There is so much to love in Hoi An. Ancient merchant houses of Japanese and Chinese traders speckle the streetscape. Wooden boats meander down the Thu Bon River. Restaurants and cafes abound serving regional specialities. There are contemporary Vietnamese art galleries and trinket shops, not to mention the amass of tailors ready to whip up any design you can dream up.
Hoi An is not without its quirks. There is a glut of tailors bidding for your business in inventive ways. Within an hour of arriving in Hoi An, I was being pursued by women on mopeds, making friends with the kind of charm that can only make you giggle.
On a walk through the backstreets of the Old town, I was taken in by a very clever and funny woman.
“Oh you so beautiful,” she says. “Oh yes, I know Australia”.
Somehow with all the chit chat she managed to lead me down an alley and through the back end of the Hoi An cloth market before showing me all kinds of material and clothing designs. Before I knew it I was surrounded with women offering me all kinds of things. All I could do was to giggle as I picked up my pace to a jog back out to the street.
Hoi An is ladled with loveliness. At dusk there is just a hint of magic as coloured lanterns light up the streets. There is so much to do, so much to buy, but perhaps the loveliest thing to do is just to wander the streets.
Hoi An Musts
Get lost in the back streets and alleys of the Old Town.
Munch into some Hoi An region cuisine, it’s a little spicier than up north.
Get clothes tailor made. I had mine made at Yaly a reputable boutique. It’s a little pricey but a wonderful experience.
Stroll the streets at night with the coloured lanterns lighting the way.
Visit the Reaching out Tea House. A gorgeous experience in this silent tea house staffed by the hearing impaired. Serving delicate cookies of green tea and coconut, chocolate and ginger. There is also a Reaching out Fair Trade art and crafts gift shop in Hoi An.