Hoi An, Vietnam!

Hoi An at night

Vietnam was somewhere I never planned on going. At the start of my trip I thought I was going to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and maybe Myanmar. One of my good friends had been to Laos and her pictures made me so jealous, but then on my second week in Thailand, in a hostel in Koh Tao, I met another Canadian girl who had just gotten back from Vietnam. We got to talking about our travel plans and she said I simply had to go to Vietnam, skip Laos and just go. It seemed sort of crazy to me, I didn't know anything about Vietnam, I mean I liked the Vietnamese food I had in Canada but that was the extent of my knowledge. My cousin and her husband had been and loved it, and here was this girl my age saying I should go. So that was that, goodbye Laos, GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!

I spent 12 days in Vietnam and it really wasn't enough, just a taste, but it was amazing. I started in the North in Hanoi and travelled South to Ho Chi Minh. But my favourite days were in Hoi An.

Hoi An is located in central Vietnam on the coast. I went there because it is where Anthony Bourdain took President Obama to have what they declared was the best bahn mi sandwhich in all of Vietnam. Seriously, that is why I went, I followed my stomach to Hoi An.


THE SANDWHICH, the best Bahn Mi in Vietnam according to Anthony Bourdain & Obama and it only cost about 1 USD

I stayed at this gorgeous hostel/homestay about 2km from the centre of town. It was a beautiful 3 story house, air conditioned rooms, double beds, 3 people to a room- LUXURY. They had both bicycle and motor bike rentals, they provided breakfast which changed everyday and on the day of their daughters' 1st birthday we were all invited to join them and their extended family for a celebration. I also lucked out and by an extreme twist of fate, a friend I had made in Thailand ended up being there.


Hoi An is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized because of the well preserved old town which was previously a trading port dating back to the 15th century.  The old town has a wonderful mix of architecture from Chinese shop houses and temples, to French colonial buildings and the famous Japanese Covered bridge.

Other than the Bahn Mi sandwhich, the food in Hoi An is incredible. The covered central market has the best smoothies. For about 1USD you can mix 1 or 2 fresh fruits into a smoothie. My favourite was mango avocado or avocado coconut with a bit of condensed milk. The fresh food stalls are beautiful and the market is down by the waters edge.


Avocado Coconut Smoothie

I also had a traditional dish that was native to the region, Cao Lau, a pork and noodle dish. And my favourite dessert was moon cake, which is a dough-y pastry filled with peanuts.

Cao Lao


Moon Cake


Old Town during the day



Colourful boats filled the harbour

Hoi An is also known for their textiles. You can get just about any dress, skirt or suit made for about 30 USD. You pick out your fabric and they take your measurements come back the next day and they've made you a custom outfit. Theres about a hundred of these places. Its fun to just spend a day shopping and going through the stores.

My dress I had made!

There is also a beach nearby but weirdly, very few people, tourists or locals went to the beach. It was about a 20min bike ride away, the waves were big, the water was warm, and the beach was deserted.


The Ocean

At night we would walk down to old town while all the lanterns were lit and get moon cakes and walk the covered bridge and night markets, it was magical.


The harbour in the evening


Lanterns for sale at the night market


Old Town at night

Hoi An was a very tranquil place and I loved the three days I spent there. I can not wait to go back one day!


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