TRAVEL / VIETNAM
May , 2015
HOI AN + DIARY PART I
Hoi An, the Ancient City that will take your breath away! The town is protected by UNESCO therefore it remains a perfect example of what it used to look like back in the 19th century when it was a trading port.
Hoi An has a lot of Chinese and Japanese influences with a touch of Europe, creating a very captivating fusion! You can find yourself surrounded by cafés and little shops selling colorful silk fabrics and beautiful leather handbags and then be mesmerized by all the ancient Chinese Pagodas and colorful lanterns that adorn the streets.
What we most enjoyed about the city was actually being able to bike around town and walk with no distractions and no cars or motorbikes. It was a very nice break from the chaotic traffic, and the sceneries will have you on a trance. The town has prohibited cars to pass by certain streets and it creates a beautiful peaceful environment. If you take the time to discover the cute little corners and the small cafes with rooftops and incredible views you will quickly fall in love with Hoi An's authenticity and laissez-fare feeling - which is simply all you will ever need. For breakfast we loved: Cargo bar, and for lunch Rice Drum, for coffee Hoi An Roastery. These are places that we kept returning to for their incredible service and good meals.
One of the tours we booked was the Basket Boat Tour. It consists on going on a little boat shaped like a basket called "Thung Chai" mostly used by fishermen, but now it is used to transport tourists along the Thun Bon River while the tour guide explains a little of Hoi An's history and makes you rings and crowns or hats made of out palm leaves!(super funny!) Also you can crab fish, which is quite amusing and hard to achieve.
Another very peculiar aspect of this city is that right on the opposite direction from the Ancient Town you will encounter a much secluded pristine beach, so every morning when you wake up you have the option of what type of experience you wish to have and what paradisiacal landscape you wish to explore. Not too shabby!
Hoi An mainly survives on tourism, which means everything revolves around selling to tourists, whether you are a backpacker or a luxurious traveler, you willl quickly become aware of this. But at the end of the day, the charm of the town will always be predominant. Even if at times it starts to feel too touristy, it will never overshadow the beauty of the city and its people.
There are guesthouses and hostels all over town starting as low as $8 dollars per night to 30 dollars. But also a different range of upscale resorts starting from 80 dollars up to 600 dollars per night depending on how much you are willing to spend. So there is much to choose from based on your wants and needs.
Another thing that Hoi An is widely known for is its tailoring shops! and you will find plenty of them around town offering different deals, the prices range widely also, so its important you do your research and not get sucked into the tourist traps. Be sure you are happy with the quality of what you are paying for.
We loved the idea of buying and taking a small colorful lantern with us, so we are always reminded why we fell in love with this magical place!
Hope to come back in the near future!
To book your trip click here: VACATION PACKAGE
To book a hotel click here: HOI AN HOTELS
Cynthia + Amanda
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