• If you are planning a trip to Hoi An in Vietnam I thought I would give you a few non touristy hidden gems that I feel are worth checking out whilst you are there. In many Asian places most of the shops sell exactly the same things which are mass produced and sold at various different prices in which you can haggle with the shop or stand owner but these are quality made products that you won’t see anywhere else in Asia.

    THE TIMING MASKS WORKSHOP, HOI AN OLD TOWN 
    We came across this awesome little mask shop in Hoi An Old Town which we just had to check out. There was two of the shop owners sat down painting masks and an array of different masks that had already been painted spanning the walls and shelving units. Many of the masks vary from wrestling masks, characters such as Spiderman and No Face to masks of religious devils and spirits. You can purchase any of the masks available and you can ask the price to the owners who will happily help you or you can join in on a mask painting workshop that is available in the shop. I purchased one of the No Face masks from Spirited Away which as I remember was 200,000VND which is roughly £6.29 for it.

    SHOE MAKING SHOP, HOI AN OLD TOWN
    If you explore Hoi An Old Town enough you will notice a hell of a lot of shops were you can get shoes, bags and clothes handmade for really good prices. My Dad was dying to get a leather satchel made that wouldn’t cost a fortune and I was in need of some sandals that weren’t painfully hurting my feet like my ones from New Look were. So we found this really awesome shop in Hoi An Old Town once you walk over the Japanese Bridge and I told the lady I wanted flat sandals with a strap over my toes and I really liked a pair that had a criss cross strap over the foot, so she measured all of my feet out and showed me the material they would use and 24 hours later they had made my sandals. I paid a small deposit and the rest when I picked up my sandals and from what I remember my sandals cost me roughly £20. They are the comfiest sandals ever and are so soft!

    CAM KIM ISLAND CYCLING TOUR
    I am yet to write my post about Cam Kim Island but I highly recommend booking a cycling tour around Cam Kim as you get to see how the poorer side of the Vietnamese live and how often it gets affected by flooding. It’s a beautiful little island which is easily accessible via a boat ferry and you can cycle around it via the little paths and streets. You see local school children asking you questions to learn their English, water buffalo, fisherman and ladies harvesting and planting the rice.

    HOI AN OLD TOWN
    You can’t visit Hoi An without visiting Old Town. You can buy a ticket which allows you to enter as many times as you’d like, the ticket costs 120,000VDN (roughly $6). It’s best to keep your ticket on you at all times when wanting to enter Old Town just incase they do routine checks and catch you on the off guard.

     

    Have you been to Hoi An before or are you planning on going?

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