COLOURFUL AND HISTORIC HOI AN IS ONE OF VIETNAM’S MOST ATMOSPHERIC TOWNS.
A former trading port, the coastal city retains a charming mix of architectural styles with a French flare, local culinary delights and riverside heritage, free from the congestion of modern day traffic. Here are five things you can do to make the most of your time in the Vietnamese gem that is Hoi An.
1. Visit Old Town
Hoi An is World Heritage listed for its preserved ancient trading port which dates back to the 15th century. According to UNESCO, more than 800 historic buildings have been preserved, making Old Town look as it did several centuries ago. History’s cultural influences can be seen in the colourful homes, narrow alley ways and riverside cafes. Explore the ancient town by foot or bicycle and stroll passed the riverside markets and merchant houses, uncover the city’s history in the Chinese Assembly Hall and stop by the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge and pagoda.
2. Tailor your designer wardrobe
Roam among the city’s shop houses in designer-quality style. Home to the world’s highest concentration of tailors per capita and a major drawcard to the city, the tailors in Hoi An can design whatever you want, from suits and dresses to t-shirts, bags and leather shoes. The personalised tailored experience is also among the most affordable in the world.
We sent The Living Room’s Chris Brown to Yaly Couture to get suited up for the 2017 TV Week Logie Awards. Yaly Couture are prestigious tailors and shoe makers who provide exquisite traditional Vietnamese tailoring and an extensive range of fabrics, silks, cottons and cashmeres.
3. Cycle through town
Hop on the city’s most popular mode of transport and pedal your way through outlying farmlands and villages. Pass by rice paddies …
WE WERE DELIGHTED TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO SPEAK WITH THE LIVING ROOM’S TRAVEL PRESENTER, DR CHRIS BROWN ABOUT HIS RECENT ADVENTURES IN VIETNAM TRAVELLING WITH INSIDER JOURNEYS AND VIETNAM AIRLINES.
Chris travelled through Ho Chi Minh like a local, riding on the back of a Vespa, being tempted by local delicacies and trying his hand at the martial art of vovinam.
He learnt about the country’s recent history with trips to the Cu Chi Tunnels and the haunting War Remnants Museum, before heading north to historic Hoi An and the surrounding regional areas, where he explored waterways and beaches from the back of a bicycle.
What were your favourite foods experiences in Vietnam?
Considering I didn’t have a bad food experience it’s hard to think of just one. From street food to restaurants, every meal just packed that punch of flavour and freshness that I was excited to experience. If I had to pick one it would be a Ban Xeo (Vietnamese pancake made with rice flour) that I had on a farm just outside of Hoi An. I helped the farmer pick the produce and even though I did that poorly, her skills on the stove more than made up for it!
What were some of your most memorable experiences in Vietnam?
I loved the night lanterns of Hoi An but my favourite experience would have been taking on the two wheeled traffic of Ho Chi Minh city on the back of a Vespa. To immerse yourself in a city like that as people go about their ride to work or to school (with the kids) was really special.
Whilst in Vietnam with The Living Room, Chris was escorted by Insider Journeys’ experienced guides, who helped him delve deeper into the ‘real’ Vietnam.
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