Of all the cities I’ve visited in Vietnam, Hoi An is the one that I would definitely visit again and again and again. One of the few cities that managed to escape being bombed during the Vietnam war, Hoi An still retains much of its original infrastructure and charm.
Hoi An ancient town is very walkable – not just distance-wise, but motorized vehicles are not allowed (although there was the odd motobike) so very pedestrian friendly and many people (including my mom) rented bikes to go sightseeing. You can even bike to the beach and go scuba diving (click here for my diving post).
I enjoyed meandering through the narrow streets on either side of the river and soaking in the sights and sounds. There were an abundance of restaurants serving traditional, Western as well as East-meets-West cuisine.
There are tailors up and down many streets and it is true that Hoi An is the tailoring capital of Vietnam. I spent about US$60 and had some beautiful pieces of clothing made including a long flowy floral dress, a shirt, and a pair of silky pants.
All completed within 24 hours! I think I’d rather fly to Hoi An than drive to Satwa or Meena Bazaar.
Ever wonder how silk is produced from silk worms?
One of our first stops in Hoi An was a silk factory and after seeing how the poor silk worms are dunked in boiling hot water to kill them off, I can never look at a piece of silk fabric without thinking of those poor caterpillars again. Will that stop me from wearing silk?
Probably not. But for me, ignorance was bliss in this case.
After leading us through the different things we could buy from the factory including the way overpriced upstairs tailors, we thanked our guide and told her that we were not interested in anything. Suddenly, we were promptly escorted to the door.
It was extremely hot while we were there (in mid-April). There were moments when I felt like I was being fried alive but there were so many sights to see I felt compelled to continue exploring.
Hoi An by night:
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The food and vegetable market in Hoi An was amazing. Just packed with all sorts of fresh produce.
The vendors were used to tourists so didn’t give me a hard time when I poked my camera at all their goods.
Have you ever seen fresh straw mushrooms instead of the soggy canned variety? I was told they have to be eaten fairly quickly, like the day they are picked, so don’t export very well, hence the canning.
I was just blown away by the variety of freshly made noodles:
Not sure what these are:
Besides raw ingredients, there are also ready prepared food.
I hope you enjoyed this Photo Tour of Hoi An!
Next up is the Mekong Delta…