Imagine stepping into a world where time slows down just enough for you to savor every moment, where ancient architecture whispers tales of yesteryears, and every corner holds a promise of discovery. That, my dear reader, is Hoi An, Vietnam, for you. My love affair with this quaint town began over a decade ago, and it has been a journey of endless fascination and opulent explorations. If you, like me, revel in the luxury of unique experiences, then let me guide you through the top five must-do activities in Hoi An that are anything but ordinary.

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Hoi An Fashion

First on the agenda is a venture into the vibrant world of fashion that Hoi An offers with unparalleled grace. The Ao Dai and Non-La have not just captured my heart but also the essence of my Instagram and TikTok feeds. Dressing up in these traditional Vietnamese outfits is not just a fashion statement; it’s a cultural immersion. Walking the lantern-lit streets of Hoi An in an Ao Dai, with the iconic conical hat perched elegantly on my head, I’ve felt like a moving piece of art.

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But here’s a pro tip: these traditional marvels are becoming rarities. During my last stay at a luxurious Hoi An hotel, finding an authentic Ao Dai was akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. So, embrace the opportunity to have one tailored for you. And while you’re at it, why not get a custom dress in bamboo linen? Trust me, the fabric is as sumptuous as it sounds.

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Bamboo Bespoke Dress

Now, for a moment, let’s circle back to fashion, because Hoi An’s tapestry of experiences is incomplete without it. On my last visit, inspired by the local craftsmanship and the bounty of bamboo, I designed a bespoke bamboo dress. It was an act of creativity, of personal expression, that was brought to life by the skilled hands of local tailors. This dress isn’t just a garment; it’s a piece of Hoi An that I carry with me, a memory woven into fabric. Me in Pisa with the dress.

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Bamboo linen Gracie Opulanza dress Hoi An Vietnam (2)


Footwear For Walking

Now, let’s talk about navigating the enchanting alleys of Hoi An. If the idea of exploring on foot sends shivers down your spine, fret not. Hoi An is as flat as a pancake, making it a paradise for leisurely strolls and café hopping. Picture this: meandering through the ancient town, with a cyclo ride thrown in for that dash of nostalgic luxury. Cyclos, once the preserve of the French elite, now offer a charming way to see the city from a different vantage point. The soft pedaling sound, coupled with the vibrant streetscapes, makes for an experience that’s both serene and stimulating.

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The Lantern By Night Tour

As night falls, Hoi An transforms into something out of a fairytale. The lanterns, oh the lanterns! They are not just decorative items; they are the soul of the city. Buying these luminescent beauties and even crafting one at a lantern-making workshop has been a highlight of my visits. But the true magic unfolds on a boat ride along the river, under a canopy of stars and lanterns, creating an ambiance so romantic it could make even the most hardened cynic swoon. Imagine gliding on the water, lanterns reflecting their soft glow, as you make a wish or celebrate love. It’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of Hoi An.

Hoi An Old Women

Hoi An Vietnam - Travel Ideas For A Luxury Stay

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Silk Shopping

Shopping in Hoi An is an adventure in silk and bespoke tailoring. The local boutiques, such as the renowned Metiseko, offer an exquisite array of fabrics, from mulberry silk to the finest cotton. Having a garment made here is not just shopping; it’s an indulgence in luxury and craftsmanship. Whether it’s a silk kimono, a tailored dress, or even silk bed linen, the quality and beauty of these items are unparalleled. Each piece tells a story, a souvenir not just of Hoi An but of a moment in time lived to the fullest.

Metiseko Its A Journey - Mulberry Silk Kimono Style Tips Melia Ho Tram Vietnam (3) Metiseko Its A Journey - Mulberry Silk Kimono Style Tips

Finally, no visit to Hoi An would be complete without embarking on a night lantern boat tour. This ethereal journey through the ancient waterways, with a symphony of lights and shadows playing around, is the epitome of magical realism. It’s a moment to wish upon a lantern, to dream, to love, and to be utterly present.

Hoi An Vietnam - Travel Ideas For A Luxury Stay

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Buy A Ao Dai

Embarking on the quest for a traditional silk Vietnamese outfit in Hoi An is akin to stepping into a realm where fashion intertwines with heritage, and where each stitch tells a story of centuries-old craftsmanship. The allure of the Ao Dai, Vietnam’s national garment, lies not just in its elegant form and the way it gracefully complements the wearer, but also in the rich history and culture it embodies.

Hoi An, with its myriad of bespoke tailoring shops, is a treasure trove for those seeking to immerse themselves in the luxury of custom-made clothing. The process is as much a ritual as it is a purchase—a journey that begins with the selection of silk. Imagine running your fingers through the finest mulberry silk, its smooth texture whispering tales of the ancient Silk Road, and choosing from a kaleidoscope of colors that capture the vibrant essence of Vietnam.

As you step into a tailor’s shop, the air brimming with anticipation, you’re not just a customer; you’re a canvas awaiting transformation. The tailor, a master of their craft, will guide you through the design process, ensuring that your Ao Dai is not merely a dress but a reflection of your individuality. Measurements are taken with meticulous care, ensuring a fit that flatters and flows with an almost ethereal grace.

