How I love Hoi An Ancient Town. To me, it’s one of the most gorgeous rustic little places I have had the joy of visiting.
Known for its trading history between the 15th and 19th century, it’s an area incredibly well preserved and protected and “Unesco World Heritage Listed.”
Wandering around the streets you will be in awe of the beautiful buildings that show the combinations of indigenous and foreign cultures which were mostly likely Chinese, Japanese and European.
My first visit in 2008 I fell in love with the vibe and visual delights. Known for its lanterns and the perfect place for romantics at heart, whether you are single or a couple, young or old. It’s the ideal location to relax, recharge and eat.
My Eat, Pray, Love centre for Vietnam.
The food, oh the FOOOOOD is divine and you can find some of the best Vietnamese food in the country here and at great prices.
We certainly ate way too much, indulging in a few cocktails and lots of street BBQ’s, but the food highlight here was a revisit to the infamous “Morning Glory” House of Hoi An Restaurant.
Do hit the streets early morning to walk around looking at the streets and beautiful buildings. It’s much quieter cooler but not all shops will be open.
TIP – If you are the first customer of the day, its tradition and good luck for the shop keeper if you buy something, even if its small.
Definitely, our food highlight was dinner at the House of Hoi An – Morning Glory Restaurant.
Reservations are required and as it was the night of the “Lantern Festival,” we were rejected and told they were fully booked. We were ready to settle for second best and walked across the street when a different staff member from the House of Hoi An approached us and told us she would fit us in. When we arrived, I told John the odds of us getting a balcony position is next to none. Johns words were. “you never know your luck babe”. Anyone that knows John knows he has incredibly good luck all around him all the time and of course, we got a balcony position and watch the sun set before the street lanterns took over our attention. It was perfect.
The food was perfect, the company was excellent and the view, amazing 🙂
Our seat was the top balcony on the right
We shared an entree choosing a Crispy Pancake with sprouts, chicken and salad greens, finely sliced green banana and aniseed. Then simply wrap in rice paper ready for dipping in a sweet and sour chilli sauce.
Mains for John was a fried whole red snapper dressed in a green mango salad
I chose the Pork Belly with coconut and green papaya salad and rice
Once Dinner was complete, we wandered the streets and joined the sea of strangers loving the atmosphere along with us.
Once we got our chance to capture the Hoi An river lit up with floating lanterns and the beautiful Japanese Bridge, our camera died in battery life so we are left to search google for the images to show you how incredibly beautiful this place is at night.
Photo Credit – Google
With Hoi An being our resting place, we hung out at the beach and loved it. The water, beach, and area is clean and attracts most to it at some point during the summer heat.
Each of the little beach restaurants has their own beach beds where you can use them for free if you buy their drinks and eat lunch at their restaurant. The staff are happy to bring food and drinks and watch your bags while you swim. If you choose to not drink or eat you pay 50,000 VND each chair.
The food was good, cheap, and not the prices we were expecting considering they serve you all day. It was the same as local restaurants in town.
So where did we stay?
One of the things I have learnt about Hoi An is that you need to find a place where you can easily get to the old town or the beach. Neither of them are next to each other but in saying that, they are only 5 Kms apart. Every time you jump in a cab or on the back of a motorbike to get to the town and back home (remember summer is stinking hot and not casual strolling weather) it’s costing you money. It all adds up. So we found a lovely homestay literally steps away from the old town. We specifically chose this place for its location and stayed for 3 nights to get our fill of the Ancient Town.
We turned up at 7.30 am long before we were due to check in and they were all locked up but the neighbour kindly called out to get their attention.
They opened up and allowed us to shower and use the bathroom plus store our luggage while we waited for our 2 pm check in.
The gardens were lovely and cool and provided enormous relief from the heat of the morning which was already 37 degrees by 8 am.
The owner is a lovely man who really made us feel at home and welcome. He did all he could to get us into the room early and just after midday called our local number advising us the room was ready.
The room was great for the price and location. Basic but clean, comfortable and the air con worked really well. The Wifi was the fastest we encountered and gave us a good chance to catch up on our downloads.
For us 3 nights next to the old town was plenty, and we were happy to move to our next location, but we would definitely stay here again and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a close spot to the old town and be within minutes of the entrances.
When we arrived in Hoi An the bus stopped and dropped us out the front of a hotel (obviously, the bus company is getting a kick back of some sort) and the owner entered the bus before we exited introducing himself. Typically I would tune right out as that kind of a setup screams “rip-off” to me but as he spoke, it was evident he was a pleasant man and offering a good deal. We got off and had a look at his hotel and were impressed enough and told him we would return after our 3 days stay at Longhan.
True to our word we returned and he looked after us.
The hotel was the Green Apple Hotel
We cannot say enough about this hotel. It’s only been opened a month or so and was extremely comfortable considering the price of just $25 USD per night and that included a full buffet breakfast.
The food menu was extensive in both Vietnamese and Western Choices. The food was fabulous and cheap.
The pool was clean and inviting, the staff spoke clear English, and the owner did so much for us including sending us off with lots of ice cold water and a packet of free Oreo’s for Charlotte as we said our goodbyes.
With free use of the bicycles, you can ride comfortably to the beach from this hotel or into the Ancient Town. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
We loved our stay in Hoi An and spent a whole 5 days here.
Being that it’s a fantastic town and right on the half way point, it’s a great spot to rest and get ready for the rest of Vietnam.