A thriving port before it was eclipsed by nearby Da Nang, Hoi An’s Old Quarter preserves a unique cultural legacy spanning more than three-hundred years of colonial trade. Wandering its grid of 17th-century streets, you’ll pass some fine examples of old tube houses, Chinese pagodas, elaborately decorated community halls and shrines, and a wonderful Japanese covered bridge, as well as a restored French enclave. Tourism has certainly made its mark here, but most of the town is traffic free and ideal for relaxed wanderings.
Savour the traditional Vietnamese atmosphere of the riverfront and market district, and the old-world, hybrid charm of antique houses. Or shop for locally made art, crafts and silk garments, displayed in numerous boutiques around the backstreets. Hoi An’s traditional tea shops and restaurants are also good places to sample local dishes such as spicy steamed mackerel in banana leaf, cau lau noodles, and white-rose dumplings.