We planned for 2 nights, and in the end spent over a week in Hoi An. The atmosphere of this small town in the middle of Vietnam is so enchanting, we decided to slow down (even further) and enjoy its flair.
Hoi An: a bright pearl during the day…
We spent most days strolling or biking around the narrow streets of the old town, sitting in cafes around the channel, which divides the city into 2 parts. We observed the flow of locals and tourists, ate great local food and explored the vivid vegetable-, fish-, clothes- and souvenir markets. We met local people, who were extremely friendly, always had a smile for us and made good recommendations where to go and what to do.
…and a romantic gem in the night
The town is beautiful in daylight, and has an even more fantastic ambience in the evening. After sunset it is lit up by thousands of colorful lanterns, soft music plays from the loudspeakers on the streets and vendors offer their enchanting goods. It is a tradition to buy small paper lanterns, and put them on the waters of the channel; belief is that lighting 3 of them and letting them drift away with the flow will make your wish come true. We don’t know if this is true, but for sure it is a lovely idea and a breathtaking sight.
Street-food – yummy!!!
In the evenings small kitchens open on every corner, offering 1 or 2 types of food each, which you can eat sitting on miniature stools on the pavement. We have been told by a street-cook lady, who saw us hesitating: “if no try, you never know”… and as she was right, we started trying out things, like White Rose dumplings, Siamese Pork BBQ, Lotus Salad, Mango Cake and many things where we have not even the slightest idea what we were eating… But all of them were rather tasty, we can promise.
The locals here proudly announce, that their city is among the top 10 romantic destinations worldwide according to CNN, it is 10th on the top 25 list of Asian destinations as reported by Tripadvisor and won the favorite city on Earth title on the survey of Wanderlust… We don’t know about this, as there are still lots of regions and cities we did not explore, but Hoi An for sure is one of our favorites up till now – another place to return to, just like Bagan.