Hoi An was the all-round favourite for everyone in our group. We could’ve easily spent a week here if we had have had time to spare. I think our hotel is what made our stay here so special. Christina’s is among the most beautiful, magical, organic allotments which is where the majority of the food they serve comes from. All only 10 mins from the centre of Hoi An town.
We ate in their restaurant The Joi Factory a lot, and it was the best food we had on our trip, not to mention the lovely décor too and views out over the lakes. I can’t rate their staff highly enough. They set us all up on a WhatsApp group where we could order taxis, ask questions, get laundry collected. Even after we had left, when my husband forgot his new shoes, they had a guy jump on a moped and catch us up on the way to the train station in the next town.
We had opted to stay in a house which was connected to their small boutique hotel. We appreciated the extra space and access to a washing machine. The hotel was just a short 3-minute cycle away and they furnished us all with bikes to use. We cut other parts of our trip short so we could have three days here, this was the longest time we spent in one place the whole time we were in Vietnam.
The kids loved hopping on the back of the bikes and cycling through the village, waving to the local kids, dodging goats and cows. It’s just a shame that their neighbours are blocking the view to the back of the house with a new build. But I would still recommend this as a stopover. (The hotel isn’t effected by the build just their house)
I’ll stop gushing over our hotel now as I also wanted to share some of our favourite activities to do in Hoi An and Danang.
- Ba Na Hills
I’d wanted to see the golden bridge for ages, you know, the iconic one with the hands. The only way to do this is to go up the cable car to Ba Na Hills. It’s one of the most random places I’ve been. It’s classed as a theme park, but it’s essentially a faux French Village on top of a hill just outside of Da Nang. It wasn’t a cheap day out by Vietnam standards and for seven of us it cost £178 but you can easily fill a whole day here.
There are a lot of F&B options, pretty gardens to wonder around, and if you’re brave enough some theme park rides too. The Dads enjoyed the live performances and my friend’s husband said he doesn’t like theme parks but he could get on board with this one.
Tip: There are three cable car routes up to the top of the hill, if you want to come out near the Golden Bridge hands head left and ask the guides to point you in the right direction.
2. Get to a Tailor in Hoi An
Having clothing made to measure is a real treat. Each tailor has a different selection of fabrics, so shop around to find what you like. I’d also bought some Liberty print fabric in Singapore and took it with me to have it turned into a skirt for my daughter. We went to Yaly Couture Tailors as they came with lots of recommendations. My kids had lots of fun designing their own pjs.
Tip: Do more research than what I did. Go with photos of what you want created and have an idea of material. And pop over the road for a drink and snacks after at Hill Street Cafe.
3. Lantern Boat Ride
In town in the evenings the waterways are lit up with boats covered in lanterns. I was a bit hesitant, as it’s quite touristy, but it was stunning. We all got to light candles and send the offerings out on the water.
4. Soak up the Atmosphere of Hoi An
We loved to wander the streets of Hoi An. We took in the markets, looked into old merchant houses, bought scarves, handbags, belts and the off wine and ice cream. We hit town late afternoon early evening when it was (a bit) cooler.
Other things to do in Hoi An we just didn’t fit them in on this visit:
- Coconut basket boat ride
- Water buffalo ride
- My Son sanctuary
- Cycling tour to see craft villages
- An Bang Beach
- Cu Chi tunnels but went on the boat not the bus
Plus our favourite places to eat were:
Café 43 – this was recommended to me time and time again. So when we were looking for lunch one day we headed here. It doesn’t look much from the outside, it’s simple and understated. It’s merit is the amazing food and lovely service. We loved our laid back, tasty lunch here.
Hill Street Deli – we found this by chance after we’d stopped at the tailors, we promptly settled in for a few hours, enjoyed some nice french wine, cheese and biscuits.
Joi Factory – I lost count of the amount of times we ate here. It was attached to our hotel and the food was divine. The menu was succinct but well thought out and offered something for everyone. The service and ambiance were delightful too.
If you like this post also check out…
Vietnam Part Two – Why you need to add Lan Ha Bay to your Itinerary instead of Halong Bay.