Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon September 28 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | September 28, 2015 9:00 PM ET

    Falling For Hoi An, Vietnam

    Falling For Hoi An, Vietnam

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock, all others by A Cruising Couple.

    It’s hard to choose a single favorite destination in Vietnam. The spectacularly beautiful country boasts a myriad of unique landscapes, lively cities and mouthwatering food — making it easy to justify an extended vacation covering all areas from north to south. And while you can’t go wrong with almost anywhere in Vietnam, there is one destination that charms all those travelers who pass through it: Hoi An.

    Hoi An Lanterns

    Hoi An, Vietnam is no longer a well-kept secret. The enchanting town tops most lists as a must-visit, and chances are you’ll be surrounded by other tourists at any time of the year. Yet Hoi An remains as lovely as could be — so lovely that it’s not uncommon to want to change your travel plans in favor of an extended stay in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are just a few of the reasons you’re likely to fall love with Hoi An:

    1. The Architecture

    Hoi An Building

    The city of Hoi An dates back to the 17th century, when it was a revered center of trade for Chinese, Japanese and European merchants. Today, this melting pot of cultural influences remains evident in the historic buildings that dot the Old Town. A few of the popular sites to see include Buddhist temples and Chinese Assembly Halls; French-style homes with large balconies; and the iconic Japanese Bridge with its distinct tiled roof and wood flooring.

    2. The Evenings

    Thu Bon River Boat Hoi An

    Hoi An is beautiful all day long, but it is undeniably magical once the sun slips behind the horizon. It is at dusk when strings of colorful lanterns light up the streets and paper lanterns float down the Thu Bon River. Locals and tourists alike sit down at rows of tables outside to dine on specialties like cao lau and spring rolls. And luckily, happy hours stretch on much longer than 60 minutes, enticing many to stay out and enjoy the scene until the wee hours of the morning.

    3. The History

    My Son Hoi An Ruins

    My Son Sanctuary is an important tower complex located just 19 miles outside of Hoi An. The religious and political capital of the ancient Champa Kingdom, My Son is believed to have been constructed sometime between the 4th and 13th centuries. Influenced by Hinduism, the towers display sculptures of gods, priests, animals and scenes of mythical battles. Like much of Vietnam’s places of historic interest, large portions of My Son were destroyed under U.S. carpet-bombing during the Vietnam War. However, the long-standing history of the ruins makes it a fascinating site to experience.

    4. The Shopping

    Suit Hoi An Custom Tailor

    Of course, no mention of Hoi An is complete without mentioning the iconic tailor shops that the city is known for. There are actually over 400 tailor shops where you can get custom-made clothes to fit any shape and style. Simply bring in a photo of your ideal dress or suit and let the tailors go to work — all for extremely affordable prices in only 24 hours.

    And if all of that is not enough to make you fall in love with Hoi An, then the plethora of cooking classes, leisurely biking options and nearby beaches are sure to do the trick. Vietnam is easily one of our favorite destinations around the world, and Hoi An in particular tops our list of must-visit places to see while exploring the country.

    But let’s hear from you! Have you been to Hoi An? What did you think?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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