Calm, serene and magical, Hoi An is particularly renowned for its Old Town, a mesmerizing maze of narrow winding lanes and old Chinese-style shop houses. Devoid of the rapid development witnessed in many other Vietnamese cities, Hoi An is steeped in a timeless splendor where visitors can experience a slice of a bygone era. With the glorious honor of being listed as an UNESO World Heritage Site, this charming little town is truly a heart-warming and charming destination.
Hoi An, once known as Faifo, was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the foreign influences are discernible to this day. While the serious shipping business has long since moved to Danang, the heart of the city is still the Old Town, full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled shophouses, which is particularly atmospheric in the evening as the sun goes down. While almost all shops now cater to the tourist trade, the area has been largely preserved as is, which is unusual in Vietnam, and renovation has proceeded slowly and carefully - it's mercifully absent of towering concrete blocks and karaoke parlors.
The main thoroughfare in the Old Town is Tran Phu. Just south of the Old Town, across the Thu Bon River, are the islands of An Hoi to the west, reachable via Hai Ba Trung, and Cam Nam to the east, reachable via Hoang Dieu.
My Son - Hoian
Once the site of magnificent temples and towering structures belonging to the Champa Kingdom, My Son is, at the present, a remarkable tourist attraction. While one can no longer witness these massive structures in their original splendor, the ruins are still present and one an individual can surely obtain an image of the likeness of the once marvelous edifices. The site was actually named to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites recently as well.
Food and drink:
ADD: 45 Nguyen Phuc Chu, Hoi An, Vietnam
At mango.mango, the second Hoi An venture for chef-owner Duc Tran, east-meets-west dishes like rice paper tuna and nori rolls drizzled with passion fruit–mint yoghurt sauce and cashew-encrusted red snapper with spicy pineapple salsa compete for attention with Hoi An’s covered Japanese bridge which is picturesquely reflected on the river. Stark white matte walls and shiny red lacquer bar and cocktail tables lend a crisp, cosmopolitan air, while Latin beats on the stereo invite kicking back with an after-dinner glass of wine.
ADD: 35 Nguyen Phuc Chu, Hoi An, Vietnam
River Lounge goes for a beach vibe, with pale-hued furniture, floor-to-ceiling dark timber shutters and canvas sling chairs set in a patch of talcum powder-fine sand. The menu skews towards specialties from Vietnam and the Mediterranean, with local dishes like white rose (delicate, pork-filled rice flour dumplings) sharing space with lamb chops barbecued with rosemary and cinnamon-and-sugar or jam crêpes. The café's 8:30am opening and scenic setting make this a great spot for your morning cappuccino.