Hoi An

Two Days in Hoi An Itinerary

Day 1

Overview: Well let’s start with a buzz… and I mean literally with your alarm clock set at the crack of dawn. The first day will start with a trip to find some beautiful cultural history, followed by some more culture as you explore the world heritage Old Town of Hoi An, add some shopping, spa treatments and great food and drink along the way.

Better check your hotel offers free coffee in your room… The only way to see My Son is at the crack of dawn, before the hoards of tourists arrive. Beat the heat and beat the crowds and you will truly find magic at My Son as the sun is waking. My Son was an imperial city during the Cham dynasty between the 4th and 13th centuries and left today to walk around are ruined Hindu temples full of history and stunning artistry. My Son is located 50 km from Hoi An so leave around 5am to get there at opening for 6am. Spend a couple of hours taking a leisurely stroll at your own pace leaving at around 8am as the tour groups start to file in.

 

Tip: Hire your own car to take you. Most tour groups have many stops and always leave later in the day. It’s easy and much more convenient to have your own driver. Mr Bill at 0905673444 speaks great English and can organize around your needs. Also 5am is a little early for breakfast so take a snack or fruit with you to keep you going.

After all that walking and travelling it will sure build up that appetite for a good sized breakfast. Dingo Deli, an expats favourite spot has an extensive western menu to suit anyone’s needs. While you are there grab a map from their information area, it will come in handy.

 

Recommended: Breakfast Burrito and iced Latte (double shot of course)

Dingo Deli: 277 Cửa Đại Road

 

BREAK – Grab a cab back to your hotel for a quick rest break and refresh yourselves. Faifoo Yellow cab (always metered) : 0510 3919191 or ask Dingo Deli to order you one.

Woman in Conical Hat Rowing on Thu Bon River, Hoi An, Vietnam

It’s probably hot, time for some fresh river breeze. Head into the old heritage town of Hoi An and make for the river front. You may have to rouse a sleeping boat lady at lunchtime to hire a boat for an hour to take you on a slow trip down the Thu Bon River. Even if it’s raining its worth it for the stunning scenery and seeing Hoi An from a different angle.

 

Special Note: The cheaper, smaller boats will cost you around 100,000vnd for an hour. Don’t forget to get that suncream on, or take an umbrella to shield you from the sun. There are larger boats available too, they are more expensive but provide shelter and lifejackets. Take a camera for those perfect shots.

Gasshopper Adventures Promotion. Japanese BridgeThe old town is pretty small, but there is lots to see and many shops to visit. Get some nicknacks to take home for loved ones and head to the little pricier shops to buy yourself something nice. Use the map you took from Dingo to guide you in the right direction. You can also stop along your way and admire the stunning architect and other cultural destinations such as the Japanese Bridge.

 

Shopping Tips:

For the ladies: Avana Boutique – 57 Le Loi street or Hot Chilli – 86 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street.

For both: O Collective – 85 Nguyen Thai Hoc

T shirts:  Ginkgo Tshirts – 59 Le Loi Street

Make a difference: Lifestart Workshop: 14 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street / Reaching Out: 103 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street

Gift Ideas: Vietnamese Coffee, typical Hoi An Lanterns, coloured coconut shell bowls, Hoi An engraved chopsticks, conical hats.

 

STOP FOR A DRINK! Take a break at Reaching Out Tea house. Support this silent tea house run by Reaching Out who employ and train speech and hearing impaired staff. The teas are very refreshing or get your coffee fix and order a traditional iced Vietnamese coffee – Café Sua Da!

Time to relax. Head to Palmarosa Spa at 90 Ba Trieu street, just slightly outside of the Old Town. What treatments to get? Pretty much all are amazing. Wait, I’m only giving you 2 hours.

 

Recommended:

For the ladies: Spa Mani and Spa Pedi – 25 mins each at 165,000vnd Followed by a Neck, Back and shoulder relaxation with hot stone. 60 mins will cost you around 420,000vnd

For the gentlemen: Go all out, Deep Ralaxation Deluxe for 110mins at around 690,000vnd

Tip: Book before hand – they can get busy. Tel: 0235 3933 999

 

BREAK – Head back to you hotel for a shower and rest and get ready for some evening drinks and dinner.

Guide to Cocktail Happy Hours, hoi an, Green MangoMango Mango have the best cocktails in town and at sunset happy hour til 7pm they are buy one get one free! Also iced cold beer for the gentlemen. 45 Nguyen Phuc Chu Street – stunning view right on the  river side.

Favorite: Merry Berry!

Gasshopper Adventures Promotion. Old TownTake it easy and enjoy a beautiful dinner at Hai Café set in a picturesque garden area right in the centre of Old Town. They offer a range of food from Vietnamese to Western and always have a BBQ on the go.

