American Travel Blogger Is Impressed With Hoi An’s Beauty
Christopher Elliot spent 365 days of 2023 traveling to 12 cities in the world. During his trip, he spent several weeks shopping in the markets, exploring cities, and befriending the locals. After his adventure around the world, he listed the 12 best places to see in 2024 as a suggestion for travel lovers worldwide.
|Christopher Elliot spent 365 days of 2023 traveling to 12 cities in the world. Photo: USA Today
From January to April, he traveled to Antarctica, Doha (Qatar), Christchurch (New Zealand) and Kyoto (Japan). Each destination left him with unforgettable memories. However, his trip to Hoi An (Vietnam) in May left him a great surprise, in good meaning. “Vietnam was the biggest surprise of my 2023 travels”, stated Elliot. He spent his long weekend in Hoi An, the central city of Vietnam. Even now, he is still impressed by its charming nature, lush green mountains, and picturesque beach.
Hoi An is an ancient city filled with temples and a rich history of various cultural influences of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese. This city was once an important trading port during the 15th and 19th centuries. Visitors coming here should not miss the experience of going to the market and admiring the sunset on Thu Bon River when boats float down the river with colorful lanterns.
Elliot then spent his last 6 months of 2023 traveling through Fukuoka (Japan), Santiago (Chile), Seoul (South Korea), Los Angeles (USA), Chiang Rai (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Hobart (Tasmania).
|Hoi An is an ancient city filled with temples and a rich history of various cultural influences of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese. Photo: Indie Traveler
Hoi An Town is an exceptionally well-preserved trading port from the 15th to the 19th centuries. It is also known as the most atmospheric city in Vietnam, or perhaps even in the whole of Southeast Asia. The city is full of picturesque historic houses, pagodas and cafes. It is extremely popular to buy handmade clothing. But even if you do not want to shop, Hoi An provides a relaxing destination in an otherwise hectic country.
This town is easily a place where you could spend a week because there are so many things to do in Hoi An and around. Besides wandering around the city there are dozens of day trips you can do, and cycling tours. If you are in the right season, it is also a great destination to linger on the beach.
Most sights in Hoi An can be found in the old town that you can easily explore on foot. But there is more to see and do than walk through the old center. So you have beautiful rice fields in the area, beautiful beaches, islands, and craft villages.
The best thing about Hoi An is that there is also a lot to do. So you can cycle through the area, take a boat trip on the river, have clothing made, take a cooking class, or take a day trip to the ruins of My Son.
|Hoi An Town is an exceptionally well-preserved trading port from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Photo: Klook
Hoi An offers a breathtaking mix of ornate Chinese temples, a Japanese-style bridge, wooden shop buildings, French colonial houses, and old canals. Most of the old shops have been carefully converted into modern businesses for tourists, including countless tailors, souvenir shops, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes. The best way to explore this city is on foot. Visit the city both during the day and in the evening, when the lanterns illuminate the old town.
The most famous sights in Hoi An are the Japanese bridge, the Cantonese Assembly Hall, the Fujian Assembly Hall, and the Chuc Thanh Pagoda.
The rice fields in Vietnam are extremely popular. Those you find around Hoi An may be less spectacular than the rice terraces in northern Vietnam, but they are much more accessible.
|This town is easily a place where you could spend a week because there are so many things to do in Hoi An and around. Photo: Booking.com
One of the best things to do in Hoi An is explore this beautiful countryside by bicycle ride along narrow paths through the rice fields. From the center, it is only 10 minutes by bike to the countryside. You see locals with water buffalos walking the land and when you are in the right season they are nice and green. You can also use the bike to cycle to the nearby beaches and other places of interest in Hoi An.
If you have been walking around for a whole day to see all the sights in Hoi An, you might be ready to relax the next day. Fortunately, there are several beaches in Hoi An and the area. The two most popular are An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach. You can easily reach these beaches by bike from the center. With a scooter or taxi, you can even go to the beaches of Da Nang.
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