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Choosing embellishments, perhaps delicate embroidery or subtle beading, adds a personal touch, making the outfit uniquely yours. It’s not just about fashion; it’s about forging a connection with a tradition that has been passed down through generations, of embracing an art form that is both ancient and ever-evolving.

As you return to collect your Ao Dai, the excitement is palpable. Slipping into the silk garment, you feel enveloped in luxury, in a beauty that transcends time. This is not merely a dress; it’s a piece of Vietnam, a keepsake of Hoi An’s rich tapestry of culture, craftsmanship, and sheer elegance.

So, to those who venture to Hoi An with a desire to delve into the opulent world of bespoke tailoring, know that you’re embarking on a journey that goes beyond the confines of fashion. You’re stepping into a narrative woven with silk threads, a story of beauty, tradition, and an unparalleled personal experience. And in the end, you’ll carry home not just a garment, but a piece of art, a memory of Hoi An that will linger with you, as timeless as the silk from which it was crafted.

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Hoi An Streetstyle Vietnam 2023 (5)

Coffee Culture

There are so many French-inspired decor coffee shops for you to sit and take in the local people riding bikes or selling local produce for them to make money. The coffee plantation is in Da Lat and in Hoi An there are so many different coffee cultures and places to taste coffee as you have never tasted before. Don’t be afraid to taste as many as you can and opt also for the local coffee experience which includes condensed milk.

There are so many coffee shops in Hoi An for you to experience at leisure.

Hoi An Vietnam - Travel Ideas For A Luxury Stay coffee shops Hoi An Vietnam - Travel Ideas For A Luxury Stay Coffee shops

Rent A Vietnamese Cyclo

My voyages to Hoi An have been a tapestry of rich experiences, woven with threads of luxury, culture, and unbridled joy. From the allure of traditional attire to the simple pleasure of a boat ride under a lantern-lit sky, each visit unfurls new layers of this timeless town. And so, I invite you, dear reader, to embark on this journey of discovery, to live, love, and laugh in the radiant embrace of Hoi An. Trust me, it’s an experience that will fill your soul, illuminate your heart, and maybe, just maybe, find its way onto your social media feed, because some moments are too precious not to share.

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Buying A Lantern

I had my very own Gracie Opulanza lantern made!

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I am getting my very own Gracie Opulanza lantern, more to come on that soon.

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Pastries And Afternoon Tea

And the adventure in Hoi An doesn’t end at sundown. No, it only gets more flavorful, more exquisite. The parties! They are a fusion of color, taste, and sound, a celebration of life that dances through the night. The French influence here tickles the palate in the most delightful ways. Imagine, if you will, sinking your teeth into a succulent Mango cake, or a turmeric biscuit with a hint of chili that surprises and delights. And for those moments when indulgence calls, opt for a creamy crème brûlée or a buttery, flaky croissant that rivals the best of Paris. The quality, the presentation, it’s all top-tier, a testament to the culinary prowess that Hoi An prides itself on.

But let’s wander off the beaten path for a moment, to a place where silence speaks volumes. There’s a teahouse here, a sanctuary of sorts, hosted by artisans of the most extraordinary kind—people with disabilities. This silent teahouse is where communication transcends words, where orders and thanks are exchanged through the simple, beautiful act of writing. Each sip of tea, each bite of cake, is a gesture of support, of connection. And if the charm of the teapot or the delicate cup captures your heart, know that they can be yours at a fixed price. This place, Reaching Out, is more than a teahouse; it’s a bridge between worlds, an oasis of calm in the bustling heart of Hoi An.

Coffee Vietnam

And coffee, oh, the coffee! Nestled amongst the historical beauty and the buzzing markets are coffee shops that serve locally grown beans from Vietnam. These places are the heartbeats of Hoi An, where life slows down just enough for you to savor the rich, bold flavors of the coffee. It’s here, in these quaint establishments, that the spirit of Vietnam truly comes alive, in every cup, in every sip.

Hoi An, with its parties, its fusion of flavors, its silent conversations, and its celebration of art and fashion, is a world unto itself. It’s a place where every moment is a discovery, every taste a journey, and every experience a treasure. So, whether you’re indulging in the culinary delights, embracing the silence of a unique teahouse, or sipping on the rich flavors of Vietnamese coffee, know that Hoi An offers a canvas on which to paint your own vibrant, unforgettable story.

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Bamboo Circus

If you are seeking a family entertainment experience where very fit and beautiful bodies await. The bamboo circus is made from bamboo and they use all the bamboo for their show. it is an amazing experience and a very unique entertaining acrobatic show like you will never have seen before.

Bamboo Circus Hoi An Vietnam

Food Market

There is plenty of food to taste and explore and one of the must-sees in the local market where the food is fresh served and run by women. It offers the traditional food experiences of Vietnam. Buy from the streets you are supporting women at work.

Hoi Ann Food Market Vietnam Hoi Ann Food Market Vietnam

This lady is always here buy a whilst made out of clay from her, you are supporting a local trade.

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