Hoi An and the full moon lantern festival

Hoi An is with out a doubt my favourite town in Vietnam. It will most likely stay my favourite town too as it’s going to be a hard one to beat.

We arrived in Hoi An after a terrible thunderstorm. It was like the sky was caving in. We were soaked through and feeling pretty fed up, after google maps took us a very strange route to get there. To be honest we didn’t think we were going to make it. My petrol was dangerously low but in the end we arrived. And in the end the rain stopped.

Driving towards this was probably not the best idea but we didn’t any other options. We were under an hour away, so on the ponchos went and we persevered. Our morale was getting low. We had been stuck on the highway in the rain for so long and couldn’t see any changes in the horizon apart from the scattered cemeteries. I was crossing my fingers that this was the right way and the sat-nav wasn’t playing up again.

When we arrived, soggy and a bit uncomfortable, I could of cried with happiness. It was all totally worth it. Hoi An is such a charming town and the people are so welcoming. We originally planned to stay for two days but this was quickly changed to four.

At night the town came to life with glowing lanterns. I’ve never seen anything like this (apart from in the movie Tangled). It was so beautiful. We didn’t realise, but we were visiting during the lantern festival which takes part during the full moon, for the Vietnamese to pay respect to their ancestors. I feel so glad to of been able to see this and to of stumbled into it out of pure luck.

Typically my lantern drowned in the river within a few seconds of releasing it.

Th ancient town has a great market along with street food. Mitch and I couldn’t resist getting a suit made. It’s so cheap and after seeing it on the Top Gear Challenge, we felt it was part of the journey. Hoi An is one of the best places to get one made and the team who made ours were flawless.

I’ve worn suits at home for work, but it’s only now that I’ve realised none of them truly fitted me properly. The attention to detail and speed in which the seamstresses work is mind blowing. In one day, Mitch and I both had a suit complete with two tops and two shirts. Of course being in Hoi An, I had to get a banana top. If you’re ever planning on visiting, you’ll soon see that banana print is every where. In one shop we even saw a banana print suit.

Since arriving in Vietnam, I have been desperate to try the egg coffee. I’ve heard about it so many times but hadn’t been able to find it anywhere. Here, I finally got to try it. It tastes a lot like a cake mixture but without the sugar. It was nice but I think I’ll stick with my usual non-eggy Americano.

At the night market I finally found someone who could write names onto grains of rice. I’ve heard about it before and always wanted to see it done. This lady did it so quick that I didn’t even have enough time to get my camera ready. The next day I went back to get one for my sister and I managed to record the whole thing. It still baffles me watching the video back how she manages to keep such a steady hand.

I really, really didn’t want to leave Hoi An but we are on a mission to get to the north. I had a really great time here and will definitely be returning soon.

If anyone is thinking of getting a suit made in Hoi An I can’t recommend the tailor we used enough. I’ve put her contact details in below. There are 300 tailors in Hoi An and I would say this one is the best.


  1. I will be in Hoi An sometime mid-Oct, probably just missing the reason season.
    Do you think the tailor does dresses for not so little old ladies? (Around that is. I am only 5’2″)
    I have a summer wedding to attend next year.


    1. I’m a tiny bit shorter than that so I’m sure they can help you 🙂 They have some really beautiful dresses in their shop but you can also bring pictures in with you


  2. I loved Hoi An as well, such a charming town. We stayed at a beach resort in Da Nang though, easy ride to Hoi An. I had the best food in this historic town. Egg coffee is best had in the Old Quarters in Hanoi. And although I didn’t get anything tailored, I did pick up a beautiful silk dress with bamboo design from a boutique.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved Hoi An too. I got the most gorgeous pair of tan leather flip flop/sandels made with an ankle band! A perfect fit for my awkward to buy for, size 2 feet! This was 5 years ago before Asos started stocking size 2s so I was well chuffed to have perfect fitting shoes for once!
    Your Vietnam adventures make me want to return!


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