Like a sweet breath of fresh air, this simple word conjures an image of idyllic paradise that easily makes one sighs. Ah~
What comes to mind when you think of your next vacation? Is it the sun, sand and sea that calls to you or are you more inclined to be charmed by the quirky cultures of a small, charming town? Does history appeals more or are you in actual fact, a die-hard shopaholic?
Somewhere out there lies a beautiful destination that incorporates all of the above-mentioned.
Sitting along the coast of the South China Sea in Central Vietnam, Hoi An (once known as Faifo) has a history of more than 2000 years. It has been ages since I last visited but the mere mention of this picturesque town often calls to mind “old charms” that few destinations can rival.
Beyond its fabulous beaches that boost magnificent views of the South China Sea, Hoi An reflects the beautiful culture and heritage of the Cham people (whose kingdom once ruled Vietnam). The Old Town of Hoi An is listed as a World UNESCO Heritage Site, oozing charms and offering visitors idyllic dining experiences amid shopping sprees.
Today, I would like to take a walk down memory lane. Here’s sharing some happy memories as well as travel insights! 😀
Old Town = Blackout Town?
Due to my aversion to darkness, I’ve always bring a mini torchlight with me wherever I travel. That came in really useful in the Old Town, which is prone to blackouts (especially during rainy season!). Imagine walking alone the streets in pitch darkness. One word = scary. We encountered the blackout one evening but luckily the street lights came on after 1/2 hour or so.
Available along various streets, Hoi An is famous for their tailor-making’ expertise! All orders are completed within 24 hours at a reasonable price. After that, you can expect your first fitting, to be followed by on-the-spot alterations and Volia! You have for yourself that new dress, suit, pants whatever.
Sunrise Tour ≠ Sunrise
Belatedly, we realised that a sunrise tour does not necessarily implies that you get to see the sunrise. It simply refers to the morning tour, whereby the guide will come pick you up at dawn! Nevertheless, we did managed to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sun along our way Mý Sσn.
Mý Sσn: Heritage of the Champa Kingdom
Located near the village of Duy Phú, Mý Sσn comprises a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa. These temples are dedicated to the worship of the god, Shiva.
Hooked on the Cooking Tour!
Cooking tours are common in Vietnam and this one in Hoi An marked my very first (needless to say, I was hooked!). It began with a trip to the market and in spite of living in Asia, there were some fruits and vegetable produces that I did not recognised! After the marketing, we hopped on an idyllic boat and sailed toward the cooking school. The lesson was easy to comprehend and we were whipping up delicious Vietnamese cuisines in no time!
Loving the South China Sea
With Hoi An located along the coast of South China Sea, it would be a pity if I do not make full use of it! My friend and I stayed at the Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa, allowing us easy access to the idyllic paradise located at our backyard. Closing my eyes, I can still feel the salty breeze…
Jean Paul Richter was undoubtedly right when he says, “Our memories are the only paradise from which we can never be expelled from”.
By the Way…
The nearest airport to Hoi An is in Danang. Approximately 45 minutes by car, it is easy enough to get to your destination simply by hopping on a metered taxi. And that was what we did. Depending on one’s preference of accommodation, you can choose to stay by the beautiful beach resorts or the rustic inns in Old Town. Each has its perks and if you can’t make up your mind, you can always split your vacation and stay at both. 😀
The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference.