Hoi An: The City of Lanterns

March 12, 2018

Da Nang

Our next stop after Hue was Da Nang, which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. It’s a modern and fast-growing city, but really has almost nothing to offer from the touristic point of view. There is the Dragon Bridge, whose claim to fame is the golden dragon that stretches along one side of the bridge – but it’s more kitschy than interesting, and in any case not beautiful.

The only real point of interest in Da Nang is the Museum of Cham Sculpture, which has some really beautiful works of art, some of them a dating from as far back as the 5th century. When we visited it, there was also a photography exhibition on Vietnamese culture, showing sides of everyday life in Vietnam that we were familiar with and some which we didn’t know about. This, to us, was as interesting as the permanent collection of the museum.

Hoi An

I had already spent 4 days in Hoi An while Daniel was on his cave tour in Phong Nha, but Daniel had not seen Hoi An yet, so we decided to go back there together for a few more days.

Hoi An is a must-see in Vietnam. It’s truly lovely and special, through the typical lanterns that decorate the old city center, and through the many buildings that reflect different influences and architectural styles, from the local, to Chinese, Japanese and French. The old town in Hoi An has UNESCO world heritage status, and most of its buildings have been preserved as they were a few hundred years ago. This gives the town a unique character and, along with the river banks and the canals, create a really special place.

Highs and Lows


  • We got lucky in Hoi An and got upgraded for free to a 5* hotel! The hotel where we had reserved a room was overbooked, so they moved us to their sister hotel, which happened to be 5* and to cost about 10 times as much as our hotel! Naturally, we took the offer, and enjoyed the luxurious room, the spa, the pool and the huge breakfast buffet :D
  • Hoi An is also famous for its tailors and good prices for custom-made clothes, so we took the opportunity and ordered some tailored suits, shirts, blouses and trousers. Of course, we couldn’t take all of this into our backpacks, so we also bought a new suitcase. Oh well, in 3 weeks we’re going home, so we won’t have to carry it along for that much longer… :)


None! Maybe just that we had to leave our luxury hotel… ;)

Next Stop: Ho Chi Minh City

From Hoi An we’re flying south to Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon, as it was formerly called), our last stop in Vietnam. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally for crazy traffic and sky-high temperatures, but I’m also hoping to find a lively and interesting city, that should complete the image of Vietnam that we have so far.

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