Beautiful Hoi An in Vietnam.
Generally about Hoi An which is very close to the South China Sea in Vietnam.
The town was an important trading port between the 16th and 18th centuries for merchants from all parts of the world - especially Chinese and Japanese merchants. The town has a variety of buildings reflecting the presence of these merchants during that period. There are several- Chinese pagodas, ornate assembly halls, long narrow tube houses, shrines and the
Japanese covered bridge with it's Buddhist Temple. The front part of the town when seen against the Thu Bon River is a beautiful sight - especially in the early evening. Hoi An is quite rightly designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The main places to visit are situated near the river along Bach Dang, Nguyen Thai Hoc and Than Phu streets so it is very easy to wander back and forth as you visit each of them. The Japanese covered bridge is at the western side of Tran Phu and was built in 1593 by the Japanese trading community to link them with the Chinese Quarter.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger photo, use the back button to return to this page ]
Ways of getting to Hoi An especially if travelling in from Hue i.e. via the Hai Van Pass. If coming from Hue you may well want to get there by crossing over the much talked about Hai Van Pass in which case a car and driver will need to be hired. Cost for this can vary - it may well work out considerably cheaper (if you have a hotel already booked hotel in Hoi An) to get them to collect you - prices quote in Hue seem to be quite a lot higher.
As far as the actual trip is concerned there is actually very little to see on the Hai Van saddle - it is inundated with scruffy stalls and locals trying to sell what amounted to a load of rubbish at inflated prices - these inflated prices also included cold drinks. There is however a good view of Lang Co Beach and Vinh Da Nang Bay but considering the cost then perhaps just using local transport i.e. either travel by bus or train - is better. The only advantage of private car hire as far as this trip is concerned is that you can stop
en route - for example at Da Nang - or to look more closely at the coast and beaches. Plus of course sheer convenience i.e. luggage and departure times..
If flying to Hoi An or travelling on Vietnamese Railways then the nearest point to the town is at Da Nang - which is around 30kms north and a taxi from Da Nang airport to Hoi An should be around USD20 to 25
(if things are quiet and are good at negotiating).
Note Hoi An now has an entrance fee - apparently valid for several days - which is just under 170,000 Dong per person - you need to have this if you are going into the old part of town.
On the eastern side of Hoi An is the market area which occupies two narrow streets south of Tran Phu and continues as far as the Thu Bon River. A very colourful area to walk around there are stalls selling all sorts of fresh produce and kitchen-ware as well as fabrics and craft goods - just about anything. The area nearest to the river is the seafood and fish market. Hoi An
gets tremendously busy during the day - not only from tourists staying locally but many coach trips come into the town quite often as a transit stop on the way to somewhere else. As Hoi An is quite small there is no need for motor-bikes or taxis to help you get around - most places to visit can be found by walking or cycling.
Hotels, Guesthouses, Restaurants and Cafes in Hoi An, Vietnam. Hoi An boasts a huge variety of hotels and other accommodation - the larger and more expensive hotels are located around Cau Dai beach whilst in and around Hoi An town there are smaller less expensive often family run establishments.
Alongside the river there are also several hotels which are actually providing chalet type accommodation as opposed to hotel rooms - so you can wake up to lovely river views. There are also restaurants galore around the town especially along the waterfront - also if you go across the bridge there are plenty more eating places around. The town has quite a few cafes/bars and cake and coffee shops
which are not too expensive to use - being able to just sit with a glass of beer watching the world go by can be reasonably enjoyable!. Hoi An restaurants do seem to be at their busiest in the early evening and Hoi An itself - like most Vietnamese towns - then proceeds to mostly close down from around 9:30 pm.
Hoi An Merchants Houses.
A typical Hoi An Merchant's House is a long narrow building with the shop at the front, a central courtyard and often has direct access to the river at the rear. Living accommodation and storage is usually found upstairs.
A number of
merchant houses have been restored and are now used as shops but you get an idea of past grandeur in the styles of frontage and balconies.
Chinese Assembly Halls in Hoi An.
These formed a focal point for both civic and spiritual life for the ethnic Chinese communities - the entrances to these buildings are very colourful with glazed roof tiles and dragons.
Day Trips and other things to do which are easily possible from Hoi An in Vietnam.
Marble Mountain - China Beach: This is situated a little way out of Da Nang - chances are if you are touring this part of Vietnam you can stop off to look at this en-route between destinations so it's perhaps not worth a specific day trip.
My Lai: My Lai is where during the Vietnamese War the american military went berserk again and slaughtered many innocent Vietnamese villagers including women and babies - in fact over two days the americans massacred anything living they came across. The village is around 2.5 hours from Hoi An by coach and visits the Monument, village and museum.
Diving and snorkelling. There are a variety of trips to consider for both beginners and experienced divers - most Hoi An hotels have plenty of information on what is available.
Day trip to My Son Cham Towers - Vietnam's World Heritage site of My Son is easily reached from Hoi An.
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