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Hôi An named "Best City in the World"

The city of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province (Center), Vietnam, tops the list of "Wonderful World Cities in 2019", selected by readers of the travel magazine Travel & Leisure. On a 100-point scale, Hoi An received a score of 90.39.

Every year, Travel & Leisure asks its readers to share their travel experiences around the world - to share their opinions on major cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, etc. Readers ranked cities on criteria such as sites and monuments, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping and overall value.

The charming Hoi An

Hoi An, a small city with old fashioned charm, nestled on the Thu Bon River, shows very few traces of its past as an important commercial harbor and of the diversity of the exchanges and the influences that the Japanese and Chinese had on Vietnamese culture.

Classified as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, its narrow pedestrian streets are bordered by houses, some shabby, some impeccable, sheltering clothing and shoe boutiques where modest artisans are bustling, cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops. The city is entirely dedicated to tourism. Would you like to buy a made to measure silk dress or suit? You have found the place!

Historical sites have been identified in the city, and a tour itinerary, sometimes close to traffic – which our friends the motorcyclists seem to ignore – is suggested. A tour itinerary pass must be bought at the beginning of the circuit and a map is provided.

At the animated public market along the river, you will be offered flowers, spices, fresh products and fish that are still wiggling; it is a place for many discoveries to be made and, in our opinion, constitutes the heart of and most interesting site in Hoi An, with Cua Dai, the beautiful beach, only 5 km away.

Where should you stay?

Want to stay in the heart of the city but in a peaceful and lush environment? We recommend without a doubt the Pho Hoi Riverside, a hotel located on the small island of Can Am, a 5-minute walk from the old city and the market.

With its traditional architecture and charming bungalows - ask for 606 - The Pho Hoi Riverside is most certainly one of the most charming in the city. Enjoy the pool and gardens as well as the view of the Hoai River from your private balcony.

The Pho Hoi Riverside harbors a lovely organic herb and vegetable garden and the hotel offers Vietnamese cooking classes. Its all-day restaurant serves a selection of traditional Vietnamese dishes including vegetarian and vegan options, all organic, of course.

Many of the city's market-eating restaurants also offer varied and delicious cuisine, another reason that earned them first place as the "best city in the world".

If you go to Vietnam, do not miss a stop in Hoi An for a few days… you will be charmed!

Christiane Théberge