Everyone knows Bali is one of the top tourist spots to visit in Southeast Asia, with it’s sprawling beaches, insta-worthy sunsets and endless bars. But while Bali – deservedly – is a destination loved by many tourists, there can always be such a thing as too many tourists. What if we said we knew the perfect alternative to Bali: it’s just as scenic, just as (if not more) affordable, and it’s less congested. Because, let’s be honest, if we’re going on holiday… it’s to get away from the traffic. If you haven’t already guessed where I’m referring to then I’ll let you in on a little secret: nestled within Vietnam is the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.
If you’re a culture-vulture and were already sold at the word UNESCO, yay! But if you’re a bit more of a skeptic and need a little more convincing, then here are 4 reasons why Hoi An is the New Bali:
The Culinary Delights
You’re Malaysian, I’m Malaysian. Let’s get to what really matters here: the food! Vietnamese food is diverse in flavour, and always incredibly fresh. I can’t begin to emphasise the freshness of the ingredients, so all I’ll say is that the Vietnamese food we’ve tasted in Kuala Lumpur does not do Vietnamese cuisine justice – at all. Another bonus point to make is that Hoi An’s streets are brimming with all types of our favourite kind of food in Malaysia: cheap street food!
It’s Culturally Rich
Hoi An itself has more than 20 heritage sites to choose from, and an entry ticket (120,000 VND) to the ancient town will get you into five of them. You can choose between visits to heritage houses, museums or temples – and there’s even an ancient monument nearby, My Son Sanctuary, which was listed as a World Heritage Site and is an excellent display of ancient Cham architectural design.
The Quaint Local Shops
Just like in Bali, there are endless narrow alleyways leading to quaint shops selling just about anything and everything – from genuine war-era propaganda posters, to locally made salt scrubs in a plethora of smells and hip handbags made entirely of Coke can ring-tabs.
The Beaches, Rivers and Sand Dunes
Alright, alright. You’re probably wondering, “Well if it’s Bali, then where are the beaches?” Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that I saved the best for last. Not only do you have islands to choose from (the most famous being Cham Island) but also riverside resorts and sand dunes. Sand-boarding, anyone?
If those four reasons haven’t got you totally convinced, then just think of how much more affordable Hoi An is than Bali! Not only that, but it’s the perfect spot to step up your Insta-game – a win-win situation, I’d say!
Planning on travelling abroad soon? Read our guide on how to use essential oils to stay healthy while travelling.
- Travel Tales: Experiencing A Red Dao Homestay in Sa Pa, Vietnam - April 5, 2018
- Travel Tales: Cruising Through Hà Long Bay For Under RM50 - March 29, 2018
- Travel Tales: Why Hoi An Is The New Bali - March 15, 2018
- Travel Tips: Using Essential Oils To Stay Healthy While Traveling - February 28, 2018