Tuesday, September 20, 2016

[TRAVEL] 2D1N Itinerary in Hoi An Ancient City, Vietnam

Greetings from Hoi An Ancient City! ❤ In our 4D3N vacation of experiencing Da Nang with AirAsia, we managed to fit in a 2D1N tour to Hoi An, the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site which is about an hour drive down south from Da Nang city.

1 day trip to Hoi An may not be sufficient, considering the travelling time to and fro Da Nang. Hence, I personally feel that spending 2 days 1 night there is just nice for us to try all the must-do activities there at ease. 

[ITINERARY] What You Can Do in Hoi An

❤ Hoi An Local Market (Spend about 1.5 hours there for breakfast and local shopping)
❤ Cycling around the town, eg: Japanese Bridge for sight-seeing 
❤ Street food hunting-- Cao Lau, Hoi An Chicken Rice, Banh Bao, Mi Quang and Banh Mi Queen are must-try delicacies here! 

❤ Half-day trip to My Son Ruins (consist of many Champa Temples)
❤ Vegetable village visit 
❤ Cooking class 

❤ Sunbathing at the beach at Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort
❤ Hoi An Ancient Town (4-5 hours is recommended for sight-seeing, dinner, shopping, taking photographs etc)
❤ Boat trip on the Thu Bon River for sunset 

How To Get To Hoi An?

Hoi An, a relatively small town, does not have its own airport. So we travel from KLIA to Da Nang International Airport (2 hours 35 minutes flight), and Hoi An is only 40 minutes (28km) drive away.  

AirAsia's route from KL to Da Nang has a frequency of 4 flights every week-- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Fly-Thru connections to Da Nang are also available for guests flying from Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sydney, Jakarta, Guangzhou and Auckland. 

Accommodation in Hoi An
Emm Hotel Hoi An (4-star)
187, Ly Tuong Kiet St., Cam Pho Ward,
Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.
Contact: +84 (510) 626 9999
Fax: +84 (510) 626 9988
Email: resa.hoian@emmhotels.com

Options for accommodation are aplenty at Hoi An but we choose Emm Hotel Hoi An due to its strategic location-- Cafes and restaurants are just across the street! Plus, it is relatively new (just opened a couple of months ago) so the room condition and hotel facilities are excellent. (Strong in-room WiFi is a plus point!) 

I am totally in love with the colorful spirit in Emm Hotel-- Yellow, turquoise and blue combination is a resemblance of the colorful fishing boats and old houses in this Ancient Town. 
While swimming pools, sun beds and pool bar are available here, Emm Hotel even offers shuttle bus service for guests to visit the beach at Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort (Free access!), with complimentary towels and shower. 

Hoi An's Colorful Local Market

I truly appreciate Emm Hotel's kind gesture to offer all guests the complimentary bicycles, so that we can cycle around the town. But taxi would be a better option if you plan to buy a lot of local products home from the morning market. 

The market is full of locals (No or little tourists), so we get to experience living like a local here and shop for the local crafts such as ceramics, hats, snacks and more. It is more advantageous to tag a Vietnamese friend along for haggling.

Look at those yummy street food, I just can't stop salivating! You must try the classic Bánh Mì (Vietnamese stuffed bread) and Bánh Xèo (Crisp sizzling cake) along the street as they are freshly prepared and served as the staple meals for the locals.

Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village
Tour operator: "Coconut Tours" by Huynh Huu Phuoc
Mobile: 0905411184 / 0905847086
Email: phuochoian1@gmail.com

We spend our afternoon at one of the hot tourist spots: Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village where our tour guide lets us smell and taste the raw vegetables there. To my surprise, common ones such as lemongrass and spring onions are extraordinarily fragrant and juicy there! 

What a great experience of being a farmer with my Asian conical hat on my head for an afternoon!

Vietnamese Cooking Class
Tour operator: "Coconut Tours" by Huynh Huu Phuoc (same as above)

After picking the ingredients we need from the farm, now it's time for cooking with the Vietnamese master! The plan is to prepare 3 classic local dishes in total, all made from scratch and 100% prepared by ourselves.

