Hoi An

A Vietnamese gem, this little town houses some of the country’s greatest cuisine, culture, beauty, tailors, shopping, sites, and coffee. There is so much to do in this little town and for almost no cost at all.

Hoi An is known for its tailors and thus became my favourite shopping destination whilst in Vietnam. They can whip up anything you can dream of and most of it in a couple of hours. My boyfriend and I arrived via a sleeper bus to this little town and after finding a hotel, we rushed to our cooking course. Yes you heard me right! There is a restaurant called Morning Glory, it is 1 of a chain of 4 restaurants owned by Madam Vy who makes such good food that she has now started a small cooking school at some of her restaurants. This is possibly one of the best, and funniest things I did whilst in Vietnam.

We started with a market tour to see where all the ingredients are sourced and how to choose the right ones. Then we went back to the restaurant to start making what I can only describe as delicious, delicious, delicious! Needless to say, we went back there for a late afternoon drip coffee and dinner that evening!

After our class, and a swim to freshen up at our hotel, we went to explore the old quarter that sits along the river. You pay a small fee in order to go into some of the old houses and cultural areas but this all goes towards maintenance of the area so it is well worth it. As I mentioned before, there are tailors and seamstresses everywhere, so not only can you get a bit of culture but you can also grab yourselves some new fashion items – I came home with 4 dresses (too awesome)!

There is a definite Japanese influence in this little town so it is a break from the usual architecture and feel of Vietnam. The old quarter is also mostly pedestrian aside from the occasional bicycle and sometimes motorbike that passes you by giving it a completely different feel to that of say, Hanoi or Nha Trang. The city is far more intimate.

We ran out of time, however, we were told that the islands off of Hoi An are stunning and worth a visit for an overnight stay. So if you find yourself in this little town, go eat some great food, get a dress or suit and wander the streets discovering all the quaint history it has to offer and unique sites.

written by nicx on 2011-09-13 #places #travel #shopping #adventure #historical #japanese #location #local-flavor

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