Friday, 12 February 2016

As Pretty As A Postcard, Hoi An

Hoi An is hands down one of the prettiest towns I've ever visited. Not only in Asia itself, but out of every country I've been to. 

You can easily find yourself wandering through the French inspired streets draped with hanging colourful lanterns for hours on end, which is exactly what we spent our days here doing. The small buildings that line the streets are the same sandy, brown shade and hidden behind the walls are some of the most angelic craft shops offering unique gifts for yourself of that lucky someone.

In parallel rows, they all lead the way down to the river front where you can't help but be tempted into the colourful shop fronts to spend a little bit of cash. We're on a backpacking budget and still found ourselves splurging - you really can't resist! 

As well as the shops, there's also plenty of culture to be seen in the way of Chinese inspired gardens and landmarks. We popped into a few and visited the main attractions such as the Chinese bridge, but you can honestly just wander around the town freely and stumble across them. There's really no need to go out of your way to see them - they're all in walking distance. Or even nicer, riding distance if you hire yourself a little bike and cycle around.

After wandering through the streets and in and out of the shops, you'll find yourself down at the river front where you get such a pretty view of the town. The river is lined with brightly painted wooden boats which you can hire to sail up and down the river. Some even offer food options where you can have your dinner on them. This looked so so pretty and cute in the dark lit with lanterns, but was slightly out of our budget unfortunately. We instead settled for the cheaper options most nights and ate at restaurants lining the water, or street food set up right on the edge of the river bank.

Other than a tasteless Phô, we didn't really have a bad food experience. Everything is so so good here! 

We're a month and a half into our 3 month trip now, and I think this is up there with Chiang Mai as one of the best places we've visited so far. It's just so relaxing and peaceful, you really can loose yourself wandering around the streets and eating in the many little cafes and restaurants that are on offer. I walked past a sign one day that listed Hoi An as one of the top 10 most romantic places to visit in South East Asia - and they really are right. It's beautiful.

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