I have been travelling to Vietnam regularly since 1997, and one of my favorite destinations is Hoi An. However, during my most recent visit in February 2023, I was taken aback by the rapid commercialization that had taken place by the time I returned in July 2023. My prediction is Hoi An Vietnam, Commercial takeover has ruined this Ancient Town. We can only blame a lockdown and mass tourism for it.
The rooftop view where I took this shot sadly inside is modern decor lot of the authentic interior design has been replaced with modern lights and tiles from China.
Hoi An, Vietnam, is a charming and picturesque city located on the central coast of the country. Known for its well-preserved ancient town and vibrant cultural heritage, Hoi An offers visitors a unique and immersive experience. The city boasts a rich history, dating back to the 15th century, when it was a major trading port during the Cham Kingdom. Nowadays, Hoi An is famous for its colorful lanterns, traditional architecture, and bustling markets.
It is very famous for social media shots and looking stylish in the summer heat. The street style is effortlessly very cool all around the globe.
Travelers can explore the narrow streets and alleyways, filled with tailor shops, art galleries, and local eateries. The city is also home to numerous historical sites, such as the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation, and the Phung Hung Old House. For those seeking relaxation, Hoi An’s nearby white sandy beaches, like An Bang and Cua Dai, offer a tranquil retreat. So, whether you are a history enthusiast, a culture lover, or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, Hoi An is a must-visit destination in Vietnam. Famous silk art is made here in Hoia an, it is stunning and unique.
Commercial Take Over Of Hoi An
Following the pandemic, Hoi An has experienced significant investment from large corporations. However, this poses a potential threat to the authenticity of shopping for traditional Vietnamese items, such as silk. There is a concern that in the coming years, these traditional items may disappear, being replaced by mass-produced commercial fast fashion goods.
I have worked with the local brand Metiseko since 2018, the Mulberry silk is stunning and will last a lifetime. When I wear this in Italy, o one in the world will ever imagine it is from Vietnam.
Commercial Mass Production Goods
The goods below are made in Vietnam as they export goods around the globe. But it’s not authentic to Hoi An at all, including the interior design of the shop. The crotchet doll however is handmade by local ladies living in Hoi An.
Below are two items I had made from locals her in Hoi An these south sea pearls are found in Vietnam.
Coffee Shops Hoi An
Coffee shops in Hoi An offer a unique and vibrant experience for coffee lovers. With their charming ambiance and delicious brews, these cafes are a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. One of the most popular coffee shops in Hoi An is the famous Faifo Coffee. Located in the heart of the ancient town, this cozy establishment is known for its wide variety of coffee blends and expert baristas. Another notable coffee shop is the Hoi An Roastery, where visitors can not only enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee but also witness the roasting process firsthand. For those seeking a more tranquil setting, the Reaching Out Tea House offers a peaceful retreat with its serene garden and traditional Vietnamese tea ceremonies. Whether you prefer a strong espresso or a delicate tea, Hoi An’s coffee shops have something to satisfy every palate. So, don’t miss out on this delightful experience during your visit to Hoi An.
The food in Vietnam is delicious, authentic and stands alone when it comes to South East Asia. The coffee is amazing flavours as well. Make sure you support the local restaurants and markets here in Hoi An.
Famous Tea House
Go visit this tea house which is dedicated and run by local people who are deaf and mute. This is a unique experience solely found here in Hoi An. You can not talk, for communication one must write it down.
KFC Versus Local Food
I have noticed a lot more Western food too, this market has authentic Vietnamese food all run by women. I don’t come to Hoi An to eat KFC let alone burgers and chips. Sadly, I walked into KFC and so many Westerners were eating there.
After the Covid-19 pandemic, Hoi An has experienced an influx of new commercial coffee shops. Unfortunately, the presence of these establishments has disrupted the traditional atmosphere of the Ancient town. The sight of a chandelier amidst the historic Hoi An lanterns and bamboo lights is now considered an unsuitable and out-of-place addition.
Japanese Covered Bridge Hoi An
The Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An is a must-visit attraction for tourists. This iconic bridge, also known as the Pagoda Bridge, is a symbol of Hoi An’s rich cultural heritage. Built by the Japanese community in the 16th century, the bridge is a beautiful blend of Japanese and Vietnamese architectural styles. The bridge’s unique design features a roof that resembles the shape of a tortoiseshell, which is believed to bring good luck and longevity.
