10+ Best Things To Do in Hoi An (with travel tips)
Previously known as Faifoo, Hoi an is a historical town located in Quang Nam Province, 30km from Da Nang city. Here you can experience a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere of an ancient town brimming with culture as well as enjoy a perfect beach holiday. .
Here are best things to do in Hoi An that you shouldn’t miss in Hoi An.
#1 – Explore Hoi An’s old town
Inscribed by UNESCO in 1999, Hoi An “is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century… The town reflects a fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures (principally Chinese and Japanese with later European influences) that combined to produce this unique survival.” What you see today is a townscape built during the 17th and 18th centuries, which still includes 1,107 timber-frame buildings and a street plan that once allowed customer access from the front of them, and convenient off-loading of goods from boats on the river.
The ticket is 120,000 dong, with tear-off coupons allowing entrance to five places. It’s valid for 24 hours, though the time period seems to be somewhat flexible. The ticket seller assured us we could use it for our entire stay, be it days or weeks. We never encountered a problem as we used it over the course of a few days.
In summary, our itinerary suggestion for the first-round ticket would be to select one or two of the old houses like Tan Ky House, one or two assembly halls, a museum, take an obligatory photo at the Japanese Bridge, then check out a music performance or handicraft shop.
Enjoying cool drinks in streets
It’s time to take a rest. You do not need to go to luxurious cafes, choose a seat on a sidewalk, under the shadow of confetti flowers and sip a glass of soya milk or lotus sweet soup. You can enjoy different drinks in Hoi An, from green bean sweet soup to corn sweet soup or red bean sweet soup. In addition, you can enjoy a bowl of “chi ma phu” or “tau hu” (two special kinds of sweet soup) with coconut milk. Coming to Hoi An to live slowly and feel the lovely relaxed lifestyle.
#2 -Take a boat riding on the Hoai River and release flower-garlands
Thousands of foreign and domestic tourists flocked to Hoi An’s Old Quarter in the Central Coastal Province of Quang Nam on the night of February 16 to join the coloured lantern and flower-garland releasing festival on the Hoai River to pray for happiness and good luck.
The Hoai River was splendid with the flower-garland releases
Not just observing, you can soak up the decorations for the party light on the river sides. A noteworthy experience that many tourists love is releasing flower garland on the Hoai River. Travelers will be small drop lights twinkling down the river by themselves with hope the lights will bring good luck to the family and loved ones. Besides the lanterns, the flower garlands are also an indispensable feature during your Hoi An tours.
#3 – Savoring the most delicious baguette in the life
David Farley-BBC reporter specializing in travel and cuisine has recently commented “the bread in Vietnam is the most magical in the world” in the article “Is Banh Mi Vietnam the best sandwich in the world?” after eating amount of 15 breads in many different stalls all over Vietnam, one of which from Hoi An. Indeed, in Hoi An there are many popular stalls selling baguette with foreign visitors, that is “Phuong” (Phan Chau Trinh), “Madam Khanh” (Trần Cao Vân) and “ Ba Lane” (Cua Dai).
#4 – Have a special outfit custom made
Hoi An is especially famous for its plentiful tailoring stores, where talented seamstresses and tailors can create almost any garment that you desire. Plastic models stand outside the stores, clad in an array of garments, and rolls of fabric cover walls inside the shops. Take a peek inside and you’ll likely be able to spot various items in the different stages of being created. Some shops have a better reputation than others, and asking around for recommendations is a great way to help you to decide where to have items made.
#5 – Sunbathe at An Bang Beach
Located a short distance from the heart of Hoi An, An Bang Beach is a popular place for both locals and visitors alike to relax for a few hours. Sunbathe on the sands, take a dip in the ocean, and watch as kids frolic and play on the beach. It’s easy to find refreshments close to hand too.
