Travel consultant, Kellie Woodward, shares some of her travel tips for Vietnam:
Hoi An is my favourite destination on the coast of Vietnam by far. The local town is so old and quaint, in keeping with most areas of Vietnam it's quite dirty and old, but it's also very quaint and full of history. I spent a day here but could easily have stayed a few nights to just wander around the town. I'd also love to go back and do a small junket cruise up the river and dine at many of the Vietnamese cafes and restaurants. I didn't make it to the beach area but by all reports, the beach here is beautiful.
Hoi An is the place to go for lots of handicrafts and tailored clothes. Ladies, if you're after dresses, shirts or pants, take a good make over with you which can be replicated. You choose the material, they measure you up then make the items up in a matter of hours! Some places even deliver them to your resort. Our resort was located 1.5hours from Hoi An and they delivered in just 24 hours, free of charge, so delivery locally would certainly be no issue at all. Suits are very popular so again, if you have a favourite one then perhaps take it with you as this will ensure measurements are like-for-like. If you're trying to travel light, at least a photo of it with you so they have a guide to go by.
If you're after a specific recommendation, I would say Abobaba. It is located on Tran Phu Street in the main tourist area of Hoi An. They may not be the cheapest but they have great quality fabrics for both men & women and we were impressed by their willingness to help out and their prompt, reliable service.
If you're after a nice place to eat while in Hoi an, I would say Seedlings restaurant - the food here was amazing. The restaurant overlooks the river and is opposite the famous Hoi An bridge. This restaurant provides training opportunities to the less fortunate young people of Vietnam. The aim of the KOTO foundation is to offer these young children life skills in the hospitality industry either Front of house or Kitchen service to help them carve a fruitful career. The waiters and waitresses are all in their last 6 months of the 2-year food & beverage training programme. So in addition to enjoying a delicious meal, you can find joy in the fact you are ultimately shaping a brighter future for the friendly faces whom are serving you.
Hoi An is also a great place to do a bicycle tour. Choose from Adventure Bike Tours, Countryside Bike Tours and lots more. The company I'd recommend is called Heaven & Earth Bicycle Tours and is noted by Lonely planet so worth considering. It's a perfect way to see more than you would by foot, and honour Vietnamese tradition.