Visiting Hoi An
An hour from Da Nang is a fresh Vietnam experience, tranquil Hoi An, appealing and uncrowded, interestingly displaying Japanese and European influences – as well as the usual Chinese – as a result of 200 years as the premier South China Sea trading port around 1600 AD.
The Japanese Covered Bridge, or Chua Cau.
Once the commercial centre of the Champa empire this pretty little town has lost its major port status to Da Nang but retained its ancient buildings, making it the most attractive tourist town in Vietnam and successfully creator and marketer of ceramics, textiles and traditional Vietnamese artefacts. The town museums are less attractive or interesting.
Old world charm still permeates this ancient town as old world people make new-old world souvenirs for new world tourists.
One of many tourist restaurants where the cuisine is reputedly on par with the best in Vietnam.
Phuc Kien Pagoda/Fujian Congregation Hall.
A typical little hotel. Most tourists in Central Vietnam choose to overnight in Hoi An rather than unattractive Da Nang.
Two useful beaches in an overheating emergency near Hoi An are An Bang, relatively undeveloped, popular with locals and with a good selection of restaurants, and Cua Dai which is more commercial and known to foreigners, offering jet skis, sailing, eco tours and so on.
The easiest way to get to and from these places is to rent a bike or motorcycle.