Hoi An

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Hoi An is a beautiful city in Vietnam just south of Da Nang. The Old Town of Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Points of Interest in Hoi An

Hoi An's two major attractions are the Old Town and the nearby ruins of My Son. Hoi An has now replaced Da Nang as the most attractive place to stay in the area.

  • The Old Town - The Old Town, with its historical architecture and very walkable streets filled with shops and restaurants, is at its best at night, when the activity along the river front is lit by the soft light of silk lanterns. Tickets sold from a number of booths near the river will admit you to five attractions within the Old City. (See descriptions of sites below.)
  • My Son - Hoi An is commonly used as the base for half-day trips to the ancient Cham ruins of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the jungle of the Central Highlands. Trips to My Son can be arranged through almost any hotel or car/motorbike taxi driver in Hoi An.

There are also boat rides available on the river, nearby beaches, day trips, and shopping. For day trips, see "Go next: Day trips" below.

Old Town

Entry to all historical sites in Hoi An is via a coupon system, where 90,000 dong (USD5) gets you a ticket that can be used to enter five attractions: one museum, one old house, one assembly hall, the handicraft workshop (and traditional music show) or the traditional theatre, and either the Japanese Covered Bridge or the Quan Cong Temple. Tickets are sold at various entry points into the Old Town, including Hai Ba Trung St, and also at some of the attractions, including the Cantonese Assembly Hall. The city requests that visitors dress "decently" while visiting sites in the Old Town, as in men wear a shirt and women don't wear a bikini top, sleeveless blouse or skirt above the knees. Respect the local culture and remember that you are not on the beach.

First, you may choose one of the two landmarks of Hoi An:

  •    Japanese Covered Bridge (Chua Cau or Lai Vien Kieu) (At the west end of Tran Phu St). The bridge was constructed in the early 1600s by the Japanese community, roughly 40 years before they left the city to return to Japan under the strict policy of sakoku enforced by the Tokugawa Shogunate, and renovated in 1986. Today, it's the symbol of Hoi An. Entry is one coupon, but it's possible to cross back and forth several times without meeting a ticket-checker. If your scruples are bothering you, feel free to leave tribute for the pig statue or the dog statue who stand guard at opposite ends of the bridge.
  •    Quan Cong Temple, 24 Tran Phu St (near corner of Tran Phu and Tran Quy Cap). Founded in the 15th century, this temple is dedicated to Quan Cong, a Chinese general who is remembered and worshipped for his qualities of loyalty, integrity, and justice. Statues of him and several others can be found inside the temple.

The ticket allows admission to one of the four museums in the Old Town:

  • Hoi An Museum of History and Culture, 7 Nguyen Hue St. The museum contains some old black and white photos of Hoi An taken in the early 20th century. It also houses an old cannon, some two-thousand year old pots from the Sa Huynh period, and a case full of 9th century bricks and tiles from the Champa period.
  • Museum of Folk Culture, 33 Nguyen Thai Hoc St. Some may be put off by the bizarre-looking plaster sculptures of Vietnamese peasants, but this museum documents the dress and culture of rural Vietnam.
  • Museum of Sa Huynh Culture, 149 Bach Dang St. The museum's main collection consists of pottery and urns from the 1st and 2nd centuries. Upstairs is another museum, the Museum of the Revolution. Its main collection consists of pictures from war heroes and a collection of weapons such as grenade launchers, machine guns, and AK 47s.
  • Museum of Trade Ceramics, 80 Tran Phu St. The dusty, unlabeled displays of broken pottery are eminently forgettable, but the house itself is nice enough, and it provides a good opportunity to explore the shape and layout of an old Hoi An home.

There are three old houses that exist in an awkward halfway state between museum showpiece and somewhat shabby residence for the family that lives there. Your ticket allows admission to one.

  • Phung Hung House, 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St (Just west of the Japanese Bridge). Traditional two-story wooden house, inhabited over 100 years by eight generations; and the current one guides you around in hope of a tip.
  • Quan Thang House, 77 Nguyen Thai Hoc St.
  • Tan Ky House, 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc St. As above, a younger member of the family will provide a cup of tea and a "tour" that doesn't stray from the front room of the house, as you'd need to step over sleeping members of the older generation to go anywhere else. The design of the house shows how local architecture incorporated Japanese and Chinese influences. Japanese elements include the crab shell-shaped ceiling supported by three beams in the living room. Chinese poems written in mother-of-pearl are hanging from a number of the columns that hold up the roof.

