Hoi An was my favorite spot in Vietnam. The lights, sights, food, market, and a nearby beach made for an amazing city. Of our 3 days in Hoi An, the last day was my favorite- I hit the beach, ate a bahn mi, had an amazing coconut coffee, did some shopping, and enjoyed my time in the Old Town district and night market.
<y morning started off with a short run before the town really woke up for the day. Fisherman and the market-goers were milling about but it was peaceful!
I talk a lot about food and how delicious it is in Vietnam but mostly I’m just here for the fruit and coffee. Mostly the coffee. I have been all over the world and Vietnam’s coffee is some of the best. My daily shot of caffeine plus fruit.
I love baby bananas. And passion fruit. I found guava, papaya, mangosteen, rambutan, and dragonfruit almost everyday on the hotel buffet lines and for sale in the open air markets. It was amazing.
The beach is about a $4 cab ride or 30 minute cycle through the rice fields. Since it was blazing hot, I opted for the cab ride after my last tailor fitting. I only sort of liked the clothes I had made so I’m not sure I’d recommend spending time and money to do it. Three others in my group (including our guide) had clothes made and only one thought it was worth it. But the beach was worth it!
An Bang beach has lots of restaurants and bars with beach chairs. All you have to do is buy a $1-2 beer and the spot is yours. And it wasn’t very crowded. The waves were really big so going in past your waist was a recipe for losing your bikini top. I also made a dog friend under my umbrella. Sometimes you just need some shade.
Post beach coffee from Phin Coffee was needed. It was a warm day so the coconut frozen coffee hit the spot. Seriously this place was so adorable and the coffee drink divine. Really it is more like coconut coffee dessert.
Contemplating options for food is easy in Vietnam. Most things are delicious and cheap. Our guide recommended Bahn Mi Phoung near Old Town- declared best in the world by Anthony Bourdain. There are a few table but most people grab it to go. I did just that and sat in a craft brewery bar nearby that advertised that we could bring the bahn mis inside to eat. Win!
Bahn mi sandwiches can be filled with pork, pork belly, pate, pickled vegetables, herbs, chili sauce, fried egg, etc. depending on what you would like on it. But really just go with the flow and let them figure it out for you. It will be delicious. There were two vegetarians traveling with me on this trip and they both had veggie bahn mi sandwiches that they enjoyed.
A short siesta and a somewhat lackluster cultural show later it was time for the night market. I purchased three lanterns to take back home, which miraculously survived in my backpack.
I loved the grilled octopus so much from the night before that I went back to the same lady and ordered it again. It was just as good the second time!
Someday I hope to return to Hoi An as it was a highlight on this Asian trip of mine. If you are planning on visiting Vietnam, make sure you spend a few days in Hoi An seeing the sights and having fun.
Reader Question: When you go to the beach do you sit under the umbrella or soak up those UV rays?