Historically, Hoi An has been one of Southeast Asia’s chief trading ports, (a stop on the Silk route where Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese traders came for trading from the 15th century onwards). As such, it was and remains a place where people and cultures converge. It’s not surprising that this quaint town has many faces: it’s a commercial centre, a market, and a melting pot, all rolled into one.
Conveniently located just a 30 minute drive from Danang City, Hoi An offers a plethora of historical buildings to explore, as well as a multitude of Vietnamese and Western restaurants which will tempt everyone’s taste buds. Some of the most popular places to frequent include, 9 Grains Bakery and Cafe, purveyors of excellent coffee and irresistible pastries, Kahuna’s Beach Club with both beach access and a swimming pool, 3 Dragons Sports Bar to catch the latest game, Tap House for an excellent selection of wine and accompanying cheese boards, Salt Pub with a large grass play area for children, tasty pho and yummy burgers, Bungalow Beach Bar serving delicious Mexican fare, as well as Highway 4, dishing out Vietnamese favourites with a modern twist. For a special evening out there is ThirtySeven Woodfired Grill and Bar, serving outstanding and innovative dishes grilled over an open flame.
From bicycle rides through the rice paddy fields to swimming in the clean, clear water of An Bang Beach, there is plenty to keep the family active in Hoi An. Whether you’re into the great outdoors, fitness, or culture, there is no end to the adventures you can enjoy here. There are different activities happening every week outside of school, organised by parents and other expats: every Sunday morning there is the Hoi An Nippers (Junior Surf Life Saving) at An Bang Beach (in front of Salt Pub), dance classes offered by the Vietnam Academy of Performing Arts, and soccer lessons for all ages with Roots 4 Sports.
The weather in Hoi An does have variances but not as extreme as Hanoi. Temperatures in Hoi An can get down to around the 20 degree mark, but usually we enjoy a constant temperature in the low 30’s. Like much of Vietnam, in the southern areas, Hoi An is usually hot and wet or hot and dry. You won’t need a heavy jacket here!
Social media is one of the best sources for information about life here, with several Facebook pages set up to provide information for expats living in both Hoi An and Da Nang. Additionally, the website Hoi An Now has a lot of useful information for newly arriving families and is worth checking out.