7 nights, i.e. half of our allotted time in Vitenam.  We then flew straight to HCMC from there.

It may have cost a little more, and we missed out on Nha Trang entirely, but in my book it was still totally worth it!

Here’s why …

Hoi An by DAY

By day Hoi An was an easy going travellers dream.  There were plenty of taxi on the roads, but foot or pedal power was all that was required to explore the many temples and colourful streets of Hoi An.

Do as the locals do.

Hoi at school boy on bike

Hoi An temple gates

Hoi An temple gates

Of course it wouldn’t be South East Asia without a mass of mopeds and pedal powered food carts.  These guys were cool though, there was no hard sell in action, just an understanding smile when you politely declined their invitation to purchase.

Hoi An street seller

Hoi An street food seller

Hoi An street food kart

Hoi An street food seller

Where the hard sell did come into play was when the tailors get a hold of you.

Hoi An is famous for it’s tailoring, and popular with westerners due to it’s affordability when compared with tailor made clothing back home.

The process is simple, pick a catalogue, pick a design, get measured, come back the next day to check the fit, come back the day after that the pick up you new suit/shirts/shoes etc.

Chances are that it will be all of the above you collect, rather than just a singular item.  As I mentioned, there is a hard sell, but it’s still value for money at the end of the day.

For more info on tailoring in Hoi An, give this post a read –> Hoi An – How much does a tailored mens suit cost?

tailoring in Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi an tailoring and suits

Tailor - Hoi An - Vietnam

Image provided by Vietnam travel experts Insider Journeys

Hoi An tailors

Now that you’ve explored the temples, biked around town and been fitted for your new whistle and flute (cockney translation here), it’s probably time you hit the beach and indulge in a little R&R.

An Bang beach is the perfect spot for this and is reachable by yet more peddle power, or you can take a cab like we did.

If you’re a pale Brit like me and burn easily, there is shade provided by a spectacular row of palm trees, but you still might want to leave the beach until later in the afternoon, just as the locals do. Hot hot!

An Bang beach palm trees, Hoi An

An Bang beach, Hoi An

An Bang beach at dusk, Hoi An

Hoi An by NIGHT

Hoi An by night = colourfully lit lanterns, and they’re everywhere.

The girlfriend and I filled a succession of evenings simply stolling the banks of the Sông Thu Bồn and taking in the beautiful colours.

… of course there was also a bit of shopping, a few beers and some spring rolls thrown in for good measure.  We’re only human.

Hoi An river bridge at night

Hoi An river at night

Hoi An river at night

Hoi An river at night

Hoi An by night

Hoi An lantern market

Hoi An lanterns

Hoi An lanterns

Hoi An Japanese bridge

Hoi An food market at night

Where in the world?

Hoi An by Day

Hoi An lanterns by night