Hoi An is one of the most charming places I’ve ever been to. It looks like something out of a storybook. The colorful buildings, the old architecture, the canal, the lanterns, the cute shops and restaurants, the friendly locals, all make up this gorgeous city.
We stayed at Boutique Hoi An Resort. It was located right on the beach, about 10 minutes from the city center, but it offered a free shuttle service to and from the city. We’re beach lovers, so we naturally enjoyed this hotel and saved on transportation to the city. There are countless hotels in the city, so if you can do without the actual beach, then stay either at the Old City or the riverside.
Eat & Drink
In Vietnam, skip the “fancy” stuff and try some street stalls or hole-in-the-wall places. The food is better this way! (We only learned this on the second day of our trip)
On our first night in Hoi An, we went to An Gia Cottage for dinner, a short walk from our hotel and with great reviews on TripAdvisor. Leaning a bit on the fancy side (for Vietnam), the food was still cheap and delicious. Truly worth it, especially if you’re staying in this part of town.
There’s a lot of dispute over the best Banh Mi Sandwich (Vietnamese sandwich). We tried quite a few, believe me, but the best is Madame Kahn – The Banh Mi Queen by a long shot! She truly is the queen. You MUST visit this place. I still crave this sandwich back here in NYC!
Another traditional dish of Hoi An is Cao Lau, which is composed of hearty noodles, veggies, and pork. We tried this dish at STREETS Restaurant Café. It was so good! Why don’t we make this in the US? Anyway, all the revenue from this restaurant goes into their charity program. So why not dine for a good cause?
Try the Vietnamese coffee! The Vietnamese coffee is usually mixed with condensed milk—it’s so good! We checked out this place called Hoi An Roastery: Espresso & Coffee House. Esthetically, I would compare it to the Starbucks of the US. But the coffee is different, of course. This place has various concoctions but we ordered the espresso with condensed milk. Yum.
If you want ‘top of the class’ cocktails, go to Q Bar. It reminded me of the cocktails that you get at fancier places in NYC. It’s rated the number 1 cocktail bar in Hoi An. The place is cool and draws in a nice crowd as they play smooth lounge/electronic music.
Shop around town. Hoi An is known for their tailor shops, but you can pretty much find anything else. I bought a beautiful beach hat for $4.
Try a cooking class where you’ll be learning to cook Vietnamese traditional dishes
Relax on the beach
Visit some neighboring villages
Enjoy a pint of beer (for as low as 25 cents!)