HOI AN CHRISTMAS GUIDE: TOP FIVE
Festive Fun in Hoi An
Shop, sightsee, feast and explore - more!
Whether your holiday trip to Hoi An enhances your yuletide nostalgia with traditions, sparkly lights, and festive feasting or makes a radical break from it—by, say, sipping virgin piña coladas on a tropical beach followed by a romantic nightcap at a ritzy hotel bar—breaking the habit of staying home will always reward you with a Christmas you’ll never forget. With that goal in mind, we’ve rounded up diverse, exceptional places to get you in the spirit - or not!
Coast Extra - For alternative Christmas activities, Christmas eve, the big day and New Year we're continually updating with menus and events, so pop back frequently for more!
BEST FOR PANIC-STRICKEN SHOPPERS
Hate the heaving high street? Loathe the bustling malls and department stores? That's lucky, Hoi An doesn't have them. What we do have however is a super romantic town scattered with dashing historic landmarks, hip cafes and some of the coolest shopping in the country (well, we think so).
Making it easy: fashionistas should head to Ayana, Hot Chilli or for kids, Copenhagen Delights. For photography lovers with a blank wall or four, Couleurs D'Asie is an essential stop. Stylish enviromental warriors? Metiseko, or for gifts that give back, Reaching Out. For bling head to GAM or Lotus Jewellery and for all of the above under one festive little roof - head directly to the O collective.
Coast Extra - For a more personal gift Xu Dang Trong offers a myriad of craft workshops (kid friendly to boot) including mask painting, embroidery and paper crafts.
BEST FOR BURNING OFF MINCE PIES
A rosy-cheeked cardio session is a Christmastime must (and we don’t mean after too many sherries): for some fresh-air fun touring Hoi An’s most iconic sights, hop on a bicycle and get lost down the alley and riverways that crisscross the old town and it's surrounds.
Coast Extra – Grasshopper Adventures Evening bike & food tour is a fun and festive culinary cycling adventure through the quaint alleyways and beautiful countryside of Hoi An suitable for all the family. Offering an insiders look into Hoi An's best eats and the chance to burn off a few of those calories along the way.
Image: Grasshopper Adventures
BEST FOR GOURMET CHRISTMAS BLOWOUTS
Equally If you've read this far you'll probably realise that getting your gnashers around a slab of stuffed turkey is not going to be an issue (just like back home, most places will be serving it for days). At the time of print, we're still waiting for menus. What we do know now, is that for pub fun and frolics both 3Dragons and O’Malley's Irish Bar will be serving up a king's feast and for those more inclined towards cheese and wine try Bettina or The Hill Station. Last (but far from least), if you really want to impress: the Sunrise, Almanity, Naman and Pullman Resorts have pre-bookable feasts accompanied by a festive amount of free flow.
Take a cab.
Coast Extra - If you're all turkey'd out and prefer something a little more hands on; Herbs & Spices offer both private and small group cooking classes focusing on Vietnamese seasonal favourites.
BEST FOR THE NON-CONFORMISTS
Those who dream of sipping piña coladas on a tropical beach and forgetting about the festive season altogether we suggest An Bang. For breakfast, grab a sheltered cabana overlooking the beach in the gorgeous gardens of Sound of Silence and as the clock strikes wine, wander north through the surf to the upscale Deck House for delicious seafood and maybe some bubbles.
NB: Both of these locations come with jaw-achingly beautiful backdrops, and free WiFi - what better backdrop from which to Skype the inlaws!
Coast Extra - Take a Dickensian dawdle! Showcasing local characters and knowledgeable insiders, bespoke Hoi An tour company Urban Tales Hoi An , sidesteps the stale ‘follow the umbrella’ formula and instead offers visitors (and residents) a unique glimpse of the city’s secrets with a list of challenges to release a local family from an ancient curse. The tour takes you from the old town to the islands with no need for a bossy tour guide, making it lots of fun with no time restrictions - Sod Santa!