The charming town of Hoi An sits on Vietnam's central coast. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An is home to some wonderful historical buildings, and the town's trading port past has resulted in a rich heritage. The town is surrounded by verdant countryside, and so local markets are brimming with fresh produce which can be used to create delicious local dishes at one of Hoi An's cooking schools.
Hoi An's history as a trading port resulted in prominent Chinese and Japanese communities within the town. The most famous remnant of this time is the Japanese Bridge, which connected the two communities across the river. A bridge has stood at this point since the 1590s, and the current bridge has been designed with the original construction in mind. Two of Hoi An's most well known religious sites; the Tran Family Chapel and Quan Cong Temple, also both have strong Chinese and Japanese influences.
Another site that is well worth a visit is the Tan Ky House, which has been carefully preserved by generations of a Vietnamese family since it was built over 200 years ago. Hoi An is also well known for its tailoring, and it is possible to have a custom outfit created within 24 hours, which is a rather more unique souvenir!
In keeping with Vietnam's culture, food plays an important role in day to day life here. Hoi An is a delightful town to explore on foot, and there are some excellent local cafes and restaurants to stop off at for refreshments whilst you stroll through the historic streets. There are also a variety of markets and vegetable gardens in the area, and there a number of good cookery schools where it is possible to learn the art of Vietnamese cuisine.
There is enough to see and do here to justify at least a couple of days in Hoi An, however for those pushed for time, or those who would rather not stay in a town, it is very easy to do a day trip to Hoi An from one of the many beach resorts along the Danang coast.