Hotels in Hoi an
Once a major port at the mouth of the Thu Bon river, attracting merchants from across Asia, historic Hoi An is filled with narrow streets, merchants' houses and ancient temples.
These days the city's main industry is tourism – but book one of our Hoi An hotels and you'll discover a town which still feels peaceful and slightly old-fashioned despite its popularity. On the night of the full moon, the city is lit up with thousands of lanterns and music and dance shows are performed throughout the old town.
Tan Ky House, built two centuries ago by a Vietnamese family and carefully preserved, retains its old appearance and provides a glimpse into the life of merchants in bygone days. Visitors can talk to the occupants and admire the Chinese and Japanese artwork, antiques, old furniture and Chinese poems.
The pretty Japanese Covered Bridge is an emblem of the city, its entrances guarded by statues of dogs and monkeys. Nearby is the magnificent Quan Cong Temple, built in the 17th century and dedicated to a Chinese general who is worshipped as a symbol of loyalty, integrity and justice. Another beautiful place is Quan Thang House, formerly owned by a prosperous captain, with its sculptures and carvings of peacocks and flowers.
You can learn about the history of the city and its ancient trades at the Museum of Trade Ceramics, housed in a pretty, restored traditional wooden house. There are hundreds of objects from across Asia, although many are fragments, and an exhibition on the restoration of Hoi An's old houses.
The Museum of Sa Huynh Culture is devoted to the town's first prehistoric settlers and has hundreds of artefacts on display, including terracotta objects, jewellery and weapons.
Reaching Out is a Fairtrade shop set up by a wheelchair user which sells unique handcrafted items made by artisans with disabilities, including clothing, accessories, jewellery, ceramics, toys and embroidery. Head to Cam Nam Island to visit Randy's Books Xchange, an independent bookstore with more than 15,000 volumes. At The Handicraft Workshop you can watch artisans at work making silk lanterns, terracotta pottery and embroidery. Guides will talk to you about the traditional techniques, and there's also music and dancing shows twice a day. Or head to Hoi An Central Market to barter with the locals for herbs, spices, silk, exotic fruit, clothing and more.
Eating and drinking
Enjoy home-cooked Vietnamese food – the fish and seafood are especially popular – at the An Bang Beach Village restaurant. You can also relax on the beach here or take a cookery class, which includes a trip to the market to buy the ingredients. Cay Me is also popular for its salads and seafood. For coffee, cakes and pastries, head to the Hoi An Roastery, which roasts and brews its own coffee. The roastery also runs workshops where you'll see how coffee is roasted and brewed, learn about the history of the process and sample several house varieties.
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