Hoi An is a mellow town with a Chinese, Japanese, European and Vietnam heritage. The old quarter is protected to keep its historical and architectural values in place and rightly so it’s not often you’ll find 200 year old wooden houses, still occupied by descendants of the original Chinese immigrants. Over the last several hundred years, Hoi An was an international trading town built on a river attracting traders as far away as Europe. Nowadays it’s a town focused on preserving it’s heritage but with open doors to tourism.
On offer are a variety of hotels, from budget hotels a few steps away from the old quarter to the luxurious beachfront Victoria Resort. If you get into the mellow mood of things here, several days can drift by easily. Else if you’re taking the train from north to south or vice versa it’s a great stopping off point for a couple of days to stretch the legs.
About 4 km east of town is a nice beach for swimming. Cycles are around US$1 per day to rent and the ride through the countryside makes it a nice trip to the seaside. 10 km out to sea, the Cham Islands are where swallow’s nests are collected. The 2 hour boat trip can be made to the islands where you’ll find unspoilt beaches to enjoy. 10 km away is My Son (that’s a place name) a small gathering of Hindu temples which are well worth a visit. The temples date from the 7th to the 13th centuries. Adding to the romance of their faded history, lush vegetation enshrines the monuments.