Think all there is to do in Hoi An Ancient Town is walk around and snap photos?
Well, think again!
The UNESCO world heritage site holds a lot more interesting things to do other than walk around aimlessly – although that is part of its’ charm and one of the things I’ll encourage you to do!
Without further ado, here’s my list of 9 things you must do in Hoi An Ancient Town!
1. Eat at a roadside stall
Notice all the little plastic stools at eateries or by the road? No, those aren’t for kids!
Try eating the local way and enjoy Vietnamese food and snacks at a roadside stall and people-watch. Life is slow in Hoi An, so enjoy the relaxed pace.
2. Enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee
While your time away at a local coffeeshop or roadside stall with a tiny glass of fresh Vietnamese coffee. Read a book, or enjoy the scenic views of the Ancient Town. It’d take quite awhile for every drop of coffee to pass through the filter!
3. Stuff your face at Bale Well
Mmm… The spring rolls at Bale Well are one of the best. It might be a bit difficult to find, but you won’t regret the juicy, tender pork skewers!
The staff at Bale Well are friendly and the boss might just spark a chat with you. Wrap your own spring rolls and put whatever you want in it – pork skewers, crispy shrimp pancakes, fresh veggies and herbs are all free-flow. Dip your spring rolls in the sauce provided because it is deeee-licious!
4. Attend a cooking class at Ms Vy’s
If you love eating, this class is definitely for you!
The cooking class at Vy’s Market Restaurant not only lets you try your hand at cooking some dishes, you’re also given the chance to try a lot of food! The place is set up like an upmarket kopitiam, with different types of Vietnamese food separated into categories at different stalls.
You get to try typical Vietnamese street food like bahn mi and barbecued pork skewers, and you also (if you dare) get to taste some “weird and wonderful” food. Yes, they named the section Weird & Wonderful! And, why? That’s because you’ll get to try pigs’ brains, duck egg embryos and silkworms amongst other dishes.
I only had the guts to try the jellyfish!
We cooked a crispy pancake, rice paper roll, and prepared a bowl of Cao Lau and jackfruit salad. Go hungry!
The Taste Vietnam Street Food Tour, Tastings & Lunch costs VND 555,000 (S$34.15) each. For timings and more details, head on to their website. Ms Vy has a few great restaurants you should try out too!
5. Drift away at Palmarosa Spa
Being one of the top spas in Hoi An on TripAdvisor, Palmarosa Spa is a treat to visit! You’re given a delicious ginger tea while you wait, and your feet are washed before you’re whisked away to your massage. You won’t want to leave!
Be sure to book in advance (+84 510 3933 999) though, as it’s nearly impossible to get a slot if you walk in!
6. Grab some handmade souvenirs
Why not contribute to the livelihood of the locals? Ancient Town is home to lots of great crafts that you can bring home to decorate your house with or as gifts!
7. Chill on a boat with live music
Sometimes there’s a solo singer, and sometimes there’s a duet. Pick your spot on the tiny boat and order a couple of drinks and prepare to have a magical, musical nighttime!
Need the toilet? No worries, there’s a toilet just across the docked boat.
8. Admire handmade lanterns
The colourful lights will greet you before you even reach Lantern Town. There are rows of lanterns in all sizes and colours up for sale. The shopkeepers don’t seem to mind if you pose in front of their lanterns and take a shot. We also spotted a Vietnamese couple taking their wedding photos in front of the colourful lanterns!
If you’re lucky, you can even spot the shopkeepers making lanterns inside their shops!
9. Walk around aimlessly
As I mentioned before, walking around Hoi An Ancient Town aimlessly lets you explore the whole area. Don’t miss out on the little alleys, they’re surprises everywhere!
If you’ve realised, there’s a lot of eating and relaxing on my list. Hoi An Ancient Town is a great place to go to calm your mind and chill. There were more tourists on our second trip there after 2 years, so it’s best to go now before it gets even more crowded!