While planning our itinerary for our two week trip in Vietnam, Hoi An kept coming up as many people’s favorite place on their trip – and also the spot to go to if you wanted custom clothing made. It seemed a like a stop we couldn’t pass up and I’m so happy we didn’t – it ended up being one of our favorite stops during our two-week trip and we left with a lot of custom clothing!
After the chaos of Saigon (or Hanoi) Hoi An was a breath of fresh air. It’s a pretty small town with a river separating the old town from the rest of town. The old town, or ancient town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so I don’t believe there is any place to stay within those walls but anywhere else is just a few minutes walk away.
What To Do
Take a half-day trip to My Son – My Son is a set of ruins from the ancient Cham Empire. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was mostly destroyed during the Vietnam War.We hired a car for relatively cheap and the driver waited for us while we walked down the road to the ruins. You can also do a more organized tour but normally that’s not our jam. It was definitely cool to check out and I think worth a half-day trip if you’re in Hoi An.
Get Custom Clothes Made! But seriously…if you have any interest in getting some custom clothes made – this is the place if you’re in Vietnam. There are tons of tailors – big shops to small – it’s hard to choose! We were given the recommendation to go to Yaly Couture which is where we got 95% of our clothing made, but if that place isn’t your style there are plenty of recommendations on TripAdvisor or just walk into a store that has something you like! Having an idea of what you want is probably a good idea, but not necessary. Toby knew that he wanted some suits and ended up getting some custom shirts as well. I had no idea what I wanted and ended up buying some nicer dresses, a romper, and a pair of pumps! They have a bunch of mannequins dressed in custom clothing and endless binders and fabrics to give you ideas.
Tip: if you want to get some custom clothes made, I’d plan to be in Hoi An for a few days as most of the shops are busy and you’ll have to go back for a fitting (or a few).
We read stories of people renting bicycles and riding around the countryside and heading to the beach but between our trip to My Son, just wandering around, and numerous fittings for clothes we didn’t have time to do either of those.
Where to Eat
Before we talk about where to eat, let’s talk about what you need to eat in Hoi An. White Rose is their signature dish. What is white rose, you might be thinking. It’s a little dumpling, usually of minced shrimp or pork in rice paper. Delicious!
Green Mango Restaurant – this was our first food stop in Hoi An. We had lunch there but I’m sure it would be a great spot for dinner as well. It’s also right near Yaly’s if you need to kill time between fittings.
Morning Glory – this restaurant is pretty popular so if you can, make a reservation. We didn’t but didn’t have to wait too long. We sat upstairs and after reading some reviews, it seems like we got a better (cooler) spot.
White Marble – right in the heart of Ancient Town, we got a table on the second floor next to the window overlooking the street. We sampled all sorts of delicious Vietnamese appetizers and since it was the only wine bar we found ourselves in on this trip we made sure to order some wine.
Whatever you do while you’re there and wherever you eat – just make your way to Hoi An during your trip!