Hoi An - the yellow painted lantern town in Vietnam
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
We heard so much about this cute little town in the south of Vietnam and were pretty excited to visit it. How little did we know, that Hoi An will be our favorite city in Vietnam, even though it is super crowded during the evenings and kind of hectic.
With all its lanterns and the yellow painted walls it has such a special atmosphere and we just loved this UNESCO-listed town.
Hoi An was a well known Vietnamese trading port for herbs, medical plants, silk and porcelain. That's why you can still see a mixture of Vietnamese, French, Chinese and Japanese architecture.
This cultural mix makes this town so interesting and believe us, all the little alleys are so worth it to be explored.
How to get to Hoi An
Hoi An has no airport or train station, so the easiest way to reach it is by bus or car.
Busses arrive from Ho Chi Minh, Da Lat, Nha Trang and Hue.
We booked our bus from Hue and paid 100.000 Dong per person. Make sure to compare prices, everyone else besides the Hotel Binh Duong in Hue, were we ended up booking the ticket, wanted 120.000 Dong. The drive took about 3,5 hours in a sleeper bus.
Where to stay in Hoi An
We did stay near to the beach in a little homestay with pool, which was ok, but nothing we would really recommend. For us it was important to have the chance to escape the heat during the day, as it gets really hot in Hoi An. We had about 40 degrees and didn't stop sweating ;)
We would recommend to stay in the old town, as you will save the money for a scooter (about 100.000 Dong per day). Better invest that money in a little hotel with pool in the city.
What to do in Hoi An
- Stroll trough the little alleys and get lost in this picture perfect town
- Before visiting the night market to take the perfect Insta Shot at a Lantern Stall go on a boat cruise on the river. When it gets dark all the little boats are lit up with cute lanterns and it's such a nice atmosphere. You could even release a lantern into the water, which we highly recommend not to do, because we're pretty sure they don't really know how to recycle these things, so better think of the environment and enjoy the lanterns on the boats and everywhere else :)
Looking for more picture perfect spots in Vietnam? Check out our Blogpost!
- Get up before sunrise and visit the little fishing village
Thanks to our host we visited this cute little fishing village. It was so interesting to watch the people doing their business that early in the morning.
- Visit Cua Dai Beach for sunset and take a bath in the ocean
We went there with bicycles from our hotel, the people at the parking lots try to charge you 5.000 Dong per bike, just park it there and ignore it. When you come back from the beach just drive past them and don't pay.
Where to eat in Hoi An
- Nha hang bao phuo
When in Hoi An you have to try the speciality "Cao Lau".
It's a regional Vietnamese noodle dish, that typically consists of pork and greens on a bed of rice noodles made from rice which has been soaked in lye water.
Julian loved it and we have been twice at this place, as they made such a good and cheap (30.000 Dong) Cao Lau.
- Banh Mi Phi
The best Banh Mi we had on our travels through Vietnam!
It is cheap and a lot of different options to choose from. As well vegetarian ones with cream cheese, avocado and egg.
You shouldn't miss this place!
- Mot Hoi An
This little restaurant can be found in the ancient town. You will see loads of people queing up in front of it.
You must try their herbal tea - it tastes like cinnamon and the whole street smells like it. Sooo good! Julian as well tried the chicken rice, which wasn't that cheap but also really good!
- Avos and Mango Coffee Shop
One of the best Avocado reads I had in a while! They put grilled bell peppers on one side, which were amazing. Maybe it's just me missing bell pepper in general, but it was sooo good!!
- Vegan Zone
This little restaurant is not in the city center, but it was on the way to our accommodation and so worth a visit.
The salad was with grilled bell peppers as well (don't judge me ;) and the dressing was amazing! BTW - Vietnamese people really know how to do a good salad dressing - we never got disappointed when ordering a salad...
- Hoi An Smoothie & Juice & Salad
Very delicious and not too expensive (about 75.000 Dong) Smoothie Bowls, Smoothies and Juices.
Cute little restaurant near the ancient town.