You'll gasp when you see the gorgeous golden hues found in Vietnam's Hoi An

  • Vintage Hoi An

    Hoi An still life

    Hoi An is full of golden and yellow hues everywhere you turn, with fantastic portraits on every corner, complete with women in bamboo hats, old bicycles and of course the perfect backdrop.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Old vendor and her wares

    My favorite fruit vendor

    The city's historic Old Town is a blend of old French colonial architecture along with Far East motifs. Yellow in this part of the world tends to show royalty, and thus is one of the favored colors. Other historians claim that the buildings here were painted yellow to handle the harsh and extreme tropical sun. 

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Relaxing Cyclo Drivers

    Hanging out in Hoi An

    Over 800 17th- and 18th-century houses and other architectural wonders here are on the UNESCO protected and preserved buildings list, and the entire town is full of crumbling, yet oozing-in-atmosphere old mansions and shops.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Touring Hoi An

    Going for a ride

    Many of the Old Town streets are closed to vehicles, making it perfect for strolling, or even better, touring via cyclo, which is a popular way to get around and beat the heat.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Hoi An Blue Hour

    Blue hour at the Japanese Bridge

    The most famous sight of the historic town is the Japanese Covered Bridge, which dates to 1590, and has a temple built into one side of it.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Hoi An at Night

    Evening glow

    Nights are especially magical in Hoi An, as the yellow buildings glow against the Thu Bon River, lit up by lanterns and atmospheric lighting.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Hoi An Full Moon

    Full moon over Old Town

    Full moon nights are especially great, as the town celebrates a lunar festival, in which electricity is dimmed, and everything is lit up by candlelight and traditional silk lanterns, making for an incredibly colorful spectacle.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Illuminated in Hoi An

    The lantern seller

    Candle lanterns are available to float on the river, with locals believing that releasing them brings happiness, luck and love to those who set their lanterns afloat.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Romance on the Thu Bon River

    The lovers

    Couples rent boats, head out into the river and make merit, wishing for happiness. It is a magical spectacle, with visitors coming from both Vietnam and overseas to enjoy the atmosphere. 

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Atmospheric Restaurant in Hoi An

    Old Town magic

    Restaurants set tables out front along the riverside, light up their interiors with candles and lanterns, and offer one of Asia's most romantic settings. 

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Under the Lights

    Under the lanterns

    Another iconic feature in Hoi An are its bamboo lanterns. The traditional paper or bamboo-framed silk-covered lanterns are a great souvenir, and especially on the full moon nights, the lantern shops are thronged with visitors.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Cyclo Drivers at Rest

    Asleep at the wheel

    Thanks to all the warm tones of gold and yellow, Hoi An is just as photogenic by day. Cyclo drivers relax next to old colonial buildings, creating scenes from another era.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Hoi An Marketplace

    Hoi An Central Market

    Even the Central Market of Hoi An is in a beautiful golden building, and it's a hubbub of activity throughout the day. 

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Workers at Lunch


    The golden hues continue out to the streetside eateries, where vendors serve up meals to the lunchtime crowd.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Social Session

    Community eating

    Hoi An is renowned for its food, and it has several dishes unique to the area and not found anywhere else in Vietnam.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Banh Bao Vac Heaven

    White Rose, a local delicacy

    "White Rose," called banh bao vac in Vietnamese, are rice paper dumplings stuffed with shrimp and shaped to resemble rose petals. The recipe for making them is secret, held by one family restaurant now in its third generation, and they supply every place in town with the dumplings each day.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Cute in Gold

    The little prince

    Even people get into the yellow and gold act, it's not just the buildings. Locals dress their kids up on weekends and come into the city center to eat and drink.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • In the Moment


    And on the other days, kids at the market can be found wearing the town's favorite colors.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Captivating Photo Shoot Location

    With a golden backdrop

    Hoi An is also very popular for honeymooners, with couples coming to the town from other areas of the country to take photos against the gold backdrops in traditional costume.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Artist at Work

    The artist

    Artists like the backdrop too, setting up their wares on the street in front of curio shops.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Old Town Seen From the Rooftops

    City view

    The old tiled-roof buildings are especially scenic seen from above, with tourists wandering the narrow lanes and streets.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Enduring Architecture

    Colonial Hoi An

    Stately and weathered, the protected city of gold remains one of Vietnam's most iconic symbols, one that should be on every visitor's bucket list.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis