Short-haul getaway inspiration? Pack up the little travel bugs and head to Central Vietnam for adventure, good food, and amazing hotels. To avoid confusion between the two, Da Nang is a port city in south central Vietnam, and Hoi An is the ancient town and UNESCO World Heritage Site located 40km away. While the airport is located in Da Nang, we recommend quickly getting out of the city and heading towards Hoi An, or to the many beach resorts that stretch along the coastline.
The region enjoys beautiful weather during the summer, so there is no better time to book up and head out! Here are some suggestions on what to do, where to stay, and what restaurants to try from our friends at Lightfoot Travel.
Farm Experience: Bike through the countryside, heading to Tra Que Village. Grab your tools and join the team of farmers to learn about the traditional gardening methods they use, how they cultivate the vegetables, and how they fertilize the land with seaweed. Afterwards, you can sit down to a home cooked meal that includes banh xeo, a special savoury pancake stuffed with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts.
Fishing Tour: Cycle into the Hoi An countryside passing by buffalos, rice paddy fields, and smiling farmers. Next, hop on a small, round bamboo basket boat (thung chai) which Vietnamese fishermen have been using for centuries. Learn how to spread a traditional net, and try your hand at catching some fish! Next, visit a water palm grove surrounded by coconut trees and learn about the history of this unique area before enjoying a seafood lunch onboard a boat.
City Tour & Lantern Making: Visit the home of a lantern craftsman in the old streets for a brief introduction to the history, shape and color of the lanterns as well as their production. Next, the kids will love creating their own lanterns to keep as souvenirs. Afterwards, indulge in an activity for the parents by exploring Hoi An’s winding cobbled streets and popping into the dozens of tailors’ shops that line the roads.
Nam Hai: Our most loved resort in the area, The Nam Hai is truly special. It has an amazing Kid’s Activity Villa (not the standard, small playrooms you tend to find in other Vietnamese kid’s clubs). At the Nam Hai it is a huge space where there are tables to paint and draw, electronic games, and an outdoor basketball court. The staff are especially lovely, and the rooms are very luxurious and feel very private.
Victoria Hoi An: The beachfront Victoria Hoi An has a more boutique feel with the architecture done up to emulate the old streets of Hoi An. It has large rooms that can easily accommodate cots and extra beds, and connecting rooms for larger families. The kid’s club accepts children from 2 years old (rare amongst kid’s clubs), and the resort offers inexpensive babysitting for the youngest ones.
Anantara Hoi An: The Anantara offers a riverside alternative to beach resorts, featuring colonial architecture with rooms that look right over the river (interconnecting rooms available). You step out your door and right into the old town, making it a good option for those families more interested in culture and less on beach.
Morning Glory: Featuring and open kitchen on the ground floor, 2 levels of dining and a small upstairs balcony, Morning Glory is right in the heart of Hoi An’s old town. The menu focuses on Vietnam’s famous street food and provides charming stories behind the traditional cuisine and culture. Many dishes are available here that you won’t find elsewhere. We recommend the caramel fish in a claypot as well as the stuffed squid.
Morning Glory, 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, +84 (0510) 2241 555.
Brother’s Cafe: Located in the former French colonial police station overlooking the Thu Bon River, Brother’s Café enjoys one of the most beautiful spots in Hoi An. While not the best in town, the food is still delicious, the staff friendly, and it is well worth a visit solely for the views – amazing in the early evening light.
Brother's Cafe, 27-29-31 Phan Boi Hau Street, Hoi An, Vietnam, +84 (0510) 3914 150.
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