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Hoi An is one of the prettiest destinations in Vietnam. The ancient architecture, lantern-lit streets, and traditional culture make it a unique and unforgettable experience. Once a popular port town, merchants from surrounding countries would dock and enter the city bringing, and leaving, parts of the culture, architecture, and influence.

Although it is set up for tourism these days, it’s still easy to see the local culture, and discover something new when visiting.


Here’s a list of things you can’t miss when visiting Hội An.


Explore the Ancient Town


The well-preserved ancient town is a must-see attraction in Hội An. Wander through the narrow streets and take in the different structural features of the shophouses, influenced by Chinese, Japanese, and French cultures. Check out the art shops and souvenir stores for some authentic mementos.



Suit Up!



Hoi An is renowned for its tailoring service. Whether you need a suit or any other garment, the city's tailors can make it for you at an affordable price and with a quick turnaround. Show them a photo of what you're looking for, and they will create it for you.


Experience the Lantern Festival



On the night of the full moon, the Lantern Festival takes place in Hoi An. Witness the colorful lanterns floating on the canal, as locals celebrate by sending messages to their ancestors. Watch as smoke drifts up to heaven from incense sticks, and food, drink, and money is laid out as offerings on the porch of houses.


Buy a paper lantern and take a rented boat to view the beautiful scene from different angles. Make a wish and release your lantern onto the water.



Several years ago, these lanterns were the only lights on the waters. Nowadays, all boats have one or two big lanterns, creating a colourful scene in the dark light. However, this means that less paper lanterns are sold. Keep the tradition alive by participating in the festivities. You never know, your wish may come true.


Make Your Own Lantern


Take part in a lantern-making workshop, a relaxing and mindful activity suitable for all ages. Choose between making a lantern with a ready-made structure or from scratch. All materials are provided, and you can choose the fabric to make your lantern unique. The collapsible design makes it easy to take your lantern home as a souvenir. I'd recommend this Lantern Shop, Hoi An Handiwhich holds classes every day, and is lead by friendly English speaking locals. You can easily find availability and book your spot via Whatsapp.


Try the Local Food



Sample the local cuisine in Hoi An, including cao lầu, a pork noodle soup dish, cơm gà, a chicken rice dish, and mì quảng, a noodle soup dish. Bành mí, a popular Vietnamese sandwich, is also a must-try in Hoi An. Queue early or be prepared to wait in line at popular spots like Bánh Mì Phượng.



Shopping in Hoi An



The aesthetic shophouses in Hoi An are worth browsing, even if you don't have any backpack space left! Check out the cute souvenirs, impressive artwork, and silk garments flowing in the breeze.


Wear Traditional Vietnamese Outfits


At the night market, several stalls sell traditional Vietnamese outfits, such as áo dài - the traditional outfit for girls and women. Take advantage of the opportunity to wear this beautiful garment and embrace the culture.


An all-white áo dài is traditionally only worn by students, but you can still find a variety of colorful options to suit your style.


 

Hoi An is a beautiful and charming city that offers a unique travel experience for mature travellers. The city's ancient town, tailor-made suits, lantern festival, lantern workshops, local food, shopping, and traditional Vietnamese outfits are just some of the things that make Hoi An a must-visit destination. Despite the city's growing popularity among tourists, Hoi An still manages to maintain its local culture and traditions, making it an authentic travel experience. So pack your bags, head to Hoi An, and immerse yourself in its rich history, culture, and beauty.






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