Generally speaking, Viet Nam is not the place to go to see well-preserved examples of ancient Asian architecture. The local government have a notable tendency to simply concrete over much of their heritage, with one notable exception: Hoi An.
As an international trading port dating back four centuries, the city’s ornate, atmospheric Old Town (now a UNESCO World Heritage sight) is home to a hefty Chinese influence, one that still prevails today in the array of pro-Communist propaganda and ample lantern stalls. The Japanese have left their mark, too, with the covered bridge, an ornate stone construction that’s fast become the image of Hoi An. There are a host of museums explaining the city’s colorful history – each is accessed by buying a set of tourist ‘coupons’ to hand over at the gate – while many visitors content themselves with simply admiring the more ornate city-centre buildings.
Aside from the historic centre, many locals in Hoi An have quickly cottoned on to the tourist trade, with plenty of the more standard Asian staples touted on the streets. You can learn to cook the local cuisine, hire a jet ski off the coast, learn to fish or take an eco-minded tour looking at the everyday lifestyle of the people of Hoi An. The city has beaches, too, though you’ll have to head out of town to find them, and while the historic side of Hoi An is impressive, the beaches struggle to compete with other parts of the country.
The local cuisine - served in market stalls and rustic street-side restaurants – is every bit the affordable, taste bud tingling and healthy selection you’ve probably come to know and love back home, while the nightlife scene is extremely tourist-focused, but lively nevertheless.
Hoi An’s worth of factoring in to a Vietnamese trip if only to see the historic elements of the country that other cities are quick to bulldoze. It might not be the bustling big city draw of Hanoi of Saigon, or the most attractive beach getaway, but Hoi An has other charms.
Originating from the Cham word "Da Nak", meaning "Opening of Big River", Da Nang is a major port city (Vietnam's fourth largest) located to the South Central Coast of Vietnam, on the coast of…