I just came back from an amazing holiday with my boyfriend in Hoi An, Vietnam. I can’t wait to share with you what we were up to, and why we loved Hoi An so much! 🙂
- After taking a super early flight, what better than a massage? We got our priorities right! We had a 75-min “Sacred Lotus Leaf” massage at our hotel which involved lotus oil, a warm medicinal herbal pouch, and some other things. It was a nice and relaxing massage, not too much and just about right, we definitely felt fully recharged afterwards!
- Biking in town
- Right, this is where we might have made the wrong decision – biking in Vietnam, what on earth were we thinking? We borrowed the hotel bikes and cycled into town to get some cash and lunch. It was definitely an experience trying to navigate while motorbikes, cars, trucks, coaches are ALL constantly trying to overtake us and each other… Luckily we didn’t get into any accidents, and the thrill was kind of enjoyable… But never again in Vietnam!
- Banh Mi Lunch
- I wish we went to Banh Mi Phuong, the #1 ranked banh mi in Vietnam, during our first day in Hoi An because we had no idea it was the last day before the owner’s summer holiday! Instead we went to Banh Mi Khan which serves the #2 best banh mi in Vietnam, and it was still amazing…! The filling of the banh mi was so delicious – I didn’t exactly know what it was, but it was definitely not something I’ve had elsewhere. The flavours in the banh mi here were at another level compared to what we used to have in London and Hong Kong.
- Late afternoon dip in the pool
- After lunch, we decided it was best to cycle back to our hotel before it started getting dark. The pool at the hotel was not that crowded when we got back, so we just chilled out for a while to cool ourselves down. With the view from the pool overlooking rice paddies towards the horizon, it was perfect.
- Dinner by the river
- I referred to a restaurant list on Almost Landing and found this little gem across the river from the old ancient town called The Nem. When we asked our hotel staff about it, they said it is a well-known place so they helped us to make a reservation. We really loved the restaurant because it was away from all the crowds and the food was very yummy! The menu was limited, but the waiters there were able to recommend some local specialties to us 🙂
- Hoi An Night Market
- After dinner, we took a quick stroll along the river towards the Hoi An Night Market. As we slowly approached the market we saw more and more lanterns on the river, which was such a beautiful sight! Walking around the night market was an interesting experience – apart from the shops, restaurants, and lanterns, the streets were completely dark. However, there were so many tourists there at night we felt quite exhausted afterwards!
- My Son Sanctuary
- We took a private tour I found on TripAdvisors to go and see My Son Sanctuary. Setting off at 7.30am, it took about an hour or so to get to there. The tour guide told us that My Son is a sacred place, and I think I have to agree. The temples were so beautiful in a sad way, built as early as the 8th century but mostly ruined by the Vietnam war. We could see bullet holes inside of the temples and enormous craters left by the bombs outside. It was an astonishing sight, but I left with a heavy heart.
- Local Vietnamese lunch in town
- We found a place called Morning Glory in the old ancient town for lunch. The food was so good and pretty cheap! All the dishes were local specialties and some were nicely served in bamboo trays – they made a great photo altogether 😉
- After lunch, we spent the next 3 hours at The Calm Spa. We were surrounded by rice paddy fields and it felt really rural and raw, but in a good way! My boyfriend and I both chose their Pampering of The Calm package which includes a body scrub, body wrap, massage, and facial. That was such a relaxing 3 hours… and after that, the spa even made us some food before sending us off, yum yum!
- Dinner in Hoi An night market
- To be honest, after eating at the spa we didn’t really need any more food. Although it was nice to be back at the night market for a bit!
- We didn’t do much on Day 3 apart from shopping in the old ancient town. I got a straw bag, a few pairs of comfortable trousers, and my boyfriend got a pineapple printed shirt. I absolutely love my straw bag, it was only GBP8/USD10 but definitely something you could easily overpay for online.
- Cafe hopping!
- Since it was an incredibly hot day, we ended up stopping at 3 different cafes for drinks. Some of them had very tiny tables and chairs the Vietnamese way, and offered a great view of the town. Cold Vietnamese coffee and tea are really the best on a hot summer day!
- Banh Mi lunch
- We wanted to go to Banh Mi Phuong, but it was closed so we went back to Banh Mi Khan. Once again, we were blown away by the food!
- French Michelin-starred dinner at La Maison 1888, Intercontinental Da Nang
- For dinner, we took a 1-hr taxi ride to the Intercontinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort for their famous French Michelin-starred restaurant La Maison 1888. We were ushered by the hotel staff through the luxurious lobby and bar before taking the hotel cable car down to the restaurant. Dinner was absolutely amazing – 4 course dinner with 6 desserts, all to myself! This was the perfect last dinner of the holiday.
- An Bang Beach
- We didn’t have much time on our last day after we checked out of the hotel at 12pm, so we just went to chill by the beach. As you can see from the photos, it was a beautiful day 🙂
We love Hoi An! The ancient town is so beautiful, the people were so nice, and the food was amazing… the city overall has so much to offer! We wish we had more time to chill on the beach, go for a hike on Marble Mountain (30 mins from Hoi An/ Da Nang), and check out the Golden Bridge on Bana Hills (2+ hours from Hoi An/ Da Nang) which has recently received a lot of attention on social media. However, we were also glad we didn’t pack our schedule too fully sowe still had time to stroll around the town.
Our hotel- Lasenta Boutique Hotel Hoian
- The hotel is located a 5 minute drive away from the old ancient town, but is largely away from all the hustle and bustle. The pool offers an incredible view of the rice paddies opposite the hotel, creating an even more tranquil environment. There are free shuttle buses going to and from the ancient town and An Bang Beach several times a day. In addition, for those braver than us, you can also rent their bicycles for free. Our favourite part had to be the hotel breakfast and its outstanding buffet, especially the noodle bar which fulfilled my appetite for Asian food every morning!
- Interesting fact: The owner of our hotel is also the owner of Yaly, the most famous tailor shop in Hoi An! Hotel guests even receive a discount at several of the tailors in town. We didn’t feel like making anything this time, but I certainly heard really good things about it from my friends who have been.
I would recommend bringing US dollars to Vietnam and changing your money there. There were also plenty of ATMs in town and charges were reasonable.
Bargain, bargain, bargain!
Bargain at the shops, bargain with the taxi drivers! We got some pretty good deals when we shopped, but we got ripped off by a few taxi drivers unfortunately 😦 Try to take taxis that charge by the meter!
This is the end of my sharing, it’s a bit long. If you’ve made it this far I hope you enjoyed it, and please leave a comment or like my post 🙂 Thank you!