VnExpress Photo Contest/Vuong Lien Duong
Grab a bike or a boat to venture outside Hoi An and you could come back disputing its title as Vietnam’s most beautiful place.
You've probably heard of Hoi An - the tiny ancient port town in central Vietnam. Rough Guides, a well respected travel publication, has ranked it as the country's most beautiful place. But beyond Hoi An's centuries old wooden houses, a whole new world awaits you, ready to strip the town of its title.
1. Tam Thanh Mural Village
Meet the uplifting, delightful fishermen just 52km south of Hoi An. In June 2016, a group of Korean artists came to transform the poor fishing village into a complex of lively, colorful murals. There are over 100 murals, each with a heart-warming story behind it.
Photos by VnExpress/Tien Hung
2. Triem Tay Village
As much as the Vietnamese love spending a peaceful afternoon swinging in a hammock in their villages, a first-timer could bond with Triem Tay by strolling around its bamboo and areca palm gardens, sailing around its green oasis and getting spoiled on food prepared by ingenuous village cooks.
Want to stay in Triem Tay? Drop by any of the lovely houses and ask for a room.
Photos by VnExpress/Lam Le
3. Thanh Ha Pottery Village
See the Taj Mahal, Colosseum and Sydney Opera House recreated in earthenware masterpieces molded by craftsmen of a 600-year-old village. Thanh Ha Pottery Village is just a 15-minute ride to the west of Hoi An.
Photos by VnExpress/Thuy Mai
4. Kim Bong Woodwork Village
Kim Bong’s carpentry was once a royal standard back in the 16th century. After the war, Kim Bong stood on the verge of disappearing when Huynh Ri, the only carpenter remaining, decided to resurrect the village’s heyday. Come and try out the traditional craft together with 200 other artisans.
Photos by VnExpress/Duc Thanh
5. An Bang Beach
Once a locals’ beach, An Bang stayed pristine until CNNGo listed its quiet coast among the 100 best beaches around the world. Tourists and locals alike since then have frequented An Bang in a five-kilometer ride from Hoi An. Hurry up before the bars are banging on the serene coast.
Photos by VnExpress/Minh Duc
6. Cu Lao Cham
An archipelago of eight small islands, Cu Lao Cham has long been known for scuba diving and snorkeling. Its tours draw contradictory reviews on TripAdvisor, yet the islands are inarguably an affordable castaway spot with fresh seafood, beautiful sea and only a short reach from Hoi An.
Photos by VnExpress/Lam Le
7. Tam Thanh Beach
In search of a sunset-photogenic beach? Look no further than Tam Thanh, a beach 100km south of Hoi An. Tam Thanh and its neighbor Rang are known among locals for their deserted, majestic coasts with silhouettes of sailing fishermen.
VnExpress Photo Contest/Ho Thien Luan, Le Huu Tho
8. Giang Thom Chine
For a sweaty day, bring beer, sandwiches and a couple of good friends on a two-hour ride to Giang Thom Chine. Giang Thom is a newfound gem in the middle of Quang Nam Province’s primitive forest, familiar among locals for its fabled tourist-free settings.
VnExpress Photo Contest/Dao Duy Linh
9. Am Thong Mountain
Fancy a hike? Am Thong takes an hour’s drive, three hours of hiking for a panoramic view, a serene sunset and a romantic camping night.
Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
10. My Son Sanctuary
For some, My Son might be a well-worn destination only seen in tour books. For curious history lovers, the cluster of ruined Champa temples remains charming, especially during the off-season.
Photo by VnExpress/Viet Dinh