The trick is, whoever does not cook will not have his/her dinner served later! 

Dish #1: Hoi An Spring Rolls
Ingredients for the spring roll: Finely-chopped carrot, sweet potato, mushroom, shallot,
celery, minced pork, chicken stock powder and black pepper, on slices of rice papers

Ingredients for the sauce: Finely-chopped garlic, chilli, fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar and water,
plus cooking oil for deep-frying

Dish #2: Grilled Fish with Turmeric in Banana Leaves
Ingredients for the filling: Fresh turmeric, young lemongrass, fresh onion roots, shallot,
black pepper, chilli, chicken stock powder and chunks of mackerel fish fillets

Ingredients for the wrap: Banana leaves, aluminium foil, and coriander for garnishing

Dish #3: Bánh Xèo
IngredientsDouble egg yolks, rice flour, mushroom, sliced pork, shrimps, beansprouts,
chicken stock powder, black pepper, water and chopped spring onion leaves

Frying it on a non-stick cooking pan gets a little tricky when trying to control the temperature to prevent overcooking. Well, I am not a kitchen person but I am glad to have learnt something from the chef! 

And....finally, here's our masterpiece!  The crisp pancake and spring roll go perfectly well with
the tangy sweet sauce whereas the fish tastes great on its own because of the spice coating.

Old Town of Hoi An
Evening tour: 6.30pm - 9.30pm (Most shops close before 10pm)
Main attractions: Beautiful architecture, cultural activities, shopping, eating, etc

After dinner, we are at the Old Town to see the lively, colorful side of this culture-rich city at night. With streams of lanterns lighting up the streets, we absolutely immerse ourselves into the beauty of this heritage port town. 

The evening view in this ancient town is so spectacular that many couples choose this as a shooting location. Throughout the evening, I meet at least 5-6 pairs of bride and bridegroom-to-be doing photoshooting there.

Believe it or not, every corner is so picture-worthy and I love the colorful vibes here! Folk games, performances of musical instruments and traditional arts, street painting, folksongs and chamber music definitely add to the lively atmosphere there.  

Here you can shop for souvenirs such as the famous Vietnamese Coffee, filtered coffee equipment and handcrafts, as well as tailor-make your very own set of Ao Dai (traiditonal Vietnamese costume). 

From what I heard from my local friend, I am impressed that the tailor only takes 1 day to custom-make a perfectly-fitted Ao Dai set. 

Along the river, there are plenty of street vendors giving instructions of making and floating the lanterns down to the river. If you are feeling peckish, try the dinner on the cruise or simply hop over to the street stalls for local delicacies. 

Special thanks to AirAsia and Da Nang Tourism Board for the amazing trip!

1. Hoi An Ancient City is an amazing place to tour, considering the grand architecture, picturesque riverbank scenery, tasty local food, rich culture, and overwhelming friendliness of the people here.
2. The only thing I wanted to do here but missed, was going for a bicycle tour to watch sunrise / sunset. Will definitely be back to Hoi An to explore more! 
3. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for a minimum of 1 full day tour / 2 days 1 night stay here, to experience the photogenic ancient city under bright daylight and beautiful moonlight.


  1. It is nice in Vietnam. I want to go there next year with my Family. :D But I dont think Ill take AirAsia. Flights were delayed, several times in my experience. :/ Thank you for a wonderful post. I think we will stay for atleast a week in Hanoi or Saigon :D

    from Myxilog with Love

    1. Dear Lady Myx, awww sorry to hear about your experience with AirAsia but the flight was smooth during my trip though :) DaNang is getting more and more popular nowadays, you should go with your family too!

  2. so nice that you get to go with AAsia! I think food will be the main reason if I ever go there! so good that you get to hands-on the cooking! :D

    Top Performing Funds!

    1. Hi Henry, true indeed, the food there is so delicious and the best part is to do the cooking ourselves. You gotta try it out with your loved ones too!


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