Vietnam: Hoi An. One place you need to visit when traveling through South-East Asia

I recently realised that there is not much information on Vietnam within my blog. This is unfortunate as I spent three weeks in Vietnam and in that time visited some really beautiful and interesting places. Of these places, Hoi An, is definitely my favourite. But don’t get Hoi An confused with Hanoi. They’re two very different places.

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and a really interesting place with some beautiful buildings in the French quarter for example. However in my opinion it doesn’t even begin to compare to Hoi An, because I became obsessed with it. But I am not saying that Hanoi isn’t great because it is. It is full of culture and history and I would definitely visit again, however, in my opinion it just wasn’t as beautiful. It was a lot dirtier than Hoi An which is what you might expect from a Vietnamese city. Hoi An was unexpected though, and that is why it is so amazing to me. But I don’t want to get too wrapped up in defending Hanoi because this post is about Hoi An. The beautiful and also historic Hoi An.

It is difficult to choose one thing I liked the most about Hoi An because every part of it is amazing and if you’re planning on traveling through Vietnam you need to visit here. Crossing the Japenese bridge is like an entrance to a wonderland full of lights, amazing buildings, atmospheres and scenery. The Japanese bridge was built to join the Japanese community to the Chinese quarters and to some is a historical symbol of peace. The bridge its self is stunning at all times but especially at night when it is lit up with lanterns floating around it.

The centre of Hoi An is filled will a variety of different types of cafes, with both a Vietnamese atmosphere and some, a more westernised atmosphere. Many of which have live bands and music on a nightly basis. It is filled with unique and boutique shops selling locally made clothing and artefacts. My favourite things I bought in Hoi An are definitely my bamboo shirt which I still wear two years later, and my Vietnamese silk dressing gown which I like wearing but I also think it looks really nice just hung up in my bedroom.

The river that runs through the centre is what really makes Hoi An so beautiful. Locals float around in their boats fishing and relaxing and hiding from the sun. It is surrounded by greenery and at night the locals light colourful lanterns and set them on a path down the river. It is considered lucky to do this and you can buy your own lantern to put in the water and make a wish as you put it in.

There is always lots happening in Hoi An. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on; there were just people dancing, putting on shows and doing what looked to be extravagant praying rituals. But by far the most amazing part of Hoi An is wandering down the night market at night. Colourful lanterns flood the landscape and make for amazing photographs.

In Hoi An, no matter where you look, where you’re eating, what you’re doing there is always something interesting going on or something beautiful you want to take a photograph of. I’ll put a slideshow of my photographs below so that you know what I am talking about.

I wanted to write this post because I realised I haven’t advised or written much at all on Vietnam whether it be good or bad. Hoi An has always stuck in my mind as my favourite place in Vietnam and one of my favourite places that I have been throughout my life.

And if you’re visiting Vietnam anytime in the future this is one place I would recommend to anybody.

Slideshow below.

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