Formerly a happening trading port in post-modern South East Asia, Hoi An is now famous for being an exotic tourist attraction in the South Central Vietnam. Below are the top interesting things to do in Hoi An, proposed by foreign tourists and backpackers.
Joining a cooking tour
Probably not for daring adventurers but a brilliant idea for families, the tour is a daytrip to Thuan Tinh Island on Thu Bon River. It will take place from morning until noon and transportation will be provided by the tour organizer.
The first destination is a local wet market, where you will see how Vietnamese normally sell and purchase their food. All the ingredients there are organic though it is advisable to ask your guides on how to choose the freshest and tastiest if you want to purchase. Next, it will take you 40 minutes of relaxation and sight-seeing along Thu Bon River on a ferry to Thuan Tinh Island. Here you will have another 30-minute-row-boat ride under coconut glove to discover the local village. From time to time, you will get to rest and enjoy tropical fruits and juice.
The cooking class is outdoor and open to fresh air. Both the chef and the guide are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. You will be instructed on how to cook the most famous Vietnamese dishes, namely Pho Bo (Beef Pho ), Nem Cuon (Spring Roll), Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake), etc. Believe it or not, Vietnamese food are inherently good and easy to cook so don’t have worry much about your own cooking experience. The fun is to try your self-made dishes and gauge your own cooking ability.
Rent a bike and discover the countryside
The ideal transport for this expedition is bicycle. Bicycle renting service is ubiquitous in Hoi An. Paying about $2-3 and you will have that bicycle for a whole day, riding anywhere as you wish. Some hotels like Ha An even lend their bikes to their residents without any extra charge.
Cycling slowly through narrow paths along vast paddy fields, discovering how locals live their daily life and relaxing on the unspoiled beach of Cua Dai, you will find the peace of life that hardly other places in Vietnam can offer. The cordial villagers will help if you happen to get lost. On the beach, you can sunbathe, swim and eat: the seafood here is the freshest in the region as fisher village is just nearby. The price of renting a sun lounger for one day is as cheap as buying a water bottle. A good news for bingers is that restaurants and bars are open until night.
Though thrilling and adventurous, especially when you ride in group, travelling on your own in an unfamiliar area may be quite challenging for some. One alternative is to have a guided tour. There is a range of service, from half day to overnight homestay. Riding on robust sport bikes, you will be guided to visit the best places near the old town. Prices ranging from $24 (for half-day tour) to $89 (for overnight homestay).
(To be continued)