(QNO) - Lying on the banks of the Thu Bon river, Hoi An (Quang Nam province) is well-known as an attractive destination to foreign visitors. According to the CNN, Hoi An is one of the most beautiful ancient towns in Southeast Asia for the reasons below.
Hoi An was added to UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1999. It used to be a busy international trading port where French, Japanese and Chinese merchants went to do their businesses. However, Hoi An now is really peaceful with its ancient beauty.
A city of history
Hoi An served as a busy Asian trading port between the 16th and 19th centuries, attracting merchants from Japan, China, Portugal and France. The cultural integration still remains visible in everything from the mustard-colored shop-houses to dining traditions, folk crafts and robust coffee culture.
Visitors can feel it at the major landmarks. The Tan Ky house is one of the typical ancient houses in Hoi An that mixes Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese architectural traditions together. On the western end of the ancient quarter, the Japanese Bridge, which was built in the 18th century, is also a favourite tourist destination.
Hoi An is also considered one of the Vietnam’s best destinations for food lovers.
Visitors will be intoxicated by their experiences in food here. They can find typical street food or local signatures at the central market such as white rose dumplings (made of shrimp or pork with shallots wrapped in translucent rice paper) and crispy cao lau (a noodle dish starring pork belly and rice crackers), which make appearances on most local restaurant menus.
A cultural mash-up called Banh mi (bread) will be mentioned when someone talks about Hoi An’s food. Crispy bread is stuffed with pate, barbecued pork, chili sauce and vegetables, which can be found at spots like Madame Phuong, Madam Khanh, or Banh mi Queen.
Hoi An is also a haven for cooking classes and street food tours, with standouts like Eat Hoi An and The Red Bridge Restaurant and Cooking School delivering intimate, insightful experiences.
There are high-quality souvenirs at every corner of Hoi An, from silk tailoring shops and custom leatherware workshops to coffee roasters, handmade ceramics stalls, beautiful bamboo lantern makers and contemporary home decor boutiques.
The tailoring shops such as Sam Ao Dai, Hung An cloth shop and Sewing bee tailors always make visitors satisfied with the clothes on request. For a more couture experience, Yaly couture and A Dong silk that specialize in bespoke, luxurious apparel will be believable addresses.
Besides, homeware accessories are also famous in Hoi An. They include hand-painted tiles, bamboo furniture, eco-friendly apparel, bedding and bath accessories.
Hoi An is more of a river town than a beach getaway, but sunseekers can easily reach the coastline.
An Bang beach is considered the most beautiful. Along this tranquil and largely undeveloped shoreline, visitors can have their experience in low-key beach shacks with chilled beer and live music.
A bikers’ paradise
Whether you prefer to pedal around on a bicycle or zip off on a Vespa, Hoi An's wide open country roads are ideal for exploring on two wheels.
The city launched a new bike-sharing program at the beginning of June and most hotels offer bike rentals.
It's easy to cycle through the ancient town or go to Cam Nam village, the island just to the south across the river, by bike for an experience in rural life.
For countryside tours, Vespa adventures is the best option.
These half-day excursions take travelers across the Thu Bon river on local boats, over a rickety bamboo bridge, and across gleaming green rice paddy fields.
Hoi An plays host to some of Vietnam's most alluring hotels.
Four Seasons The Nam Hai is located along the coastline. Coming here, tourists can dine on upscale Vietnamese street food or splurge at La Sen fine-dining restaurant. Nearby, Fusion Maia has become synonymous with wellness paradise, promising guests unlimited (and all-inclusive) spa treatments.
If visitors want to have more experience, they can visit some other places around such as in Da Nang or Hue.