Hoi An ended up being my favorite destination in Vietnam. While it is very touristy, the Old Town’s charm, Night market, beautiful lanterns, delicious street food all within a bike rides distance to the beach made for an amazing city.
The journey from Hue to Hoi An is only a few hours and an easy drive. You can take the scenic drive over the mountain but the newer highway is quicker if you are in a hurry. A lot of tourists take inexpensive taxis between the two cities but we took a private bus. Cars, buses, and even mopeds are forbidden in much of Hoi An after 5pm which was amazing! Less pollution, less congestion, and less dodging mopeds led to a lot of wandering.
After checking into the hotel my group made our way to Hoi An Old Town lit up by lanterns hung over the street and in every doorway. Hoi An Old Town is jam packed with tourists early in the evening but if you get down some of the side streets, getting some good photos is manageable.
We made our way to Green Mango Restaurant in Old Town and immediately had a refreshing beverage. They also gave us banana liquor which was surprisingly delicious even though it was strong.
I forgot to take photos of our awesome dumpling appetizers. But my entrée stole the show of this meal. I ordered fish in banana leaf which came with rice noodles and a salad.
All together now:
Fish in banana leaf is my favorite way to eat fish.
After dinner most of the tourists had gone home. Hoi An does have a curfew and they just turn out all the lights and close at midnight. I’m old so being back in my hotel by 11pm was not a problem ever .
At 10pm the music has to be less than 50 dB. I’m an audiologist by education and 50 dB is the same volume as a soft conversation. I also hate noise pollution so I kind of dig this rule.
Really the rowdiest thing that happens in Hoi An in B-I-N-G-O! Vietnamese BINGO is awesome! They sing and play the drums. I don’t understand it at all but Verna from our group won one of the rounds. The locals here love BINGO and it is fun that they let us join in the game. More on BINGO in Hoi An later if I can get the video to load.
The lanterns in Hoi An make it a special place. The crafty part of my group went lantern making while the fashion conscious visited a tailor for some custom-made clothing. While I was in the fashionista group, I did buy three lanterns. Surprisingly, they made it home unscathed!
More from Hoi An, Vietnam soon!
Reader Question: Crafts or fashion? Would you be making lanterns or having custom-made clothing tailored?