The bridge not only serves as a functional crossing over the Thu Bon River, but it also houses a small temple dedicated to Tran Vo Bac De, a deity believed to protect the bridge and its visitors. Visitors can marvel at the intricate carvings and vibrant colors adorning the bridge, making it a photographer’s paradise. Don’t forget to capture the stunning views of the river and the surrounding old town from the bridge’s walkway.
The site is currently undergoing a two-year restoration project, which unfortunately means that visitors will have to wait to capture that perfect TikTok or social media image. In the meantime, a temporary tin shed has been constructed, which may not be aesthetically pleasing. For those who are visiting for the first time, it is recommended to search for images of the site from previous years online.
Crocs Shoes are a popular and versatile footwear option that offers both comfort and style. These shoes are made from a unique, lightweight material called Croslite, which provides exceptional cushioning and support for your feet. Crocs Shoes come in a wide range of styles and colors, making it easy to find a pair that matches your personal taste and lifestyle. Whether you’re heading to the beach, going for a walk, or simply running errands, Crocs Shoes are the perfect choice. In addition to their comfort, these shoes are also easy to clean and maintain, thanks to their waterproof and odor-resistant properties. With their slip-on design and secure fit, you can easily put on and take off your Crocs Shoes without any hassle. So, if you’re looking for a footwear option that combines comfort, style, and convenience, look no further than Crocs Shoes.
In Vietnam, special conical hats are adorned with vibrant hand-stitched depictions or words. The Hu varieties of these hats are particularly renowned for their intricate designs. This is what you want to buy in Hoin An not a pair of Crocs everyone can get globally.
Hoi An Lanterns
Hoi An Lanterns are a vibrant and captivating symbol of the ancient town’s rich cultural heritage. These beautifully crafted lanterns, made from silk and bamboo, add a touch of elegance and charm to the streets of Hoi An. The tradition of lantern making dates back centuries, with local artisans passing down their skills from generation to generation. Each lantern is painstakingly handcrafted, with intricate designs and vibrant colors that illuminate the night sky.
The lanterns are not only decorative but also serve as a way to make wishes and bring good luck. Visitors to Hoi An can immerse themselves in the enchanting atmosphere by taking part in lantern-making workshops or simply strolling through the lantern-lit streets. Whether it’s the annual Lantern Festival or a regular day in Hoi An, the sight of these lanterns illuminating the town is truly a sight to behold.
I bought some lanterns and made my very own bespoke Gracie Opulanza lantern.
Hoi An Tailoring
When it comes to Hoi An tailoring, you’re in for a treat! This small town in Vietnam is famous for its skilled tailors who can create custom-made clothing to suit your every desire. From elegant dresses to perfectly fitted suits, Hoi An has it all. The process is simple. You bring in a picture or describe the style you want, and the tailors will take your measurements and guide you through the selection of fabrics. They will then work their magic, transforming your vision into a beautiful reality. The attention to detail and craftsmanship in Hoi An is truly remarkable. Not only will you be amazed by the quality of the finished product, but you’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the affordable prices. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind wedding gown or a stylish business suit, Hoi An tailoring is the way to go. I had this bamboo linen cress made for me this week. Unique a must do and a brilliant price supporting what Hoi An is all about, tailoring.
I am wearing Mulberry silk made in Vietnam by a local brand called Metiseko. No one in the world can take away that from me, it’s pure 100% made in Vietnam.
The prices for linen and silk tailoring have significantly risen. It is more practical to purchase linen and silk from affordable boutiques in Hoi An rather than spending a large sum of money.
In recent times, there has been a noticeable increase in the presence of commercial stock replacing traditional items like straw hats and straw bags. It is important to note that many visitors to Hoi An may prefer to avoid purchasing bags that prominently feature brand names like Starbucks.
Items From China And Thailand
When visiting Hoi An, one can expect to engage in activities such as tailoring, trying local cuisine, and experiencing traditional cyclos. However, it is worth noting that the traditional charm of Hoi An is gradually diminishing. In recent times, the traditional cyclos are being replaced by less aesthetically pleasing commercial bikes and cars. Additionally, the prevalence of counterfeit goods, similar to those found in Thailand and China, is becoming more prominent. As progress continues to take hold, the authenticity of Hoi An, apart from its historic buildings, is being compromised.
Below are traditional way of living here in Hoi An and so is that fabric from Vietnam.