Numerous congregation halls, where Chinese expatriate residents socialized and held meetings, are dotted about the town. They are typically named after the home region of their members, such as Fujian and Canton. Your ticket allows admission to one. Some do not have ticket-takers, so it's up to you if you want to try wandering into a second.

  • Cantonese Assembly Hall (Quang Dong), 176 Tran Phu St. Built in 1885, it has a calm courtyard with ornate statuary. Take a peek at the half-hidden back yard and its kitschy pastel dragon statues.
  • Hokien (Fujian) Meeting Hall (Phuc Kien), 46 Tran Phu St. Built in 1757.
  • Chinese All-Community Meeting Hall (Trieu Chau), 157 Nguyen Duy Hieu. Built in 1887. It's near the Fujian hall, also occupying the block.

Finally, you can choose one of the following:

  • Hoi An Handicraft Workshop, 9 Bach Dang St. Folk music performances are offered at 10:15 and 15:15 every day except Monday.


  • Hoi An Silk Village, 28 Nguyen Tat Thanh St,  +84 510 3921144. Daily 09:00-21:00. Revived 300 year-old Champa silk traditions. Half day tours encompassing the entire silk process, from silkworms to dressmaking. Showroom in a converted Quang Nam-style house with 100 different ao dai, representing all of the 54 different minority groups in Vietnam. Also a spacious colonial-style restaurant serving local dishes and a silk showroom where professional tailors custom design and make garments for visitors. USD19.
  • Traditional Theatre, 75 Nguyen Thai Hoc St.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Japanese Bridge

Central Market

Quan Cong Temple

Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation

Assembly Hall of the Hainan Chinese Congregation

Tan Ky House

Sa Huynh Culture Museum

Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation

Museum of History and Culture

Museum of Trading Ceramics

Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation

Museum of Folklore

Song Hoai Square

Cam Pho Temple

My Son Sanctuary

Phuoc Lam Pagoda

Chuc Thanh Pagoda

Tra Que Vegetable Village

Cua Dai Beach

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About Hoi An

Background

Hoi An, once known as Faifo, with more than 2,000 years of history, was the principal port of the Cham Kingdom, which controlled the strategic spice trade with Indonesia from the 7th-10th centuries and was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries. The foreign influences are discernible to this day.

The culture and heritage is mostly from the Cham people whose kingdom originally stretched from Hue south to Phan Tiet (south of Nha Trang). The Champas were most likely originally from Java. The original Cham political capital was Tra Kieu, the commercial capital was Hoi An and the spiritual capital was My Son (Hindu). The Cham people were Hindu, and by the 10th century the influence of Arab traders to Hoi An resulted in the conversion of some to Islam.

The second major influence was Chinese, first by traders, then by escaping Ming Dynasty armies, who after settling in Hoi An for some years, moved further south and created Saigon as a major trading port.

The third and last major influence of culture and heritage was from the Vietnamese and is fairly recent and only came after the Cham lost control of this area. For a tourist wanting Vietnamese culture and heritage, Hue is a much better destination than Hoi An (but the weather is much rougher too!).

While the serious shipping business has long since moved to Da Nang, the heart of the city is still the Old Town, full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled shophouses, which is particularly atmospheric in the evening as the sun goes down. While almost all shops now cater to the tourist trade, the area has been largely preserved as is, which is unusual in Vietnam, and renovation has proceeded slowly and carefully. It's mercifully absent of towering concrete blocks and karaoke parlours.

The culture and heritage that UNESCO WHS status for Hoi An Old Town was trying to preserve is long since gone. Since 1999, when UNESCO status was awarded, there has been a massive increase in mass tourism, with the result that most houses have been sold to speculators and shop owners to be used for commercial purposes. The community and with it their culture and heritage is gone and in their place are shops, restaurants, art galleries, etc. There are literally hundreds of tailor shops in Hoi An, all selling similar low value products to ever smaller numbers of Western tourists.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status also applies to Hoi An Old Town, but in reality this status, like all other UNESCO designations, has not been accompanied by enlightened site management.

