A few to choose from
We’ve done our homework to bring you the most inspiring locations to watch the sun set over Hoi An. Each one has a wow factor, will take you away from the hustle of the streets and serves up a mean cocktail, with most offering up an hour or two of buy one, get one free happy time.
If you are searching for a romantic riverscape peacefully flanked by coconut palms and paddy, Son, a stilted riverside slow food restaurant located midway between the old town and Cua Dai beach is the perfect choice for peaceful contemplation and understated elegance, blending traditional Asian antiques with planter-style riverside loungers. The ambiance here kicks you into the rhythm of slow food, slow life. The menu is to die for; we recommend a shared hospitality tray, the cassava noodles, the smoothies and a taxi so you don’t spoil all that positive relaxed thinking by stumbling in a pothole on the way back to your hotel.
The top spot for escaping the madness on a full moon night is on the terrace of Sakura, a Japanese/Vietnamese fusion restaurant that offers both town and river views right in the heart of the action. An expensive and not quite so grand menu makes this more of a happy hour option, where you won’t struggle to land the best seating as for reasons that escape me visitors avoid this perfectly positioned majestic old house in favour of a fight for a pavement position further along the river.
For those who come over all weak kneed at the sight of a night market glowing with a menagerie of brightly hued silk lanterns, skip over the bridge to Al Fresco’s on An Hoi and recline with a jug of delicious sangria. Perched on the corner opposite the market, it’s the perfect spot for armchair shopping, with amazing staff who are happy to offer market shopping advice alongside exemplary service. A word of warning: if your plans only involve a wee drink stop, don’t come hungry as they serve up dangerously good sizzling platters that will put an end to any other dining options planned.
For balmy beach evenings holed up in your very own private cabana, competition is fierce on the fine sandy shores of An Bang beach. Our hands-down favourite for beach bohemia and breathtaking island views though has got to be Soul Kitchen, which has thoughtfully popped a kid-friendly pool table just the right distance from your secluded bolthole for you to keep a relaxed eye on their antics. The daily specials board offers a very affordable mix of fresh seafood/French and classic Vietnamese dishes to match to your chosen sundowner.
Our final (easy) find is the rooftop of the Phouc An Riverside Hotel on Cua Dai Road, the nearest thing to a sky bar that Hoi An has to offer and completely off the tourist radar. The panoramic views stretch out over the whole of Hoi An — you can even see the Cham Islands from up here! If you’re looking for your own private terrace you’re going to get it; if you are looking for crowds you are going to have to bring your own. One thing is for sure — there is no higher Hoi An viewpoint.
The Phouc An was the final easy find because there is one other terrace in town which tops them all, but to get a table you are going to have to lay down the charm unless you happen to be in town for their once monthly full-moon party. Japanese restaurant Kisetsu on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street — it’s so good even they keep it a secret, that’s all we are saying,
Son Slow Food Restaurant
177 Cua Dai Rd, Hoi An
T: (84) 0510 3861172
119/121 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An
T: (84) 0510 3910369
Phuoc An Riverside
242 Cua Dai Rd, Hoi An
T: (84) 0510 3924111
43 Nguyen Phuc Chu, An Hoi
T: (84) 0510 3929707
A Bang Beach – left side
30 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 13th December, 2014.