Hoi An is the most stunning place I’ve visited in some time. We had 5 days of just soaking in this lovely town where there is so much to do, but it is also good to just do nothing. Later I’ll share a post about what to do and how to get the most out of your trip to Hoi An. Here I just want to share some of our favourite images that speak for themselves about the beauty of this ancient town. Call it an inspirational post, once you’ve booked your trip come back and read about what you can do there!
Hoi An now a UNESCO World Heritage Town was a significant South East Asian trading port from the 15 to 19th Centuries. As the nearby port town of Danang became more significant from the late 18th Century, and Hoi An’s river mouth began to silt up the town’s importance diminished. This proved to be the town’s saviour as it was left virtually untouched by modern changes and is now a well preserved historic site. Unlike many other Vietnamese cities Hoi An remained mostly undamaged in the war.
Hoi An Lanterns
Every shop in Hoi An has coloured silk lanterns hanging outside. All different colours, shapes and designs, by day they are a pretty complement to the distinctive yellow buildings, by night they are magical.
Walking in Hoi An
At certain times throughout the day and evening the streets of Hoi An old town are closed to motorised traffic, there are never any cars. When the streets are closed it is a joy to just walk and enjoy the buildings and lanterns. This is also the best time to take photographs, as well as early morning before the tourists arrive when the streets are quiet.
The shops in the old town are tourist focused, tailors, cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, they are all kept in the traditional style. You can walk to pretty much all the sights in Hoi An apart from the beach and pottery village. These are just short taxi rides away or you could cycle.
Many guesthouses and hotels in Hoi An offer free bike hire with their accommodation, so if you enjoy bike riding check this before booking. Hoi An is in most parts well suited to bike riding, with the closed streets, and in the countryside some cycle paths. However we felt the main streets, that we still needed to cycle on to get from our accommodation to the quiet areas, were too busy to take S on. Also free bike offerings don’t usually include smaller bikes for children.
A trishaw tour is another way to see Hoi An.
Japanese Covered Bridge
One of Hoi An’s most iconic sites, and a busy tourist attraction of course. Entrance to the bridge is part of the old town ticket. The entrances at each end are guarded by a pairs of statues. At one end monkeys and the other dogs. It is worth crossing to see inside and because if you are crossing from the main part of the old town the other side has a different feel and is worth exploring too.
Evenings in Hoi An
In the evening, as the sun goes down, the lanterns are lit outside all the shops and restaurants and hanging across the streets. There are tourist boats on the water with coloured lanterns shining in the night. Lantern sellers at the river-side, sell small paper lanterns with candles. You can buy a lantern and make a wish before you release it onto the water. Or you can take a boat and release your lantern from there. The downside to this charming activity is the paper lanterns left floating on the water…
This lovely lady was charmed by our children and invited us to take several pictures with her and her lanterns. When she saw us later she encouraged me to take even more pictures. I think her smile is beautiful.
For more posts about our time in Vietnam see our Destinations Vietnam page. Look out for more about our time in Hoi An soon.
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