The main thoroughfare in the Old Town is Tran Phu. Just south of the Old Town, across the Thu Bon River, are the islands of An Hoi to the west, reached via Hai Ba Trung, and Cam Nam to the east, reached via Hoang Dieu.

Activities

Bicycling

  • Cam Kim Island Bicycle Tour. 08:30-12:00. Cam Kim is a scenic rural island which is almost entirely free of tourists. Stunning rural scenes, rice paddies, villages, fields of water buffalo and quiet roads are the big draws of Cam Kim. With your bike, you will be able to explore numerous picturesque pathways along with some bamboo bridged. There will be plenty of opportunities for taking photos and just taking in the wonderful scenery. You are led by a student volunteer keen on improving her English. Free except for ferry.
  •    Heaven and Earth Bicycle Tours, 57 Ngo Quyen (An Hoi Islet),  +84 510 3864362. Pascal, French expat, and his wife, Thu, a native of Hoi An, own this company. If you take this tour, they will guide you to destinations that are not accessible to large tour groups. USD17+.
  • Hoi An Love of Life Bicycle Tours, 95 Phan Chu Trinh St,  +84 510 3939399. 5 hours. Organised by local professional tour guides. Places visited include the Buddhist pagoda and a picturesque fishing village while cycling through luscious green rice fields where buffaloes roam. USD19.

Miscellaneous

  • Cham Island Diving. Has been operating from Hoi An since 2002. The dive centre and international team offer daily boat and speedboat tours to Cham Island for scuba diving and snorkelling.
  • Cooking lessons are offered at several restaurants around town. If you enjoyed your meal there, it can't hurt to inquire. There are also several established cooking schools with good reputations including Gioan Riverside, Morning Glory, and Red Bridge who offer a variety of courses ranging in price from USD16-55. In any of these schools you will learn only the mechanics of Vietnamese cooking: how to chop the vegetables and roll the spring roll, etc. All the rest are closely-guarded secrets: the making of the sauce, the techniques of frying the spring roll, or the grilling the beef. What's so inadequate about these schools is that the instructors are locals who are not really used to English pronunciations and they speak very fast. At the end, you will have to complete a survey. Everybody (100% of the students are Westerners) agrees about the sub-standard hygiene (an average score of 5 of 10). Best is learning to cook at the Green Moss Restaurant. Just walk in around midday or in the evening, choose 2 dishes, and you can watch them prepare them while you take notes on how to do it. The cook's explanations are good, and the price is only USD2 (in addition to the cost of the dishes). The kitchen looks chaotic, but the food is really good.
  • Hội An Eco Tour. Is a unique cultural tourist attraction. Learn how to catch fish, row a basket boat with local fisherman in the coconut palm paradise. Rather than focusing on historical artifacts of Vietnam, the eco tour focuses on the historical, and living culture of the people of Hội An. Very friendly tour guide and staff. All drinks and a great dinner included (Fisherman to Coconut palm paradise tour). A bit more expensive than other tours but a very nice experience (doing rather than seeing).
  • Lifestart Foundation Tour & Craft Lessons, 77 Phan Chu Trinh. Lifestart Foundation, a charity founded in Australia, offers a half day tour to find out more about the Lifestart Foundation Workshop and take part in lantern making and art classes. The morning includes the opportunity to make Hoi An lanterns, one-on-one dialogue with Lifestart Foundation workshop members and a traditional painting class. At the end of your experience you’ll have two miniature Hoi An lanterns and your hand painted notecard to take home and share with friends. All of the money raised goes towards helping local people in difficulty. USD20.

Food

Food in Hoi An is, even by high Vietnamese standards, cheap and tasty. In addition to the usual suspects, there are three dishes that Hoi An is particularly famous for:

  • Cao lầu, a dish of rice noodles which are not quite as slippery as pho and a bit closer in texture to pasta. The secret is the water used to make it, and authentic cao lau uses only water from a special well in the city. The noodles are topped with slices of roast pork, dough fritters, and this being Vietnam, lots of fresh herbs and veggies.
  • White rose (banh bao vac), a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose. Eat it at 533 Hai Ba Trung St.
  • Wonton dumplings, essentially the same as the Chinese kind, served up in soup or deep-fried.

