Hoi An is a city on the Central Coast of Vietnam most well-known for the Ancient Town in Quảng Nam Province. Influences in this town were primarily from China and Japan, with European influences later on. The Ancient Town has retained much of its original street plan since the 15th century, along with the wooden architecture of buildings since the 17th and 18th century, with the buildings being repaired in the 19th century using traditional methods. As such, Hoi An Ancient Town has been included in the World Heritage List and should definitely be on your list of places to visit if you ever go to Vietnam!
This day trip that I took with my friends was a last minute decision that we made while we were staying in Da Nang for a few days. We decided to book a Grab ride to Hoi An by car (45-minute drive) to visit the Ancient Town and get some Banh Mì from Banh Mi Phuong’s store where Anthony Bourdain visited many years before. On the way there our driver suggested we go on a basket boat ride made from water coconuts (as seen in the picture above). There is a minimum of 2 people and one of the locals row you through creeks surrounded by water coconut trees for about 1 hour (from memory we paid about 300,000 đồng per couple). Below you can see other tours taking place.
The boat ride was a nice experience and something I would definitely recommend if you go to Hoi An and have an hour or 2 to spare or just want to see some greenery. The lady who rowed our boat didn’t speak English, but being Vietnamese-Australian it wasn’t a problem for us. We learnt about how locals lived in the area, as well as how that area became known to tourists in Hoi An. I suspect that if you book through a proper tour company you should be able to get an English speaking guide.
Also, don’t forget that it will get extremely hot so make sure you take the umbrella your tour guide gives you before boarding!