Have a fitting for a new bespoke wardrobe at one of the many, many tailors in Hoi An, and enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh fish in banana skin while you wait for the results.
Rosie, Original Traveller
The ancient town of Hoi An, 20 miles south of Danang on the coast of central Vietnam, is an enchanting, sleepy riverside town that offers a glimpse of a bygone era.
Why we think you’ll love it
- The charming town of Hoi An is one of the few places that wasn't bombed during the war, so it's untouched and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. It's wonderfully laid back and peaceful, with fantastic shopping and culture on offer - if you can drag yourself away from the beach, that is
- The town and surrounding area are best explored by bike - cruise around the vividly colourful markets and nearby farming land to see the way of life of the locals
- We recommend taking a cooking class with a local teacher while on holiday in Hoi An - you'll be able to enjoy the delicious fruits of your labour for lunch afterwards, and take home some new skills, too
From the gallery
Luxury Holidays in Hoi and Hue: The Detail
In a country so ravaged by war, Hoi An managed to escape untouched and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the town is extremely well preserved, with traditional wooden houses, bridges and temples surviving in their original form. Hoi An is a wonderful holiday destination for seeing the Vietnam of a bygone era.
In the 16th century, Japanese and Chinese traders built a commercial district at Hoi An, and the town became one of the major trading centres of Southeast Asia. As a result, Hoi An has a distinctly Sino-Japanese flavour, with these cultural influences visible in the elaborately carved wooden facades, narrow streets and tile-roofed houses of the Old Quarter that have survived for centuries. The Japanese Bridge, built in the 17th century, is an outstanding example of Japanese architecture.
Adding to Hoi An's old-fashioned charm, on the 15th of every lunar month, modernity takes a back seat. On these evenings, street lamps, neon signs and televisions are switched off, leaving the Old Quarter bathed in the warm glow of traditional silk and paper lanterns of various colours. Wandering through the old streets in the ensuing quiet is a special experience.
North along the coast from Hoi An is the old imperial capital of Hue, set on the banks of the Perfume River. Hue was the country's political, cultural and religious centre from 1802 to 1945 and its citadel is an old palace complex from where the Nguyen emperors ruled Vietnam.
Hue is also an important centre of Buddhism, and the city and its surrounding area are dotted with dozens of pagodas and temples. Just downstream, and also worth an excursion, are the tombs of the last emperors of Vietnam.