If I get asked about my favourite places I’ve visited on my trip, Hoi An is right on top of the list! I hope that today’s blog post will make you fall as much in love with this wonderful city as I did!
I have to admit, that most of my love for Hoi An stems from the wonderful people that I met in the friendliest hostel ever! Read more about why you should stay at Sac Lo Homestay when in Hoi An here!
As soon as I set one foot in the hostel, I was welcomed by Lyna, the Vietnamese girl running the hostel and introduced to the other guests. I was then told to put my bag down as we were heading for dinner. Alright then! On my first night in Hoi An, I got to try the local cuisine in a small restaurant in a back alleyway and it was fab! We had fresh summer rolls and barbecued meat which was delicious!
The next morning Ashton, Jason and Lucian from my hostel took me to the tailor. I had heard that Hoi An is famous for its tailors and there were lots of them everywhere. We went to the one recommended by Lyna and the guys had suits made whilst me and Ashton flicked through the fabrics. I wasn’t planning on having something made, but I decided to go for a pair of trousers and a black long dress.
The following days consisted of breakfast, walking to the tailors for a fitting with the gang, going for coffee in the Hoi An Roastery (best Vietnamese coffee ever!!), lunch at the market (try the White Rose and Cao Lau, both are unique to Hoi An!). We would then stroll around the city, maybe go for a second coffee or dinner and then get ready to go out!
I’ve never partied much on my travels but night life in Hoi An is amazing. The atmosphere in the old town is incredible with all the lanterns lit and turning the streets into a magical light.
Of course we also did some sightseeing when we weren’t hanging out at the tailor or drinking coffee. The Japanese Bridge is one of the main sights of Hoi An and beautiful. Some of the sights are quite hidden, so you’re best off getting a map.
You can purchase an entrance ticket to 5 attractions within the old town for around $6 and you get a map. Lyna gave us some advice on what to visit, so we followed her guidance and visited the Japanese Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall and the Tan Ky House. The last one is an original Vietnamese house that has been preserved and opened to the public.
One of my favourite parts of my stay in Hoi An was the cooking class I joined with the hostel people! One of my friends had been recommended the Hoi An Eco Cooking Class and although I’m not a big chef and $32 seems pricey, it was one of my favourite activities!
We were picked up at the hostel, then went to a local market to shop for ingredients and then we were dropped of at a lake/river where we got into little boats and had to row to the venue. Whilst rowing through the water coconuts, we also attempted to fish for some crap. That was the perfect start to the cooking class!
In the cooking class, we made rice pancakes, Pho, spring rolls, our own fish sauce and my favourite: banana flower salad (look how nice mine turned out below). What I loved most about the cooking class is that they had authentic old stoves where we cooked rice paper, they showed us how to make rice milk. Our guiding chef was very nice and very patient and the overall experience was fab!
Where to stay: Sac Lo Homestay and Hostel ($11 per night in a dorm)
What to eat: The best bánh mi’s at Bánh mì Phượng, White Rose and Cao lầu at the market, Vietnamese coffee at Hoi An Roastery
What to do: take a cooking class at Hoi An Eco Cooking Class, have something tailored at one of the countless tailors, take a sightseeing tour of the old town
Wow, that’s been one looong love story blog about my fab time in Hoi An! Have you been to this city yet? What’s your favourite city in Vietnam?