The Central Coast

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Central Coast - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. The O Collective

    A consortium of Vietnam's contemporary designers all under one roof, O is the Vietnamese word for umbrella. This fashion-savvy boutique on the trendy Nguyen Thai Hoc sells everything from funky propaganda art posters and Saigon Kitsch trinkets, to funky cushion art, luxury resort wear, and bohemian fashions. Kids can be entertained in the make-your-own monster workshop.

    85 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • 2. Avana

    This off-the-peg, edgy fashion boutique stocks everything a fashionista could wish for and won't find anywhere else in Vietnam. The seasonal collections of clothes and accessories are designed by the in-house expat designer Ava, and crafted by Hoi An weavers, tailors, and leather makers. If you love the design but don't like the color, you can choose from a bespoke selection of fabric; they'll run up a one-off design tailored to your preference.

    57 Le Loi, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • 3. Bo's Tailor

    With more than 20 years of experience in fashion and customer service, Bo is the person to turn to if you need a dress or a shirt tailor-made in four hours. A true professional who speaks fluent English and French, Bo consults with you about design, material, and budget, ensuring you end up with the custom-made piece of your dreams tailored in house. Hats, silk, and cashmere scarves as well as embroidered clothes are available.

    67 Vo Thi Sau, Hue, Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam
  • 4. Boi Tran Gallery

    Nestled on Thien An Hill, artist Boi Tran’s gallery is an exquisite garden where some of Vietnam's best painters’ work is housed in a more than 100-year-old nha ruong (Hue traditional panel houses) and a French-colonial-style building. Boi Tran together with Le Thi Luu (1911–88) are the only two female Vietnamese artists whose paintings are sold in Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions. Boi Tran also owns a collection of masterpieces by artists such as Tran Quang Tran (Ngym), Nguyen Sang, To Ngoc Van, Hoang Tich Chu, Nguyen Trung, and others. The gallery also serves local dishes with artistic presentation. Reservations should be made at least one day in advance.

    Hue, Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam
  • 5. Cho Hoi An (Central Market Food Hall)

    Wander through the labyrinth of vendors serving up freshly prepared Hoi An specialties including cao lau—a regional dish made with noodles, pork, and greens that can only be found in Hoi An—alongside a good range of other Vietnamese favorites like pho, banh zeo (savory pancakes), and bun bo hue. This is where the locals shop, so expect a lot of activity in some cramped quarters, especially if you arrive for early-bird specials. Once you've chosen your stall you are welcome to order dishes and fruit juices from other vendors who will bring them to your table. Prices are fixed and displayed, and the food vendors follow strict food hygiene rules, making this one of the best spots to sample a vast array of dishes normally only available on the street. Wander past the vendors to find market stalls packed with local spices, coffee, the famous Quang Nam Chili jam, and cooking utensils, but be prepared to barter hard with the friendly yet business-savvy stallholders in this area of the market.

    Tran Phu St., Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
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  • 6. Dong Ba Market

    Hue's main market, Dong Ba, situated north of the Citadel just beyond the central Hue bus station, is the place to go for street food, souvenirs, clothing, and knockoff brands. It's enormous and packed to the rafters, so it can feel cramped and hot, especially near the food stalls in the center. Unlike many other local markets in the central region, this one comes alive as the sun goes down, when crowds descend for dinner and a line of bia hoi (beer) stalls set up parallel to the river. Bargaining is expected at the market stalls.

    Tran Hung Dao St., Hue, Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam
  • 7. Friendly Shoe Shop

    If it's custom shoes you're after, this is Hoi An's top destination for leather boots and sandals. After you select your design and material, the staff will take your measurements and have the item tailored within 24–72 hours. Then they will deliver it to your hotel or ship it directly to your home. Their motto is "No Like. No Pay," which they back up with a 180-day money-back guarantee, as well as a generous warranty of six months for shoes and one year for bags.

    18 Tran Phu St., Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • 8. Han Market

    Located right in the center of the city, this sprawling multi-story local Vietnamese market is a good place to head if you want to sample some good old-fashioned Danang specialties. It’s very much like a miniature version of Ben Tanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City. There's an indoor food court near the meat section that offers the freshest and tastiest dishes. Worth trying are mi quang (noodles with pork, shrimp, and a light broth) or com hen (baby clams and rice). Venture upstairs for fabric, clothes, cosmetics, and housewares.

