Hoi An an ideal place to take it easy

By Nguyen Quy   July 10, 2018 | 04:00 am PT
CNN lists the ancient town in central Vietnam as one of 16 best places in the world to relax and unwind.
A woman rides a bicycle past a typical yellow house of Hoi An. Photo by Christian Berg

A woman rides a bicycle past a typical yellow house of Hoi An. Photo by Christian Berg

Hoi An has been earning one laurel after another over the past several decades, a just reward for efforts taken to preserve its centuries old dwellings as well as an ambience difficult to find elsewhere.

It has set standards no other tourism destination in the country has matched to date, be it the pioneering of exclusively pedestrian streets and the rejection of needless, “modern” conveniences like the cable car.

It is not surprising then, that it has now been chosen among the best places in the world to unwind.

Global readers of the American news network CNN have listed the ancient town in the central province of Quang Nam as one of the 16 best places in the world to relax and get rid of all your stresses.

Around 30 kilometers south of Da Nang, Hoi An used to be a small rural village but grew into the busiest trading port in the Southeast Asia in the 16th century, famous for ceramics and high-grade silk.

A long period of obscurity has actually helped the city retain its slow-moving pace and tranquility, something hard put to find in other major cities in Vietnam like Hanoi or Saigon.

Motorbikes are banned from the town center, so a cyclo ride is an environmentally friendly as well as leisurely way to get around the yellow houses and old red-tiled roofs.


Sitting in one of many cafes and enjoying a glass of bia hoi, the locally brewed fresh beer, is both refreshing and relaxing.

Recently, Hoi An ranked second among the list of 10 safest and most exciting places on this earth for solo travelers. The list was compiled by travel editors at Momondo, a U.K. based travel site.

Earlier this year, U.K. travel publisher Rough Guides named Hoi An in the top 10 destinations of Southeast Asia, while readers of the New York-based Travel + Leisure site voted it as one of the 15 best destinations in the world.

The number of visitors to Hoi An skyrocketed 70 percent from a year ago to 2.68 million in the first half of 2018, official data shows.

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