#6 – Dropping by a café and relaxing in airy spaces
At any time of the day, from the early morning to shining noon or dark evening, dropping by a café in the ancient town is a wonderful experience. Each café is designed distinctively and lovingly. If you would like to look over the Hoai river, choose some cafes at Bach Dang street. If you like to view crowded people on the street, sit under the flower canopies at Tran Phu street. Or stop by Nguyen Thai Hoc street for peace or at a narrow lane to join in the life of local people. Another interesting location is Hoi An market, where you can both view the river and see fishermen play cards in their free time.
Forget all the worries of your daily life and spend hours in some small lovely corners. Do not bring your computer or electronic devices with you. Instead, bring a book or a music player and relax with a cup of coffee.
There are several locally brewed beers, as well as imported brands and other drinks to try, and you can enjoy the relaxed nightlife vibe in historic buildings. Places alongside the river are particularly popular, though there’s a good selection of bars around the city
#7 – Experiencing Cham Island for the whole day
It takes about 20 minutes and 120,000VND to travel to Cham islet by canoe for two hours and 30,000VND by ferryboat. You can come here in the morning to tour around the islet, swim in the most striking beach, dive to view coral reefs and enjoy crabs and snails, two specialties here, then return to the main land in the afternoon.
Other things to do in Hoi An include joining a cooking class and learning how to recreate your favourite Vietnamese dishes at home, luxuriating in a spa, visiting the heritage home of Quan Thang House, watching a show at the traditional theatre, and taking trips out to surrounding areas like Hue, My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An Silk Weaving Village, and Cham Island.
- Phuc kien assembly hall (Chùa Kim An): 46 Trần Phú, Hội An
- Japanese Bridge : Hoi An Center
- Museum clusters: Museum of folklore, Museum of Hoi An cultural history, Hoi An trade museum, Sa Huynh culture museum …
- Ancient houses: Quan Thang Ancient House, Tan Ky Ancient house, Phung Hung Ancient house
- Cham Island – the pristine island boasts beaches, diving, snorkelling, seafood and one very scenic drive.
- An Bang Beach – one of the 50 best beaches on the planet.
- Cua Dai Beach – one of the most beautiful in Vietnam with perfect white sand and blue water, fringed with green palm tree.
- Hoi An craft villages: Kim Bong Carpentry Village, Thanh Ha Pottery Village, Tra Que Herb Village.
- Communal houses: Cam Pho; Minh Huong; Quan Cong Temple;
There are some kind of day tours to offer in Hoi An that worths give it a try.
- Bike Tour: Local tour guide will guide you to Hoi An’s subburb to explore every corner of the country side, to learn about the local life in Hoi An.
- My Son Sanctuary Tour
- Tra Que Herbal Village: You can ride a bike or take a bus/car to the village and try to be a farmer with locals, enjoyed the fresh food with herbs grown right at the village.
What to eat in Hoi An? Hoi An’s Specialities
Hoi An’s street food is one of the most interesting one in Vietnam. Many of the dishes we tried are local specialties, things like (authentic) cao lầu and banh bao, banh vac can be found only in Hoi An and much of it has to do with the ingredients.
Here are nine restaurants and street food stalls that you absolutely cannot miss
- Bread: Phượng Bread (2b Phan Châu Trinh, Hội An) and Madam Khanh (115 Trần Cao Vân, Hội An)
- Banh bao, banh Vac: white rose ( Hoa Hong Trang), 533 Hai Ba Trung, Hoi An.
- Hoi An Chicken Rice: Ba Buoi Chicken Rice(26 Phan Chau Trinh), cơm gà Bà Hương – Kiệt (hẻm) Sica, cơm gà Bà Minh (đường Phan Châu Trinh), Cơm gà bà Dung (Lý Thường Kiệt), cơm gà Ông Xí (Kiệt Bá Lễ)…
- Cao Lầu: on the Truong Minh Luong Street, near Yaly’s textile factory.
- Grilled pork: Can be found anywhere in Hoi An alleys.
- Hoành thánh: Van Loc restaurant on Tran Phu Street or 26 Thai Phien.
- Hoi An Banh Xeo: ( Giếng Bá Lễ Restaurant, Phan Chu Trinh alley; Bale Well, 45/51 Trần Hưng Đạo);
- Bánh ướt: By Hoai River’s bank.