    119 D. Tran Phu, Danang, Da Nang, Vietnam
  • 9. Hot Chili

    This funky little traders house on Nguyen Thai Hoc stocks a truly Hoi An–inspired collection of casual resort- and swimwear. Each fashion-forward piece is professionally printed and stitched in Vietnam. Hot Chili focuses on producing apparel, swimwear, and accessories made from a fusion between handmade art and screen printing technology.

    86 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • 10. Lana Tailor

    While the city at large has garnered a reputation for its custom-made suits, Lana Tailor stands out among Hoi An's dozens of tailors because of its stylish selections and satisfaction guarantee (you won't be asked to pay until you see the finished product and are happy with it). Choose from a showroom of in-vogue dresses, suits, jackets, and skirts, and if you don't find what you're looking for, just show them a photo of it online and they'll make it within 24 hours. Choose from fabrics including leather, cotton, cashmere, and wool. Tailored dresses range from $45 to $85 in U.S. dollars, while suits cost between $79 and $200. Items can be shipped internationally for an additional fee.

    90 Le Loi St., Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • 11. Lotus Jewellery

    Choose from a stunning range of high-quality jewelry designs, handcrafted locally by Quang Nam's finest artisans. Take your pick from a selection of intricate Vietnam-inspired pendants, earrings, bracelets, and rings, or tailor your own personal design from a selection of jade, turquoise, opal, amethyst, citrine, blue topaz, or freshwater pearls. They can also reset and remold jewelry brought from home.

    82 Tran Phu St., Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • 12. Metiseko

    This small high-end, ethical slow fashion brand produces one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories made from premium and organic materials. Metiseko also sell quilts and home decor, all with lovely prints and fabrics, drawing inspiration from Vietnamese culture, folk traditions, and landscapes.

    142 Tran Phu, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • 13. Mr Xe

    Feel GQ-worthy with a custom suit from this leading men's tailor, where jackets, suits, and coats are all made within 24 hours. Materials and fabrics are a cut above the other shops in Hoi An, and somehow Mr. Xe manages to get you a perfect fit on the first attempt—maybe because he and his staff are meticulous with measurements. A three-piece suit will set you back around $150; it's okay to haggle for the price.

    71 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • 14. TA Gallery

    Owned by painter and fashion/interior designer Quang Tan, TA gallery is a collection of paintings by young artists in Hue. While the first floor is more for "touristic" art pieces, the second and third floors house themed exhibitions with a focus on Hue City; there is also a chic coffee shop and bakery. The themes of the exhibitions change every two months.

    44 Pham Ngu Lao St., Hue, Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam
  • 15. Truc Chi Art Gallery

    Taking cues from traditional paper-making techniques, artist Phan Hai Bang and his colleagues created the modern visual art form, Truc Chi. The process involves using water sprays to etch patterns layer by layer onto wet pulp that films on a fine silk frame. Truc Chi artworks are displayed in a detached house with garden inside Hue Citadel. A Truc Chi Art class is also available, starting at 380,000d. Reservations should be made at least one hour in advance.

    5 Thach Han St., Thuan Hoa Ward, Hue, Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam
  • 16. XQ Hand Embroidery Art Museum

    More than just a gallery or museum, XQ is a serene oasis for embroidery artists and enthusiasts, with works of art crafted meticulously out of multicolor thread. The museum's front yard is a forest filled with orchids and birdsong (broadcast out of hidden speakers). Guests can sit here and enjoy complimentary tea or a Vietnamese zither performance every evening from 7 to 9. Most of the embroidery artworks here are for sale.

    1 Pham Hong Thai St., Vinh Ninh Ward, Hue, Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam
  • 17. Yaly Couture

    From leather boots and silk scarves to high fashion dresses and corporate suits, Yaly Couture can re-create practically any designer item within two days. The shop's own designs have plenty of character and style, thanks to the owner's passion for workmanship. It is one of the most professional and ethical tailoring businesses in town, with the largest selection of high-quality fabrics. Find them at 47 Tran Phu, 47 Nguyen Thai Hoc, and 358 Nguyen Duy Hieu.

    47 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam

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