Exploring Coffee Culture in Hoi An’s coffee shops

Going to coffee shops in Hoi An is not simply an activity of finding a place to enjoy a well-made cup of coffee and to rest, but is also considered a way to experience the local culture and the peaceful atmosphere of the city at the fullest.

Having its location settled at one side of the beautiful, poetic Thu Bon River, Hoi An attracts a major number of tourists by the ancient beauty and ambience of almost hundred-year-old restaurants here. Going through countless twists and turns in history and inevitable downgrades in quality due to the matter of time, yet Hoi An’s ancient houses with their special architecture remain almost unchanged. They have become not only sightseeing attractions, shopping centers, but also ideal places for visitors to come over and enjoy a hot cup of coffee.

One special characteristic of coffee shops in Hoi An is that they are located in close proximity to one another, along small entangled roads inside the town. Therefore, if you grow tired of walking and wish to find a resting place, you can always easily catch sight of a coffee shop somewhere between the shops. Hoi An has hoa giay (bougainvillea flowers) with various colors white, pinkish, dark red blooming brilliantly everywhere; they are shaped to be growing in porch roofs of old houses, which partly makes coffee shops in Hoi An look strangely similar to each other. Along with the flowers are particular old yellow-painted walls and wooden brown doors, which make these coffee shops identical among other shops.

Nevertheless, they features are just to describe slightly the outside looks, since every coffee shop looks absolutely different once set your foot in. Every coffee shops tries to mark their own highlights in decorations, some are intentionally designed and decorated in vintage style; some follow the modern Western luxurious styles; some are minimally designed to match the waterways looks outside.
Coffee shops that are located along three main streets of the ancient town, Tran Phu, Nguyen Thai Hoc and Bach Dang Street are mostly designed in Western styles. Inside the shops, you can see there are specific wooden bar high stools or tablecloths with vintage patterns. People find the space cozy and artful with the brown color of wooden furniture. Instead of using visionary artificial lights, these coffee shops tend to take full advantage of the natural light, consequently creating an open space to look outside.
Second floors of coffee shops usually include a balcony with tables and chairs, decorated with multicolored flower baskets. Sitting on a balcony, under an old roof, with a special resonance of seeing people walking by the coffee shop, people’s intimate stories seem to get more opened up. Apart from ordinary drinks, these coffee shops usually have light foods and snacks too. Therefore, visitors once found out their favorite places, usually stick in the coffee shops for a long time.
Those who prefer the airy coffee shops yet not located outside the ancient town’s center might want to come over coffee shops that lie along one side of Hoai River. They are believed to be the best places to contemplate the ancient town at night, as visitors can slowly sip a cup of coffee and enjoy the river view with boats floating smoothly on the water and the gentle lights from flower garlands and colored lanterns. The sights seem to be even more beautiful on full-moon nights, where the whole Hoai River becomes a milky way with colored lanterns and the street across the river is reflected brilliantly on the surface.
Hoi An surely has its splendid visible side and a hidden side with hidden charming beauty, known as coffee shops located deeply in the city’s alleys. Local people are used to calling these coffee shops “kiet”. These places do not include a signboard or a menu which are usually put outside to make their names known. For those who love freshness and new discovery, finding these coffee shops despite of their quiet existences are like getting rewarded. Minimal furniture, simple in decoration with non-sophisticated drinks, yet the quiet coffee shops bring something else very valuable, the essence of simple, and sincere Middle land locals.

If you intend to spend a considerable of time in this beautiful city, you might not want to miss garden coffee shops on Cua Dai main road. Having their locations settled outside the center, these coffee shops have been able to take the area advantage and design flexibly with open space and trees and grass covers. Interiors are also remarkable with bright main colors such as white or orange. These are ideal places for visitors who wish to enjoy a peaceful, quiet day before going back to the ancient town when the lights are on.

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