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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Must Do things in Hoi An - Truly Experience the Magic and Serenity of Vietnam
Joanna James Joanna James
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Must Do things in Hoi An - Truly Experience the Magic and Serenity of Vietnam

Once a Trading port, the village still preserves the history and architecture despite some of it being destroyed during the "American war". Here's what to do in Hoi An; the "peaceful meeting place".


Japanese Covered Bridge

This is emblematic of this village! The bridge connects the Japanese community with the Chinese Quarters. It was constructed during the 1950s by the Japanese Community in the village. Despite it has undergone some restoration in 1986, the building architecture remains faithful to the Japanese design. Do check if the bridge is open before you head to it as there are more renovations that are said to be coming this way.


Rent a bicycle and explore

Motorbikes and cars are banned from the centre of Hoi An. Therefore, the bicycle is the only mode of transport. Thus, most homestay or any Hoi An luxury resort would have bicycle renting facilities. There are places that offer cycle tours and you could choose from an easy few hours of cycling along quiet lanes, or opt for a more challenging, 50km adventure.


Hoi An Old Town

Situated on the banks of the Thu Bon River, not too far from Anantara Hoi An Resort, is the Hoi An Ancient town which captivates the classic Eastern oriental life. It is also an exceptionally preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town mirrors the fusion of both foreign and aboriginal cultures, while still being quite unique. The houses here are made of wood onto which traditional motifs are carved into. They are all aligned in close proximity to other houses. Since most buildings are constructed of wood, they are repaired and restored at intervals, using traditional methods. The town was once a port, and its street systems remain to date. It is due to all this that the traditional architecture and townscape still remains true to how it was in ancient times.


Full Moon Festivals

The town celebrates a Full Moon Festival every 14th day of each lunar month! This is also the season where the lanterns come into play. The roads and houses are adorned with different types and colours of lanterns. During the night, it is such a magnificent sight. You could easily stroll through the streets and get lost in all its festivities during the Full Moon Night. The villagers also burn incense for good luck. Along with this, they light a small lantern and send it down the river. The result is hundreds of coloured and lit lanterns floating, like stars from the Milky Way. You could also take a sampan boat on the river and escape the chattering and noisy village and lose yourself in this stunning view, perhaps take a few pictures.


Eat and Shop!

Vietnam is home for handmade, high-quality silk scarves and clothing; it would be disastrous to leave without at least one of these, to accessorize yourself during spring or summer! There are other hand-crafted items like Vietnamese hats which are hand painted. You can find many art and craft items that you can take back as souvenirs. Don't forget to try their authentic Vietnamese food, especially Vietnamese iced coffee, also known as café da. There are many stalls along the bank of the Thu Bo river, especially after dark, where they open their grills to serve meat (pork, prawns or chicken) rolled with rice paper wrappers that are set up in skewers, dipped into a peanut sauce and toasted sesame seeds, a popular street food in Vietnam.