Hoi An, Vietnam


Hoi An was magical.

Vietnam had long been at the top of my travel wish-list, but I couldn’t have prepared myself for how much I loved it. We traveled to three different parts of this incredible country – Hoi An, Hanoi, and Halong Bay.

By the time we arrived at Da Nang airport, we had been traveling Asia for a week. At this point, we had relaxed into that sweet, sappy vacation mode. We woke up daily by seven am (no alarm!), ready to chase the day through quiet moments and exchanges with soon-to-be new friends. I really do believe in timing, and in this moment, we were perfectly poised to explore Hoi An.

As a small city, Hoi An has expansive markets (more on that soon), restaurants overflowing with guests along the riverfront, and quiet streets that almost lead you to believe that you’ve wandered into someone’s backyard.

Three miles from downtown is the South China Sea – and long stretches of beach. For our first evening, we stayed at the incredible Victoria Hotel. We stayed at a variety of places throughout our trip – bungalows and guesthouses; hotels in downtown districts coupled with more indulgent resorts. We love the boutique feel, where you can feel somewhat immersed with the local culture. The Victoria was definitely more of a resort – but well worth a one-night stay. We spent the evening in a cottage directly on the beach. The views were breathtaking.

The rest of our time in Hoi An, we stayed in the rice fields, which was in between downtown and the Cua Dai Beach. We had a big marble bath tub that overlooked the fields and one of those incredible swing chairs that you could spend hours in. We also had bikes that we took out on mini-adventures around the perimeter of the city.

While in Hoi An, we took a cooking class, which was one of the highlights of our trip. We spent the morning at the market – choosing all of our ingredients – which was a really incredible experience. Hoi An is known for its custom tailors; everywhere you look, there’s a different tailor. We had a few items made and it really became a fun part of our trip. We would return each day to try on our pieces and have them altered accordingly.

The city was breathtaking. The people were the nicest. The food was mouth-watering (we went to this restaurant twice). I could go on and on.

  • Philippine de Villeplee

    Hello Nathalie,

    Could you please tell me more about the cooking class please.
    I’m in the philippines right now but then i go to Vietnam and cambodia and i’m really interested.
    Also, could you please tell me where you’ve found these beautifull blue “vaisselle” in Bangkok?
    Many Thanks!!!! Your blog is great!

    • thanks for your comment, philippine! the cooking class was at green bamboo (more info here: http://www.greenbamboo-hoian.com/). I’d highly recommend – it was one of our highlights. the blue dishes were found at the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok. have a great time – have to say i’m kind of jealous!