If you are really adventurous, walk to the Central Market, and have a local breakfast. Seating on stools, eating a bowl of cao lau with wooden chopsticks, and sipping the ice cold "white coffee with vinamilk" is an adventure. Beware though, prices will vary immensely, as shopkeepers swarm over you to sell you things, or even shove plates of food before you. Just keep declining politely and return the food you don't fancy. Keep small denominations of dong with you, as you probably won't get change if you give them USD. Also, confirm the prices before you eat the food. Prices range from about 7,000-10,000 dong for a bowl of noodles, and 5,000-7,000 dong for a coffee. The baguette is a nice snack, and should not cost more than 10,000 dong. You can point and say "yes" or "no" to the vegetables and chilli that they will add. A good way to order is to just say "everything" and say "yes" to the chilli. Mineral water is around 10,000 dong for a 1.5L bottle.

Walking along the river at night, you will find a lot of pubs. Beer is around 30,000 dong. Cocktails are 20,000-50,000 dong. There are some bar foods available, such as fried prawn crackers for around 15,000 dong a plate. Just walk into any pub and have a seat.

Budget

  • Bale Well Restaurant, 45-51 D Tran Cao Van (In the small alley),  +84 510 650 6979. 10:00-22:00. Set menu: bánh xèo, pork savoury pancakes; barbecued satay pork loin, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, with side salad. Enjoy with a local beer. 220,000 dong.
  • Binh Minh Restaurant, 197 Ly Thuong Kiet St (Next to Vinh Huy Hotel). 07:00-22:00. Western breakfasts, standard Vietnamese specialities, family atmosphere, and reasonable prices.
  • Cafe Bobo, 18 Le Loi. Popular and reasonably-priced. The frappucino-style mocha shakes are great.
  • Cafe 43, 43 Tran Cao Van. Biere Lerue for 10,000 dong and bia hoi (pronounced doy in the south) fresh beer for 3,000 dong. The food is general traveller fare but tasty. Try the cao lao noodles which is the local speciality. Portions are adequate. The "fresh spring rolls" (steamed) are around 40,000 dong, but are huge.
  • Huu Nghi, 56 Bach Dang,  +84 510 391-0118. Very good food at reasonable prices, with a view of the river and the market. Set meals with 3 or 4 kinds of local specialities for 40,000/70,000 dong respectively. Fresh beer (bia hoi) for 5,000 dong. They also provide a free tiny cup of caramel/vanilla yogurt for dessert.
  • Lantern Town Restaurant. Hoi An is the home of lanterns and Lantern Town restaurant, housed in an ancient house, combines French colonial architectural influences with traditional Vietnamese style. 20,000 dong.
  • Laugh Café, 126 Tran Cao Van St. Laugh Café is a low key café with great, cheap traditional food. It provides vocational training for young people in the provinces surrounding Hoi An, to help give them future opportunities in hospitality. The manager Peter is a laugh (no pun intended) and is happy to have a chat with you about anything.
  •    Orivy Restaurant, 578/1 Cua Dai (Off the road, up a side alley), e-mail: info@orivy.com. 10:00-22:00. Wooden building in a romantic garden with big tree and lotus pond, hidden in small and quiet alley. Vietnamese food such as: xeo pancake, spring roll (fresh and fried), Cao Lau, brown rice, great Vietnamese salad and fresh juice. 170,000 dong.
  • Pho Ha Noi, 448 Cua Dai Rd,  +84 907 269 123. Early/Breakfast. The real deal. Pho and bun. Popular with locals. Try out your Vietnamese. Limited English understood here. 20,000 dong.
  • Restaurant 96. One of the numerous restaurants on the river bank, this restaurant is packed every night of the week. Many of the guests are returning customers, so the food must be good. There are plenty of vegetarian options and excellent spring rolls. The wait for food tends to be longer than normal, but it's worth it. The surliness of the owner does detract from the overall dining experience. 20,000 dong.
  • Sun Shine, 46 Tran Cao Van St (Diagonally opposite Phuoc An Hotel),  +84 510 391-6902. 07:00-23:00. A homey and cheap restaurant. Serves fresh and home-cooked Vietnamese and Western food. Prices start at 20,000 dong for a bowl of cau lau, and a plate of 6 spring rolls will only set you back 30,000 dong. 3,000 dong for fresh beer and Vietnamese ice tea is free of charge. Proprietor Hoi is offering cooking lessons for 120,000 dong per person, plus the cost of the menu items you wish to prepare. The lesson takes place in the house kitchen behind the restaurant, giving you an insight into Vietnamese town life.
  • Thanh Phuong, 56 Cong Dong (An Hoi Island, just across bridge). Cheap and cheerful local eats. A steaming seafood hotpot is 109,000 dong, codfish hotpot 89,000 dong.
  • 31 Nguyen Thai Hoc St. Here you can find many small stands which serve good and cheap food quickly. 20,000 dong.
  • Treats "Same same only different", 322 Ly Thuong Kiet St (Just outside of the old town tourist area, a block east of Vinh Huy and Tan Phuong Hotels, and half a block west of Le Loi St (the main north-south tourist street)),  +84 905 409 873. 09:00-21:30. Western breakfast served all day. Clean and quiet. Reasonably fast Wi-Fi. Pizza and Vietnamese specialties, and possibly the best cao lau in the city.
  • Trung Bac, 87 Tran Phu. 100 years of cao lau and still going strong. A bowl of chewy noodles and lots of veggies will set you back 15,000 dong.
  • White Lotus, Phan Bội Châu (Walk along the river from Old Town, through the central market, and straight on for about 50 m, after passing Brother's Cafe). New restaurant with Australian owner. Serves good Asian and Western dishes, staff very helpful and obliging to any request. 20,000-60,000 dong.
  • White Rose, 533 Hai Ba Trung. 07:00-early afternoon. The shop that makes most of the "white rose" dumplings served all around town. 40,000 dong per serving, and if you ask nicely they'll let you try to make them yourself.

