A weekend in Hoi An

I lived in Asia for several years, and Vietnam was always one of my favourite countries to visit. Hoi An is a delightful old fishing village, surrounded by a mixture of well-kept ancient buildings from a mix of eras. Canals interlink the village, linking pathways with stunning bridges.

What to do


Rent 
bikes and cycle through the city streets

It’s the best way to get around! Pop your map and a water bottle in the front basket and see where the roads take you! I have had multiple life appreciation moments feeling like a local whilst cycling around, there is nothing like it.

Central Market 

Such an amazing experience! Baskets are laid out displaying fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. It is simply stunning! You can find lots of local crafts and souvenirs to remember your travels, as well as meet extremely skilled tailors. Here you get a great feel for local life. 

Walk through the old town

Hoi An changes its colours throughout the day. By day it is painted in cool, fresh and bright colours; by night Hoi An becomes a dark backdrop for thousands of colourful lanterns, all displayed in different ways. Each street, ally, doorway and walkway of the old town are decorated with layers of beautifully lit lanterns. A lovely activity after enjoying a big dinner!

Japanese covered bridge

This is one of the most popular sites in Hoi An, the bridge was built in the early 17th century by Japanese settlers to make it easier to do business with the locals. 

Watch the sunset from a rooftop cafe/bar

What is it about sunsets?! They can have such a wonderfully calming effect. I love watching the sun set whilst thinking about where it is rising. It never ceases to amaze me how each sunset is different. Before the city goes dark and the lanterns begin to twinkle, find a rooftop bar to enjoy 

What to eat


White Marble 
This is my favourite place to eat in Hoi An! Cycle or moped in from your hotel, hostel or AirBnb. It’s dreamy. It has an open front, which is perfect for people watching. It has such a relaxed vibe and delicious food and wines. My kind of set up! This would be a great place to eat with friends, but also alone. The fresh paper rice rolls and roasted pumpkin laksa are to die for. They have a number of other options on their menu that can be made vegan too, just ask!

The Fisherman Vegan
Beach-side vegan paradise! Need I say more?

Reaching Out Tea House
For a moment of calm, you need to visit the Reaching Out Tea House. A social enterprise celebrating the beauty of silence.

A few tips


Learn a few phrases or write them down
Không thịt means “no meat”; com dia means “vegan rice” and com chay or quan chay loosely translates to “vegan food place”.

Natural bug repellent
Lavender or lemon eucalyptus oil work a treat. You can find these in most local shops in the area, or create your own with a reusable spray bottle! 

Drinks apps
I like to use apps such as Barnivore or Vegaholic. Simply type in the beverage you are thinking to order and it will give you the green light on vegan options! 

Dipping sauce
Fish sauce is a big deal and is part of daily cooking. Unless you are sure, it might be best to avoid the dipping sauce if eating vegan.