Phan Boi Chau Street (Rue des Arts)

Hoi An

Copyright: Reggie Lee/

Phan Boi Chau Street (Rue des Arts)

Formerly the main street of Hoi An's French Quarter, Phan Boi Chau is currently going through a renaissance: art galleries, exhibition spaces and sophisticated craft boutiques have opened here, bringing the street to the forefront of the town's cultural life. If you only have time for one gallery visit, make it the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum. Brainchild of the acclaimed travel photographer Réhahn, the space contains an exhibition of his finest work – photographs taken across Vietnam that seemingly lay bare the souls of their subjects – as well as an impressive collection of authentic garments worn by various ethnic groups across the country. There is a printed guide to the area's venues that can be picked up free of charge at many locations across town.

Do & See

Apart from old merchant homes and assembly halls of various Chinese congregations that are some of the Ancient Town's highlights, Hoi An enjoys a fortunate location within a short distance from the beach, and even has a small island archipelago to its name: the laid-back Cham Islands are only a short ferry ride away, and are a great place for a relaxed getaway from the tourist masses. Cycling tours of the surrounding rice fields and Vietnamese cooking classes are some of the most popular activities in Hoi An, and the former French colonial port of Da Nang is an easy day trip from here (so are the Ba Na Hills with their stunning Golden Bridge held up by two enormous sculpted hands).