It is no surprise when Hoian, the most beautiful gem of Vietnam is on the list of must-see destinations when coming to this beautiful country. Being one of the oldest cities in the country, Hoian attracts thousands and millions of tourists every year for its unique architectures, ancient streets perfectly dotted with unobtrusive street vendors in their Vietnamese silk pajamas. It is also the best place for foreigners to get a deeper understanding of Vietnamese lives, traditions, and customs. That is why I would like to give a travel guide to Hoian with some useful tips to help you get the most memorable moments in this lovely land.
1. The best time to visit Hoian
Under the influence of the tropical climate in Vietnam, Hoian weather possesses little fluctuation in temperature with warm weather all year round at its average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. There are two typical seasons in Hoian – dry and rainy seasons. And the suggestion is the first one from February to May - after the wet and cold and before the big heat of high summer. Why? Simply the weather gets mild and beautiful with moderate temperature, low humidity, less rain and warm sunshine, which is extremely perfect beach weather for photo-taking, walking, cycling, swimming, diving and snorkeling as well.
The rainy season
Do you want to walk on ancient streets under the rain? That sounds romantic, right? Yes, but it causes a lot of inconveniences as well. Hoian’s rainy season lasts quite long from September to January with constant heavy rain and even some typhoon and floods. They are conserved to be the coldest months in Hoian. Combined with the wet coastal weather, it can be downright chilly. It’s not all bad during rainy season though. There are occasional dry spells and warm, sunny days to be pounced on and a day at the beach is not out of the question.
The dry season
By contrast, Hoi An’s dry season from February to May - after the wet and cold and before the big heat of high summer is the best time to visit this town, since it is mild and beautiful with moderate temperature, low humidity, less rain and warm sunshine. It is perfect beach weather - That is really suitable for photo-taking, walking and cycling.
Hoian sunny days
It is also the best time for those wishing to swim, dive, snorkel or sunbath on breathtaking beaches near Hoian such as Cua Dai Beach or An Bang Beach during summer hot days.
An interesting festival is on the 14th day of a lunar month when Hoian will be extremely much more charming and impressive with its Full Moon Festival and “Old Street Night”.
It is on Tet holiday. Tet is the Vietnamese equivalent of Chinese New Year in late January or early February. As it is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture so it is a time when most Vietnamese return to their ancestral home. Therefore, traveling to Hoian during this time to enjoy peace is highly recommended.
2. What to eat in Hoian?
Hoian is not just famous for its ancient beauty and beautiful landscapes recognized many times worldwide, but also for its authentic cuisine as one of the 25 most attractive destinations for foodies around the world. Do not forget that you are in a heaven of street food. Trying street food will bring you an interesting and unforgettable experience and here are top 4 most popular and favorable dishes that you must eat when landing on this lovely city.
Cao Lau - Hoian's signature dish
Cao Lau or Hoian’s secret noodle is one of the most famous dishes in Hoian. It is the best taste when being enjoyed in Hoian and just available in Hoian. Cao Lau is the combination of dark pork broth and fat yellow noodles, slices of juicy pork. It is best served with bean sprouts, green vegetables, and some slices of and crispy croutons. The water must be taken from ancient Cham wells hidden throughout Hoian. Vegetables are also taken from Tra Que vegetable village as well as the ashes to soak the noodle have to be taken from Cham Island. Looking at how sophisticated this dish is made, you will understand why only in Hoian, we can enjoy that taste.
Hoian Chicken Rice - Com Ga Hoi An
Another dish is Hoian Chicken Rice - Com Ga, one of the most favorably delicious fluffy rice cooked in chicken stock with a tiny bit of turmeric for color, thrown in a wok and served with boiled, coarsely shredded chicken. Chicken is torn into small pieces and then mashed with crushed onions, Vietnamese coriander and other spices to create a special favor. This mixing step is vital and shows the delicacy of the cooker. It is then served with very spicy chili sauce, pepper to slow the heart various coating mix chicken liver hard, extremely attractive. Before being served to customers, the springy chicken pieces and fragrant rice are decorated with peppermint, papaya, and salted onions. So you will have not only delicious but attractive rice as well.
Com Ga Hoian
White Rose in Hoian
White Rose is actually not a flower-like its name indicates. Actually, it is a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose. Shrimp and pork or other ingredients are placed on top the carefully folded noodles and topped with crispy shallot. Hot chilies, lemon together with sugar are mixed to create a special dipping sauce. The water must be from the old Ba Le well in Hoian, and then be purified 15 to 20 times before being mixed with the rice paste to form the airy dough.
White Rose in Hoian
Quang Noodle – Mi Quang
When traveling to Hoian, it is such a big pity when you forget Mi Quang, a noodle dish typical for Quang Nam province. Like Cao Lau, Mi Quang is served with a little broth. It is yellow or white in color and made from rice flour. This noodle dish is a complex mixture of flavors and texture with shrimp, pork, kinds of vegetables and topped with grilled rice paper and spices. However, it is a dry noodle dish or noodle salad with the broth above to bring all the flavors together.
It tastes best when being served with a variety of herbs like mint leaves, cabbage, onion, coriander and many more. The richness of the broth, the lack of it and the crushed peanut toppings on the noodles are what make this dish on top 4 best dishes in Hoian.
3. How to get to Hoian from Da Nang?
Just about 30km to the South of Da Nang, there are a lot of transport choices for us.
However, for me the best choice should be hiring a motorbike and enjoy the fresh air of the most livable city in Vietnam and head to Hoian.
Wow, besides the charming landscapes, a lot of amazing dishes in Hoian await us to explore, right?