South East Asia, Travel diary

Hoi An – the lantern city – Vietnam

South East Asia was my first big travel 5 years ago, and I was looking forward to coming back. I completely felt in love with Cambodia but this time I wanted to discover more. So after a few days in Bangkok and in Cambodia (down to memory lane), I arrived in Vietnam. Vietnam is a motorbike country so, I met Georgette “la mobylette” and we decided to take the road together. I will write a dedicated article about this experience at the end of the road. We reach after few days Hoi An, a city that plenty of people recommended me.

Hoi An is yellow, with a lot of lanterns, nice shops, and amazing food, are you convince already?! During my 3 days in Hoi An, I stayed at Cheerful Hoi An Hostel, the accommodation is simple but the owner makes all the difference. She welcomes you like family and will do her best for you to spend the most amazing time in Hoi An.

So what did I do in Hoi An :

  • walk around the city: rare enough to be noticed, Hoi An has a city center, that is amazing to walk in at any time of the day. You will discover the yellow color of the houses and the lanterns everywhere. I couldn’t stop taking pictures there
  • allow myself some shopping: the city is famous for its tailors, so if you are looking for an outfit for a special occasion, this is the place to get it. No tailor clothes for me, I prefer to do them myself, but some tailor summer shoes (that is usually a real struggle for me…). There are also plenty of cool shops, you will find my selection at the bottom of the article. A little warning, there some really amazing ethical and sustainable shops and some Chinese souvenirs, choose well where you spend your money so it will have the most impact.
  • do a cooking class: the food is amazing in Vietnam, I wanted to bring back some recipes to do when I will miss Asia. I loved the experience and the food was amazing.
  • visit My Son temple: a lot of people skip this visit because they are doing Angkor on the same trip. This temples are smaller but have a nice vibe. I will recommend doing a sunrise tour to have the opportunity to be almost alone and some amazing lights
  • enjoy the beach: one thing really sad about Vietnam is that they are building big tour all along the coast… I hate that! Hoi An is still full of private beach, you can’t just lay down on the sand but at least no big buildings. If you are lucky, you can even surf! (I was, and really happy about that)
  • try all the food: again Hoi An has some amazing food, I did a street food tour with the hostel owner to get the most of it. The food was amazing the only struggle is it is really hard to remember what you eat

As you can see I really loved Hoi An, I wish I could have stayed longer. I will recommend spending at least 3 days there, and more if you can. I leave you with the pictures and all my recommendation. Talk to you soon.


Where to sleep? You should really stay at Cheerful Hoi An hostel. The owner is amazing and you will feel like family (dorm at 5$US, private room available)

Where to eat? In addition to the street food, you need to try Bahn Mi Queen, supposedly the best Bahn Mi in town. A good vegetarian restaurant is Minh Hien, there are several locations in town.

Where to shop? For some amazing artwork, I really liked HAHA – art in everything. For quality clothing, there are Metiseko that do organic silk and cotton, and Nhu May, a little sewer shop with some really nice linen clothes

Where to take a cooking class? There are several classes all around Hoi An, apparently, the quality is not always there, I liked the one that I take recommend by the hostel Eco tour and cooking class (29$US)



me and Georgette

My son

My Son

I am proud of it

the cooking class

Buffalo boats

the market

Hoi An – old center

Hoi An – old center