Historic and postcardesque, Hoi An is a pretty little UNESCO protected city full of charm (and hustlers).
There’s a definite excitement in the air surrounding Hoi An. Maybe it’s how the lanterns romanticize every corner at night, or just because bus loads of tourists arrive on a daily basis.
Hoi An is best enjoyed after the sun goes down. I don’t know why, but it is ridiculously hot during the day, which makes the city fairly sleepy when the sun is beating down. But as evening comes and the lanterns begin to light up the streets, that’s when the city comes alive.
One of the main attractions is visiting the historical buildings of the Old Town. The buildings are interesting and well-preserved, some even include little tours. I particularly enjoyed the live musical performances held at the Hoi An handcraft workshop. Skits included traditional musical performances, as well as traditional folk dances.
Entrance tickets are 120,000vnd per person. With it, you get 5 ticket stubs to get into each point of interest within the Old Town. We were told they never expire and can be used anytime.
While visiting these historical sites is interesting, it definitely gets overshadowed by the lanterns. The Old Time exponentially increases when the sky begins to darken. The temperature cools and the multi-coloured lanterns shimmer and float in the streets.
Strolling by the waterfront becomes extremely atmospheric. I even suckered up and went for a river boat ride, where I lit a floating candle too.
Aside from the Old Town, Hoi An is also known as the city of tailors. Many people come here with the goal of getting something made-to-measure.
I sure was hoping to get something made specifically to how I intended it to be. But after visiting a couple tailor shops, I soon realized this wasn’t my cup of tea.
For one thing, be prepare for the price tag. Some pieces are definitely more worth it than others. It might be cheaper to order a bespoke suite in Hoi An than back home, but I was hoping to get a summer dress made and was quoted similar prices as buying it off the rack at home!
I did end up getting a shirt made, just for the hell of it and you can read about my experience here.