We had been to Hoi An back in 2008 – and surprisingly not much has changed since then. Yes, it has become even more touristy and every house in the Ancient Town now hosts a restaurant or shop, but it still has its quiet corners that are well-worth to explore.
We walked through the popular tourist areas, but also crossed the bridges to the other sides and picked small alleyways that lead us to some quieter areas along the riverside, where we saw residents sitting outside their houses, enjoying the Sunday afternoon sun.
I just love the mix of eras and styles – in Hoi An you can see everything: from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colourful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and of course, the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda. Plus lots of shops selling t-shirts, paintings and other souvenirs!
Once we became thirsty and in need for a rest, we picked the popular Mango Mango restaurant, which sits next to the Japanese bridge. We sat outside on the balcony and enjoyed one of the best views of the old town.
Afterwards, we walked to the market and just sat on one of the market stalls, ordering pancakes and grilled pork with herbs. When we still felt hungry, we walked through the old quarter until we found a tiny food stall selling a lovely crisp Banh Mi baguette – and the old lady next to it made us a lovely Bun Cha noodle dish. It all tasted lovely – especially combined with the local beer Larue.