Mid-range

  • Alfrescos, 83 Tran Hung Dao St,  +84 510 3929707. Offers comfort food: Aussie steaks, pasta, pizza, Mexican, and ribs. Also deliver. Do a Tuesday, Friday special deal of two for one pizza for delivery. Shows rugby and Aussie rules football.
  • Bazar Cafe & Restaurant, 36 Tran Phu (Next to the town market),  +84 510 3911229. 08:00-24:00. New in town, serves the best Vietnamese and Mediterranean barbeque in the garden. Comfortable lounge, cocktails and shisha inside the traditional wooden house.
  • Brother's Cafe, 27 - 29 - 31 Phan Boi Chau St,  +84 510 391 4150, fax: +84 510 3923012, e-mail: brothercafe@dng.vnn.vn. Tranquil French colonial riverside setting. Big selection of local food, especially seafood.
  • Bon Café and Restaurant, 320 Nguyen Duy Hieu St,  +84 510 386 1919 or +84 918 452302, e-mail: info@bonhoian.com. Traditional Minh Huong family-run restaurant from former 17th century Chinese immigrants to Hoi An.
  • Casa Verde, 99 Bach Dang St,  +84 510 3911594. This German-owned restaurant serves some of the best pizzas in Hoi An town His expertise comes from years of experience, as he used to work at the nearby Victoria Hotel as head chef. His homemade bread, ice cream, and soft-centred hot chocolate cake are not to be missed. Fantastic salads..
  • Dingo Deli +84 906 552824. 07:30-19:30. This delicatessen offers an extensive selection of gourmet foods through the restaurant and European grocery store. The ambience, and aroma of brewed coffee is the attraction for travellers ready to find some favourite tastes from home. A wooden constructed adventure play ground is open for children to play on and over looks views of paddocks, buffalo, and the Thu Bon River.
  • Hoi An Cruise Restaurant (Sunset dinner and cooking cruises), 32 Le Loi St (Reservation office at the city centre),  +84 510 8505605. Cruise restaurant with a sunset dinner cruise and cooking class.
  • Mango Rooms, 111 Nguyen Thai Hoc,  +84 510 3910839. Offers Asian fusion food made of fresh local products. As an example try the duck breast marinated in five spices served with bitter-chocolate passion fruit spicy garlic butter sauce. The atmosphere is very relaxed with a colourful interior design. Prices rather upscale. 350,000-550,000 dong.
  • Mermaid (Opposite the Cloth Market). Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mermaid serves some of the best food in Vietnam, and is among the best expensive restaurants. Do not miss the grilled mackerel in banana leaf, the minced pork with eggplant and the sweet and sour Black King Fish hotpot. The owner came from generations of cooks and in fact was featured in New York Times for her restaurant's good food. 2 dishes and rice costs between 70,000-100,000 dong.
  • Morning Glory. Choose from a variety of local dishes, and be sure to experiment, because everything is truly excellent. The staff speak good English, the place is beautifully decorated, and the food will have you coming back for more. (And if you really enjoy the food, ask about their cooking classes.) While there are cheaper places to eat in Hoi An, this one is by no means expensive, especially considering how good the food is. Most main courses are between 40,000 and 70,000 dong. Dinner and a drink cost about 80,000 dong per person.
