From tasty treats to charming cobblestone streets, the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An has it all! With such an array of activities and sights at any corner, here’s my top 3 recommendations of how to finish off a day in this historic port town.
Hoi An, the beautiful riverside town in central Vietnam is for many travelers the most memorable place in the country. The cobbled streets, stunning architecture and mouth watering cuisine are enough to win the hearts of most that visit, and make sure that a sizeable number return whenever they can! After a day at the beach or getting lost in the winding backstreets, sunset is the time to sit back and relax. Below are top 3 best ways to end the day in Hoi An!
A Cocktail at Mango Rooms
Mango Rooms is a bit of an institution in Hoi An – every time I return there seems to be a new version of the restaurant somewhere in town, each with a particular theme or focus. Coming up to its tenth year of operation, Mango Rooms remains a good choice for an evening meal, with a small yet innovative menu of Vietnamese fusion cuisine. This is all good and well, but for me the real draw are the cocktails! The restaurant is located right on the river front, the perfect place to watch the sun sink behind the tiled roofs of the town. With only two tables out front you would expect it to be hard to get a seat – but for some reason people are yet to catch on that this is more than just a restaurant! The cocktails themselves are not for the purists, but if you happen to have a taste for mango and like a fruit twist to your mojito then give it a shot. The 2 for 1 special that they run until 19.00 can end a night before it has even started!
Sunset River Cruise
The rivers and waterways around Hoi An are full of life and colour, with boats of all shapes and sizes regularly coming and going. Fishing boats unload their catch and ferries transport goods between the different settlements that dot the surrounding area. There is never a bad time to take a cruise on the river, but for me sunset is just about as good as it gets. As you paddle along, the view of the town in the late afternoon light is something special. The ochre houses that Hoi An is so famous for look even more beautiful, and the river seems to come to life for one last push before nightfall. There are all sorts of boats for hire, but my favourites are the small rowing boats that cost just a few dollars. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
Bach Dang Beer Stands
It wouldn’t be a true top 3 without listing a local restaurant or beer stand! Squeezed between the river and the Hoi An Vegetable market on Bach Dang street is a row of simple beer stalls, with some of the best views in town! Overlooking the busy boat crossing to Can Nam Island, just a stone’s throw south of the main town, this is the perfect place for a few cheap sundowners at the end of a long day. The constant flow of motorbikes being crammed onto ferries is just as captivating as the view of the sun sinking below the hills!