 

Recommended: Traditional Vietnamese curry with rice. (comes with chicken or vegetarian option) With a fresh cold Larue beer on the side. They also provide a good selection of wines to accompany your dinner.

outside view at night 2Don’t worry you can have a little bit more of a lay in tomorrow! So enjoy a drink or two at White Marble wine bar at 98 Le Loi Street. Right at a busy crossroads so you can people watch too… we all enjoy that!

Favorite: Lychee Martini!

 

HOME TIME. If you don’t live within walking distance, always travel by taxi. Head up to the top of Le Loi streets to find green Mai Linh taxis waiting.

Day 2

Okay Okay … little lay in for you. We will start you off today with a good breakfast followed by a charming little bike ride stopping off along the way as you head to the beach and back to your hotel. Lots to see and lots to do! Make sure you have your map handy.

Hoi An Express Bicycle ToursThe Cargo Club is situated on the river in the old town, so head upstairs to the balcony for the best views. Just the way to start any day. 107 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street.

 

Recommended: Eggs benedict, which comes served with a choice of tea or coffee, plus a juice.

 

GRAB A BIKE!

Now time for some cycling. Now most hotels will offer free bicycles but if not there are plenty of hire choices available. Next to Thanh Binh 2 hotel at 712 Hai Ba Trung, is a lady renting bikes, look for about $1 a day. She’s in the right direction for your next destination also.

 

NOTE: Please cycle slowly and take note of your surrounding traffic. Not sure, feel uncomfortable or a little lost? Just safely pull over to the curb and gather yourself. The roads I’m taking you aren’t so busy and have some nice views too.

Featured Image. Jack's Cat Cafe. Black Cat in fernsTime for some kitty love. Follow your map so you head towards 12 Le Hong Phong street. Opposite this house is a side road, first big gate on your right is Jack’s Cat Café. Housed in this shelter are over 60 rescued cats and kittens. Emma the owner runs Vietnam Cat Welfare a registered UK charity and raises awareness, educates and also takes on rescue cases. She has opened her home for a few hours a day to come and enjoy coffee and vegetarian food in the big garden space. All proceeds go towards her charity and the kitties. So maybe have a juice too!

Lunch time! Just across the road from Jack’s at 6 Le Hong Phong street is Nomad Yoga and Café. Chef Julien serves amazing vegetarian dishes and fresh juices to match, all in a quaint location away from the hustle of the old town.

 

Recommended: Poutine with vegetarian gravy and mozzarella cheese and any one of their huge, fresh salads. Healthy and Hearty. Perfect.

hoi an Skies, vietnam

Now just a few kilometers away via some rice paddy fields and buffaloes, head towards An Bang beach. There is only one little hill I promise. When you get to An Bang beach veer left and keep going until you see a sign for Soul Kitchen. A favouite among expats, Soul Kitchen is a spacious beach bar and restaurant. Order a beer, get settled and enjoy just relaxing for a few hours and have a lazy afternoon at the beach. If one of the local ladies stop you why not try what they are selling. From sweet tofu to quail eggs or even some monkey nuts.

Central Market, Hoi An, vegetables market, bargainAs you head back to your hotel, stop just off of Hai Ba Trung main road at Tra Que Vegetable Village.

 

What is Tra Que? Tra Que is famous for its organically grown vegetables and local farmers who spend their days tending their crops. The farmers don’t use chemical or fertilisers but a kind of algae found in a near by lagoon at Tra Que. It’s very refreshing and quite charming to cycle around. Stop at Tra Que Water Wheel, a rustic, traditional Vietnamese building for a drink as the sun begins to set, where you can take in all that charm.

 

BREAK – Head back to you hotel for a shower and rest and get ready for some evening drinks and dinner.

chips-n-fish-fish-and-chips_opt-1This family run restaurant is set along the river in the Old Town on An Hoi Island.  It doesn’t look much but their menu caters for all and every dish is simply full-flavoured and fresh. Famous for their locally caught fish dishes, everything is well priced and served with pleasure by the staff and lovely family.

 

Recommended: This is a perfect restuarant to try Hoi An local specialities.  Some to mention are Cao Lao, White Rose and you can’t beat local fresh spring rolls. Also why not try a local fresh beer, Bia Hoi at only 4,000vnd a glass. Maybe just a couple of them though, their hangover is not worth it!

 

TAKE A LITTLE WALK – Hoi An Old Town is especially beautiful at night time, so take a stroll along the river front of Nguyen Phuc chu street until you reach the night market. Now this only needs half an hour of your time as it’s all very ‘same same’. But you might find some last minute knickknacks’ or lanterns you need as gifts to take back home.

Guide to Cocktail Happy Hours, hoi an, Bazar In the Old Town already, pop into this local bar for a night cap. Sit at the back in the garden area to get away from any crowds or sit on comfy sofas inside. They play some good music and has a lively atmosphere to end the night.

 

 Recommended: Sex on a bar – (it’s a cocktail!)

 

Don’t forget to head to the top of Le Loi street to get a taxi home, no motor bike drivers please!

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