Hoi An remains one of Vietnam’s most beautiful locales with its charming streets, vibrant atmosphere and beautifully preserved old town.
According to Wikipedia, Hoi An is a city on Vietnam’s central coast known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, cut through with canals. The former port city’s melting-pot history is reflected in its architecture, a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda.
Never been? Here’s a brief rundown of what you need to know when visiting the so-called city of lanterns.
It contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site
For centuries, coastal Hoi An served as an active trading port where all manner of material goods – silk, china, pottery and spices – were exchanged with traders from all over the world. It’s Ancient Town grew into a bustling confluence of Chinese, Japanese and European influences and, in 1999, was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its cultural richness, helping to spread the word of Hoi An’s storybook charm.
Its markets are a must-visit
Featuring a vast array of fresh fish and produce alongside a fragrant selection of herbs and spices, Hoi An Central Market is a feast for the senses – perfect if you’re planning to cook up a Vietnamese feast. Hoi An is also renowned for its excellent tailoring and Central Market’s garment makers are some of the best, capable of whipping up a dress, shirt, jacket or suit within a day.
It’s full of delicious Vietnamese cuisine
Blending complex flavour combinations and fresh ingredients, you won’t find better Vietnamese food than in the heart of Hoi An. Locally-made banh mi (sandwich made with French baguette, pate, meat and fresh herbs) is a must-try for anyone passing through Vietnam. For the best of the best, you have to stop by Banh Mi Phuong – a small street stall turned two-storey restaurant made famous by the late Anthony Bourdain.
By Holly Sheddan, Flight Centre Bethlehem | stuff.co.nz