  • Moon Restaurant & Lounge, 321 Nguyen Diuy Hieu (East of the market),  +84 510 2241396. 07:00-22:00. Beautiful old house, laid-back atmosphere and superb Vietnamese food. Main courses 50,000-80,000 dong; drinks 20,000-50,000 dong.
  • Red Bridge Restaurant & Cooking School, Thon 4, Cam Thanh (about 3 km out of town),  +84 510 933222. 10:00-21:00. Next to the Thu Bon River within 2 acres of tropical gardens. Offers a wide range of Vietnamese Food, in an open air restaurant. Cooking Classes begin around 08:00 at the Hai Scout Cafe for a coffee (Italian-style) then a tour of the market to shop for fruit & veg. Booking for dinner are essential. They sometimes close early if there are no customers. They offer cocktails as well as the usual beers and an extensive wine list.
  • River Lounge, 35 Nguyen Phu Chuc (Across the bridge on Hoi An Island, it's the first double-storey building on the left),  +84 510 3911700. 08:30-24:00. Run by two entrepreneurial Austrian brothers who are bringing excellent tastes and tunes to this historical town. If you ask them nicely they might even show you their Austrian sausages which are meaty and mayonnaise exuding. Western/Vietnamese fusion food. Set menu for 120,000 dong, 3 course meal..
  • Son Hoi An, 177 Cua Dai (Riverside on the Cua Dai beach road). Very popular stopping point for those cycling back from the beach.
  • Thanh Restaurant, 76 Bach Dang (City centre, riverside),  +84 510 3861366. Great Vietnamese and Western food. Excellent grilled fished in banana leaf and nice river view.
  • Vinh Hung 1 Restaurant, 147B Tran Phu St (Opposite the Cantonese Assembly Hall, near the Japanese Bridge). Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of the first restaurants in Hoi An to open it's doors to Western travellers. A true family-run restaurant offering a stylish blend of classic Vietnamese, traditional Hoi An specialities, and modern dishes using fresh ingredients. It's a fabulous place to relax over a drink and watch the hustle and bustle of life pass by. The pho bo is exceptional!

Vegan / vegetarian

  • Hong An, 343 Cua Dai (On Cua Dai, 15 minutes walk from the centre),  +84 122 5992823. Good vegan Vietnamese food. Small menu, but includes local specialties. USD1 for a bowl of noodles.
  • Karma Waters, 213 Nguyen Duy Hieu (Hoi An centre, opposite An Phu Hotel),  +84 510 3927632. 06:30-20:00. Vietnamese and international food, Indian food, quick healthy vegan food, vegan ice cream, all pure vegetarian & vegan! This place is on the expensive side: USD2.50 for a bowl of noodles soup with vegetables. USD1.50 for orange juice. However, the food is good and the staff nice. mid range.

Drinks

Hoi An is not a party destination and has a rather limited number of nightlife locations.

