Vietnam is a country that I have been wanting to visit for a long time, especially as I adore Vietnamese food and I’d heard so many great things about it.  The first proper stop on our trip was to the ancient riverside town of Hoi An.  We had caught a flight from Ho Chi Minh airport to Da Nang (Vietnam’s third-largest city) which is in close proximity to Hoi An.  I would recommend spending a day exploring Hoi An, as there’s plenty to see. 

The Japanese Bridge is one of Hoi An’s main focal points.  It was built in the 16th century and was a symbol of camaraderie between the Chinese and Japanese.  Inside there is a Buddhist temple and lots of fascinating information about its history. 

Assembly Hall Of Fujian Chinese.

Located nearby, the  is also well worth a visit.  It’s one of the town’s most historically significant buildings.  Stepping inside is like stepping back in time – it makes for a fascinating insight into what life was like back then.  

We had some time to kill before dusk so we had some drinks at An Herbal Tea & Coffee, which has tiny little wooden tables and chairs where you can sit and have a fresh juice or herbal tea.  It’s a charming little place and is well worth stopping at.  After this, we had dinner at the Rice Drum where we had fish with passion fruit sauce for dinner, which was remarkably delicious.

Once darkness descends, Hoi An really comes to life.  Its bustling night market comes into full swing and the spectrum of silk lanterns light up.  The atmosphere is electric – it really is an incredible travel experience that is not to be missed.  

It just so happened that our visit coincided with the full moon, which is considered to be one of the most sacred times of the month.  As a result, the place was looking even more magical than usual.  We noticed that many people were donning áo dài, the traditional Vietnamese dress, with a conical hat to boot.  The outfits are made from silk and embellished with beads and look incredibly elegant.  The streets are lined with vendors selling trinkets and souvenirs that you can bring back from loved ones.  It’s also a fantastic place to take some snaps.

Scores of people were taking to the  on narrow wooden boats and were placing paper lanterns on the water, which is said to bring good luck.

Hoi An is a wonderful place – visiting was the perfect way to kick off our time in Vietnam.  Other popular things to do in and around Hoi An are My Son ruins, Marble and Monkey Mountains, Ba Na Hills and of course sprawl out on the beach – An Bang and Non Nuoc are two popular options.

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