Morning coffee on the Hoai riverside: At dawn, the ancient town is deserted and quiet. You can sit at any café on the banks of the Hoai River to watch the way locals welcome the new day. You will see more of the beauty that people talk about when the old town is not bustling with workers and shoppers, and the noise of vendors and tourists.
Enjoy Cao Lau: Savor a bowl of cao lau for breaksfast. You can order it from vendors or any noodle restaurant on Thai Phien Street or Hoi An Market. Cao Lau is a regional Vietnamese dish made with noodles, pork, and greens, and is only found in the town of Hoi An. It is likely that the origin of Cao Lau in Hoi An dates back to the town’s history as a trading port. Prior to the Chinese establishment in Hoi An, in the 17th century, the town was also a centre of Japanese trading activity. The famous Hoi An Bridge also dates to this period.
Cao Lau noodles are clearly derived from Japanese soba noodles. Although there are some who claim that they are Chinese wheat noodles, they are not made of wheat and have a different texture. There are as many variations on this dish as there are households in Hoi An. The noodles are Cao Lau; the way the pork is cooked (or omitted), the greens (the use or absence of mint), the use of lime or chili jam, these are all variations on a theme.
Wander the alleys: If you have a good memory, after just a stroll you can remember the main streets in Hoi An. Do not miss the narrow alleys, which are very tiny, just enough for 1-2 walkers to pass, crashing through the streets or to the banks of the Hoai River. Wandering in small alleys, stop to buy something from vendors or to see cute kids playing. You will see a life more quiet than ever.
Pedal with a camera: Beyond the ancient town of Hoi An, beyond Cua Dai Beach or the Tra Que vegetable village, a bike will take you anywhere you want to go. Renting a bicycle in Hoi An is very simple. For a few tens of thousands of dong a day, you will be carefully instructed by the locals to the most interesting places. A bike offers a way to have a new experience in this town.
Releasing lanterns on the Hoai River on the full moon day: Buying small paper lanterns, stepping into a small boat to float gently downstream on the Hoai River to see the sparkling ancient town is the must-do item for any visitor to Hoi An.
Romantic night on a boat: After 10pm, all restaurants and shops in the old town are closed. If you still want to explore more of Hoi An night, just bring a thin coat and board a boat near the Cam Hoi Bridge to drink and immerse yourself in the singing voice of the boat owner.
Buy lanterns as souvenirs: Do not hesitate to visit the souvenir shops in the old town or the night market to watch women make lanterns. Buy a few lanterns as gifts for your friends.
Walking when Hoi An lights up: Clearly, Hoi An is its most beautiful at night, shimmering in the light from the many lanterns. You cannot miss scene.