  • Before and Now, 51 Le Loi St. Morning-24:00. The most popular bar in Old Town. Reasonably priced drinks and food. Happy hour specials available in the evening. Offers seating, pool tables, and bar stool seating. Usually closes at midnight. USD2-10.
  •    Dive Bar Restaurant, 88 Nguyen Thai Hoc St,  +84 510 391 0782, e-mail: info@chamislanddiving.com. 11:00-02:00. Great bar in a traditional house with a back garden, pool table, Wi-Fi. Meet people from all over the world in a friendly atmosphere. All kinds of music on request (live music once a week). Great choice of cocktails and beers, wine by bottle or by glass. Food: from small tapas to Vietnamese salads, from pasta or lasagne to hamburgers, from seafood to rice salads, everybody find his choice. Cocktail class available (only place in town). 20,000-150,000 dong for drinks and food.
  • Volcano Club, 86 Bà Triệu (A good distance away from old town and most lodgings, as well as being confusing to find. A taxi or motorbike is by far the best way to travel here.). Open until late. The most popular (but that's not saying much) late night bar in Hoi An. Offers 100,000 dong for all you can drink (on selected mixed drinks), a large dance floor, and pool table. Volcano Club is the closest Hoi An has to a party spot. While the bar is open earlier in the evening, patrons do not arrive until at least midnight. Goes until late. USD1-5.
  • Why Not Bar, 10B Pham Hong Thai (On the eastern edge of old town). Open until late. One of two late night bars of Hoi An. Not to be confused with the much different bar/club of the same name in Nha Trang. This very small 3 storey bar advertises free drinks. The drinks are free, but they are very weak. Prices for standard drinks are still quite low though. Patrons do not come to this bar until at least midnight, when the rest of the town has closed down. Open until late. USD2.

Shopping

  • Marble and marble powder statues - outside the entrance to Marble Mountain. Look for Quan Am, the Vietnamese version of China's Kwan Yin, a female Buddha usually depicted pouring out a flask of water. Small powder statues are available for USD1, marble for around USD20, you can tell them apart by the price. Deep discounts may be available by bargaining.
  • Brass gongs and bells - There are many foundries on the road to My Son. Items can be made to order. This is the origin of the souvenirs sold in Hoi An tourist shops.
  • Hand made silks and lanterns - Old Town tourist shops

Bespoke clothing

Tailor shops (see below) - Hoi An is known as the centre for very affordable custom-made clothing. There are some 400 tailor shops in the city, some better than others. Most can complete something in one day, so you may wish to make an order on arrival, so there will be time to complete the work. The principle of caveat emptor is definitely in force here. Ask at your accommodation. You will probably need to leave a deposit of about half the finished price before the work is started. If there are problems, shops may or may not be willing to make adjustments; you will not get a refund. Some strategies to minimize your risk:

  1. use recommendations from your accommodation and not from motorcycle drivers (they get a kickback, your hotel probably doesn't)
  2. order one thing at a time--if something goes wrong with one item, you lose less money;
  3. take something that fits, they work better with copies;
  4. make sure they understand any special instructions: pockets, shortening, etc., the language barrier is not your friend;
  5. price things in more than one shop--materials and prices vary;
  6. order from more than one shop, again so all your eggs are not in one basket.
  • Len Silk, 74 Tran Phu St, e-mail: nguyenthuyvi@gmail.com. The owner is the 6th generation in the family business. Her grandmother learned to make silk by hand as a young girl. She continued for fifty years. Then mass-produced imported silk became the norm and the village women mostly dropped the craft. Reasoning that traditional techniques of making hand-produced silk resulted in a superior product, she kept the business of using time-worn techniques going. Nearly all the garments in the store made by this method. Only women's clothing is available in hand-crafted fabrics at the present time.
  • Song Trang 'Moon River', 166 Nguyen Truong To (Next Tran Hung Dao crossroads),  +84 510 3936937, e-mail: style@moonrivershop.com. 09:00-21:00. Mens and ladies tailoring. 2 piece suits start about USD100. Many similar in nearby Le Loi St. USD100+.
  • Wall Street Tailors, 667 Hai Ba Trung,  +84 905919180, e-mail: wallstreettailors@gmail.com. Founded in 2010 when Anna Briggs, a young stylish professional from London, England dropped by Hoi An and met a top local tailor. Wall Street Tailors have gone on to offer wide fabric ranges and in the process, gain good reviews from many tourists.

  • Yaly Couture, 358 Nguyen Duy Hieu St,  +84 510 3914995, e-mail: quynh@yalycouture.com. 10:00-22:00. Top end pricing. You pay for the name, and the bag the clothes come in. USD150+.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Hoi An on Wikivoyage.

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