Image by collectmoments via Flickr
This is a guest post by Mike, a full-time traveler and lover of adventure quotes. He stumbled into the Old Town of Hoi An in Vietnam recently to help out HoiAnNow.com, sharing advice and tips for those who visit this magical place.
You’ve explored the Old Town in Hoi An and maybe even shopped until you’ve dropped. You’ve only got one day in Hoi An left, so what do you do? Check out this one-day bike ‘n’ beach itinerary and get inspired! Psst…make sure you bring a map, though. It’ll come in handy.
A Perfect Day in Hoi An Vietnam
9.00 – 10.00: Breakfast at Cargo Club
Start your day in the best way – with a hearty and tasty breakfast at Cargo Club, right on the Thu Bon river. Head to the balcony upstairs for the best views!
Address: 107 Nguyen Thai Hoc
Recommended: Eggs Benedict; this dish includes your choice of tea or coffee, plus a juice.
10.00 – 11.00: Grab a bike!
Time to work off that breakfast with a DIY cycling tour you can do a guided tour but they typically take at least half a day and we haven’t got time for that! Most hotels offer free bikes but if yours doesn’t, there’s plenty of places you can go. Next to Thanh Binh 2 Hotel (at 712 Hai Ba Trung) is a lady renting bikes for around $1 a day. She’s in the right direction for your next destination too.
Note: Please cycle slowly and be aware of your surrounding traffic. If you’re unsure, feel uncomfortable or realize you’re lost, pull over to the curb safely and gather yourself. Once you’re out of town, the roads get quieter and you can relax in the gorgeous scenery around you.
11.00 – 12.00: Coffee at Jack’s Cat Café
Time for some kitty love. Follow your map to 12 Le Hong Phong street. Opposite this house is a side road; take this and the first big gate on your right is Jack’s Cat Café – a shelter for over 60 rescued cats and kittens. Owner Emma runs Vietnam Cat Welfare – a registered UK charity – and has opened her home for a few hours a day for people to enjoy coffee and great vegetarian food in the big garden space. All proceeds go towards her charity and the kitties. Purr-fect.
12.00 – 13.00: Lunch at Nomad Café
Just across the road from Jack’s, at 6 Le Hong Phong, is Nomad Yoga and Café – well placed for your lunchtime break. Chef Julien serves amazing veggie dishes and fresh juices to match, all in a quaint location away from the hustle of the Old Town.
Recommended: Poutine with veggie gravy and mozzarella cheese and any one of their huge, fresh salads. Healthy and Hearty.
Just a few kilometers away, through some pretty rice paddy fields and past some water-lingering buffaloes, lies An Bang beach. When you get there, veer left and keep going until you see a sign for Soul Kitchen; a spacious beer bar and restaurant that’s a hit with expats.
Order a beer, get settled and enjoy a lazy afternoon at the beach. Buy food there or get your snack fix from the local ladies on the beach, who sell a range of treats from sweet tofu to quail eggs to monkey nuts. Sorted.
16.00 – 17.30: Sunset at Tra Que
As you head back to your hotel, stop just off of Hai Ba Trung main road at Tra Que Vegetable Village. This scenic spot is famous for its organically grown vegetables and local farmers who spend their days tending their crops. The farmers don’t use chemical or fertilizers, but a kind of algae found in a nearby lagoon at Tra Que. The village itself is really charming (and friendly!) and makes for a lovely cycle trip. Stop at Tra Que Water Wheel (a rustic, traditional Vietnamese building) for a drink as the sun begins to set.
BREAK – Head back to your hotel to freshen up for the evening.
19.30 – 20.30: Dinner at Nu Eatery
This small restaurant, tucked away in an alleyway near the Japanese bridge, is frequented by tourists and locals alike. Reasonably priced, the menu is small but packed with flavor and the cute setting makes for a lovely ambiance, too.
Recommended: Their steamed pork buns are to die for. As are all of their desserts! Bring a big appetite.
Address: 10A Nguyen Thị Minh Khai
TAKE A LITTLE WALK – Hoi An’s Old Town is especially beautiful at night, so take a stroll along the riverfront of Nguyen Phuc Chu until you reach the night market. Now this only needs half an hour of your time as it’s all very ‘same same’. But you might find some last minute knickknacks’ or lanterns you need as gifts to take back home.
21.00 – 22.00: Drinks at Dive Bar
Pop into this local bar for a nightcap on your way back to your hotel. Choose between the quieter garden area at the back or take a load off on the comfy sofas inside. Dive Bar plays some great music and has a lively atmosphere, with some really interesting people!
Recommended: Sex on a bar (don’t worry…it’s just a cocktail!)
Tip: Don’t forget to head to the top of Le Loi to get a taxi home; no motorbike drivers please!
That’s all, folks! Hopefully you’ve had a great day…next time, make sure you book a longer stay in Hoi An and experience all this wonderful place has to offer!