Vietnam has a longer and more storied history than most of its neighbours in southeast Asia, rooted in the Dong Sun culture that sprang up in the bronze age and whose influence spread across the region, since its peoples were skilled navigators. Long periods of colonization by the Chinese were followed by the arrival of the French and finally of course the Americans. All of which makes for a fascinating hybrid culture and history.
Nowhere is this more visible than in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An – home to our luxury Vietnam resort Karma Cay Tre. Last year, readers of Wanderlust magazine voted Hoi An as their favourite town on the planet – and for good reason: Hoi An is in many ways a distillation of Vietnam’s many cultural influences.
You can spend many happy hours wandering streets lined with Chinese shop fronts, tea houses and temples, interspersed with French colonial buildings with their elegant colonnades and stucco facades. There is a covered Japanese bridge dating from the 18th century and everywhere you’ll see the distinctive Vietnamese tube houses.
Karma Cay Tre itself is spread along the banks of the slow-moving Thu Bon river – 22 spacious and airy rooms set in vivid tropical gardens, providing the jumping off point for exploring what is one of the country’s most fascinating regions.
Vietnam’s central stretch of coastline is a narrow strip that hosts some of the country’s more famous landmarks – including the towns of Hué – once seat of the Nguyen dynasty and the nation’s capital – and Danang, a coastal city famed for its beaches and iconic hills.
Then there’s the cuisine – Hoi An is a bona fide Mecca for foodies, whether sizzling street food or gourmet selections served in contemporary eateries and classic restaurants. Cao Lao is a must try signature dish of Hoi An – a rich pork broth laced with thick yellow noodles that’s both delicious and inexpensive – for a lighter snack, try the crispy Goi Cuon spring rolls or crunchy fried crab cakes…
All in all the perfect tropical antidote to the winter blues!
Feeling inspired? Contact you Karma concierge, or click here for more information about Karma Cay Tre.
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know your favourite attractions in Hoi An.