Photo Tour: Hoi An (Vietnam)

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Hoi An 6
Hoi An

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).

Hoi An - fishing net 2
Fishing Net Over the River


Hoi An - fishing net
Fishing net and Raft

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.

Hoi An 1
Hoi An River

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.

Hoi An - souvenirs

Ever wonder how silk is produced from silk worms?

Silk Factory
Silk Factory

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.

Silk Factory 4
Silk Factory


Silk Factory 3
Silk Factory

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.

Silk Factory 2
Silk Factory

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 - bridge 1
By Japanese Bridge


Hoi An - marigolds
Lady Buying Marigolds


Hoi An 7
Chinese Meeting House


Hoi An 8
Chinese Temple


Incense Coils
Incense Coils

Hoi An by night:

Hoi An 4
Hoi An Riverfront


Hoi An 3
Boy Selling Lanterns

*   *   *   *   *

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.

Hoi An 5
Near Hoi An Market


Hoi An Market 9
Hoi An Market


Hoi An - Corn on the Cob
Buying Corn on the Cob


Hoi An Market 1

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.

Hoi An Market - Straw Mushrooms
Fresh Straw Mushrooms


Hoi An Market - Eggs
Eggs: quail, century, and regular

I was just blown away by the variety of freshly made noodles:

Hoi An Market - Noodles 4


Hoi An Market - Noodles
More Noodles


Hoi An Market - Noodles 2
Uncut Noodles


Hoi An Market - Noodles 3
Noodles being Cut

Not sure what these are:

Hoi An Market 7
Hoi An Market


Hoi An Market - Beans
Lady Shelling Beans


Hoi An Market - Meat
Meat Vendor


Hoi An Market 10
Chicken and what looks like caterpillars (?)

Besides raw ingredients, there are also ready prepared food.

Hoi An Market 2
(no idea what these are)


Hoi An Market 4
Noodles Being Prepared


Hoi An Market 3


Hoi An 2
Hoi An

I hope you enjoyed this Photo Tour of Hoi An!

Next up is the Mekong Delta…


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  1. Hi Ginger,

    Thanks very much for sharing your photo and thoughts on your trip. We are going to be in Vietnam in a couple of weeks and we are traveling with 2 young children, so I’m going to take notes of what food you ordered and places you have been.
    My husband is also a Chinese who grew up in NYC and we live in Europe.
    I don’t know if you have time. But I would really appreciate if you could suggest food or kitchen gadgets that I could legally bring back to Europe. I’m definitely going to bring back some good fish sauces but not sure of what else to look for and brands.

    I’d really appreciate that.


    1. Hi Francesca,

      Sorry for the late reply.

      I don’t know of any kitchen gadgets that would be illegal to transport. I would think your only limitation is the size of your luggage.

      As for foods that are legal to bring back into Europe – I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to that as you’ll have to check with your country’s department of agriculture website or your country’s equivalent. Even when I go home to the US, I find the limitations confusing and most of the time, it’s just a matter of luck as to if your luggage gets singled out for inspection or not.

      As for the fish sauce, please check with your airline if you can bring that aboard. It is banned on several airlines – I flew Vietnam Airlines and it was definitely banned according to their website. They are worried that if the bottle breaks, then it will cause an odor disturbance for the whole plane as the smell is quite pungent.

      Have fun with your travels!

  2. Lovely pictures, especially the different varieties of noodles. I adore noodles. I could eat them every day. I’m enjoying all your Vietnam post immensely.

  3. Hoi An was on my wish list already, now for SURE it is. Fab photos. Aren’t these “caterpillars” bamboo worms? They look similar to those I saw on the markets in Chiang Mai, a popular snack.

  4. Hi “Ginger”,

    I love your blog!! (“Scotch” told me about it while he was in NYC. We used to work together.)
    Your photos are amazing!! I always look forward to your next post.
    “Little Scotch” could not be any cuter!

    Continued success!!