If you only have a short time in beautiful Hoi An, make sure you pack in a few of these fantastic experiences. Interacting with locals is a sure-fire way to make your visit is unforgettable, so here are our suggestions for immersive Hoi An experiences to check off your list:
1. Hit the shops
Hoi An is a world centre for tailoring, and is the perfect place to pick up made-to-measure outfits turned around in just 24 hours. Have them whip up a new item from scratch – choosing from an array of fabrics and textures -, or they can even copy an item you provide. With your new outfit sorted, take time to wander the peaceful lanes and explore row upon row of local shops peddling shoes, fabric, bamboo, lanterns and lacquerware. Make sure to leave plenty of room in your suitcase!
2. Relax at the beach
Few people know that Vietnam boats stunning coastline and world-class beaches. While in Hoi An, make sure you take the short trip to An Bang Beach for a refreshing swim to break up a day of sightseeing and shopping. If you’re keen to hit the beach, we recommend visiting between mid-March and September when the weather is warmest.
3. Savour the street food
You cannot leave Hoi An without trying a delicious plate of ‘com ga’ – chicken rice – which in its true form is sold as street-food. Flavoured with aromatic herbs and served with a spicy chilli sauce, this dish is a must-try while in Hoi An. Or why not take a cooking class? Read reviews on tripadvisor to seek out the best cooking classes in Hoi An.
4. Explore the ancient ruins
Venture out to nearby My Son and explore the extensive remains of the once-great Champa kingdom. This iconic site is a reminder of the great artistry of a culture which once dominated large parts of Indochina and is a sure-fire way to soak up local history while in Hoi An. Most tour operators will be able to arrange a half-day visit to My Son.
5. Interact with the locals
Even if it’s nothing more than buying a plate of street-food from a roadside vendor, interacting with local people while in Hoi An is a great way to get under the skin of this warm and welcoming town. Do as much shopping as you can from the local markets, and, scary as it might seem at first, give haggling a go! It’s a way of life in Vietnam and by the end of your trip you’ll be negotiating with confidence.