Last year we took a family vacation to Vietnam for almost 2 weeks. Our first overseas trip travelling with kids… well one kid. Our easy going toddler Lily, who was all of 14 months at the time and for the most part, a great traveller.
Our favourite destination during our Vietnam holiday with a toddler was Hoi An. Hoi An ancient town was free from the hustle and bustle that makes Ho Chi Minh City so crazy wonderful, and after a few days of dodging traffic, we were thankful to spend 6 days in quiet Hoi An.
HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN PICTORIAL
Hoi An Ancient Town is a picturesque town along the water, with boats along the canal being one of the main sources of transport, but of course there are still the familiar sites of motorbikes and mopeds. Although push bikes were more common in Hoi An as well. Not so many cars in this area but definitely a few in the greater city area… nothing like in certain places in Vietnam, like Hanoi where there are lots of cars.
The Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the most famous sites in Hoi An Ancient Town. The bridge was constructed way back in the 1590s to connect the village across the stream… the Japanese village. It is otherwise referred to as Cau Chua Pagoda or Cau Nhat Ban. The bridge of many names.
Why this photo is sideways is a mystery… however this is how they fill pot holes in Hoi An Ancient Town and it sure did make us laugh. Random branches sticking out in the middle of the street in many places. And some of those holes were huge.
Lily was a bit worn out from all the walking and had a nice sleep in her carrier while we explored on our first day in Hoi An. We visited 3 times during our 6 day stay at a nearby resort, Sunrise Hoi An Beach Resort, about a 15 minute bus trip away.
Of course there is a bustling market place in Hoi An Ancient Town, both the street market and a larger indoor market where many of the cities tailors are located. Although there are plenty more throughout the streets as well. Hoi An is amazing for shopping. Clothes is the big focus, being one of the cheapest places to get tailor made clothing. We got a few items made while we were there. It’s the thing to do!
But we also shopped up a storm in general. The cheap and adorable kids clothes were great. We got some of my favourite outfits of Lily’s while we were in Hoi An, all made with light cottons which is ideal for our humid Queensland weather back home.
Hoi An is famous for its lanterns and they are displayed everywhere around the ancient town. In all colours and sizes. There are even a few giant ones hanging up on lantern hangers. We hear it is stunning to see at night, but unfortunately we didn’t make it into town at night due to a little miss who needed her sleep. But thankfully our resort had a beautiful display of lit lanterns around the pool at night.
The only downfall during our stay in Hoi An was the weather. While it was still warm and humid (although not nearly as much as Ho Chi Minh City), it rained on and off for most of our time. Luckily the resort gives umbrellas to guests for trips into town. But even in in the drizzle, it is still one of the most beautiful cities we have ever been to.
Hoi An is the perfect part of Vietnam to travel to with kids. No crazy traffic. Friendly locals who adore kids. In fact, we stopped for a cold drink at a cafe and the 3 ladies that worked there immediately took Lily to the next table and spent the whole time playing with her while we enjoyed a rest.
The food is amazing… and I know many kids are like Lily, and love rice or noodles. She could happily live of rice at that age. Plain rice. She’s not so easy to please now but it sure did make our trip a lot easier knowing there was always something she would eat.
Plus there are amazing family friendly resorts nearby if you want to splash out on some luxury.
Ho An Ancient Town is definitely on our list of places to return to one day. If you haven’t been, add it to your list!