Hoai River in Hoi An (Photo: VNA)

Quang Nam (VNA) -
The popularity of Hoi An, which has been a top tourist destination in Vietnam for decades now, continues to grow.

It’s latest landmark achievement is making it to second place on the list of 13 most exciting places on this earth for solo travellers compiled by travel editors at Momondo, a UK based travel site.

Unlike Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam, is a charming spot with peaceful and natural beauty.

“A well-preserved former trading port on Vietnam’s central coast, Hoi An is a melting pot of cultures and architecture,” the site wrote.

“Cars are banned from the city centre, so stroll through the old town on foot and admire the street-side cafes and picturesque historical homes lining canals and winding alleyways.”

It’s best to cycle to the pristine An Bang Beach around 3km away from the town, according to the site.

The beach, home to fishing villages and providing a romantic setting for couples, is best enjoyed between May and September and has been raved about by leading global travel magazines.

For many, Hoi An is not just a collection of 16th century houses for which the former port city has been recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

A cuisine native to the ancient town, influenced by many different cultures from Japan, China and Portugal, is a major part of its attraction too.

“Hoi An’s diverse culinary scene stems from Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese influences, and many restaurants offer their own cooking classes,” it said, suggesting trying a bowl of cau lao, the signature noodle dish only found in Hoi An.-VNA