Hoi An is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. Keep reading to discover the top 15 things to do in Hoi An. There are so many wonderful things and its hard to run ouf of things to do and see in the town. You have a whole array of things to do, from shopping to the beach and Old town – No wonder Hoi An is a must-visit town on your Vietnam trip (also to read: Best Time To Visit Vietnam).
What is Hoi An
Located in east Vietnam on the coastline. The town has a river called Bồn River. It was used for the spice trade, and the river ends Hoi An, also called Hai Pho, where all the different countries trading settled. That is why architecture has foreign influences.
Best time to visit Hoi An?
The best time to visit Hoi An is February to July, as that is when it is the dry season, and it is still hot. But Vietnam does not have the same weather as it has topical comets and different in different parts of Vietnam, so find out the best time to visit Vietnam and the best time to visit each City from a post I did.
The months to avoid Hoi are from September to January, as that will be the rainy season. The temperature in those months is the lowest for Hoi An, but the good side of this is fewer tourists and lower prices.
Is Hoi An Worth Visiting?
Well, the answer to this is 100% Yes. The town is different from most of Vietnam, as it had its influences from other countries over the years when it was port.
For this small town, there is so much to do and see. The main thing that made me fall in love with this town is the UNESCO World Heritage old town. With its influences of architecture makes it very stunning, expressly lit up at night with all the lanterns.
How Many Days in Hoi An?
There is no real answer to this, as some people love it and can stay there for a very long time and others said not that long. When I was there, I only had two days, but that was not enough time.
There is so much to do in Hoi An, and I think 3 or 4 days are enough to see the best bits Hoi An has to offer. You’re probably wondering what can you do in 3 or 4 days in Hoi An.
There is plenty to explore, the old town, go cycling by the paddy fields and relax at the beach, and many more things that will be shown below on the top 15 things to do in Hoi An.
How to Get to Hoi An?
There is no airport in Hoi An, so flying there is out the window. As well as this, there is no train station, but there is a whole load of other ways to get to Hoi An. Hoi An is well linked.
You can get a taxi, but that will be very expensive. Their other options like renting a car, but that will also be expensive. One of the most popular ways to get around Vietnam is to rent a moped/motorbike, and they are very cheap.
The other ones are getting the bus, which is the way I used to get to Hoi An from Nha Trang. You can get the train, and that is the quickest way to travel, but you won’t get the best views of Vietnam. The best way to get to Hoi An is by getting the bus.
Where to stay in Hoi An?
Hoi provides all types of accommodation for all budgets.
- Silk Sense Hoi An River Resort – It cost From £107 a night and is situated on the Co Co river.
- Southern Hotel Hoi An– It is only £18 a night and the one I stayed at when I went it was only £10 a night and very clean, and food was reasonable should be a 3 star, not 2.
- Eco Lux Riverside Hotel– It is only a 30 minutes walk or 6 minutes ride to get to Hoi an Old town from the hotel. You get this 5-star luxury hotel for only 340 a night.
- Vietnam Backpacker Hostels Hoi an– Vietnam Backpacker Hostels provide some of the best hostels Vietnam has to offer, and they have one in Hoi An close to the old town and the beaches. I went to their hostel in Hanoi and loved it. It is very cheap and only costs £5 a night for a shared room.
- Tribes Cham Hostel– It is located very in Hoi An Old Town, and one bed in a 5 bedroom dorm is only £4 a night. Find out more hostels to stay in Hoi An.
Hoi An provides all kinds of accommodations for every budget, but if you are wondering about Hoi An hotels, I have a few recommendations for you.
The Best 15 Things to do in Hoi An
1. Buy a suit
If you want to pick up some clothes while you are in Vietnam, then Hoi An is the place for you. Hoi An is famous for its textile industry, and people travel far and wide to get their tailored clothes and suits.
Some of the shops are very cheap but watch out the quality won’t be the best. Some of the shops with the best quality and reasonable prices are:
- Yaly Couture
- Bao Khan Silk
The clothes will still be much cheaper than what you will pay in first world countries, so you still getting a great bargain even if you don’t haggle.2,
2. Relax at the Beaches of Hoi An
Hoi an is well-known for having the best beaches in Vietnam many people travel to Vietnam to just go to Hoi An for the beaches. The best beaches to go to is called Cua Dai and are about five Kilometres from the old town.
Lots of people travel there by bicycle as you get to see the stunning rice fields on your way. Another way to get there is by taxi, and some of the hotels offer free beach shuttles. Another great beach to go to is An Bang Beach that closer and only 3Km from the old town.
3. Explore Hoi An old town
Hoi An ancient town was part of the Southeast Asian trading port that dated back from the 15th to the 19th century. The old town is now a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back 2,000 years. No wonder you need to explore this wonderful place.
As it was a trading port, many parts of Southeast Asia helped to shape the architecture from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings and Japanese bridges.
4. Learn to cook Vietnamese food
One of the best things you can do in Hoi An that I wish I did was to take one of their many cooking courses. This is a great way to learn about local foods. That will help you in the future when at restaurants as you know what some of the meals are aired on the menus.
The cooking course usually includes a trip to the local market, so you can learn what ingredients are used in Vietnamese cooking, which sounds interesting.
One of the best restaurants in Hoi An is Guoan restaurant, and they offer a cooking school that will allow you to learn to cook Vietnamese favorites that you can replicate when you are back home and impress your friends and family.
5. Eat out at the many town restaurants
Hoi An is said to be one of the food capitals of Vietnam. It has some of the best food I had. There are a few specialties to try, and one of them is white roses that are a shrimp dumpling made from translucent rice dough that looks like a rose.
Another food to try is Cao Lau. It is Hoi An’s signature noodle and pork. There is a wide range of places to eat out in Hoi An, but the best places are:
- Mot – the best place to try Cao Lau
- White roses restaurants – best places to try the white roses
- Morning Glory- cooked fantastic traditional Vietnamese food and was listed as one of the best restaurants to try in olive magazines. They have a list of more places.
6. Shop for local handicrafts
Vietnam is full of local art and handmade crafts. Hoi An is the best place to get the best locally made gifts. Hoi An is the place to get your rewards. One of the places to them is the primary central market.
If you go out of the city, the surrounding local villages make a wide variety of handcrafted things for a living and will be cheaper than getting them in the city center.
There are even tours where you can learn all about the historical and cultural background behind the making of them, or you can also take classes on how to make them such as ancient weaving or calligraphy.
7. Go For a Day-Trip to the My Son Ruins
One of the best things to do there is going to visit My Son Ruins. It is just like Angkor Wat, but smaller and fewer tourists.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is from between the 4th and 13th centuries. It was made for the Indian Hinduism, and the towers are temples.
Sadly a big part of it was carpet-bombed during the Vietnam War. It is only 1 hour away from Hoi An and still a remarkable place to see with lots of history.
8. Take a Day Trip from Hoi An to Danang
There is plenty of things to do in Hoi An, as it is in a great location there are other things to do outside of Hoi An. You can go and visit Da Nang. Da nag has been modernized. Therefore you will find a mix of new and old Buildings.
Da Nang is known for its sandy beaches, but when you head deeper into the city you can see Dragon Bridge and the many temples. On the outskirts of the city, there are a few mountains to climb to get the best views of the city. Find out more things to do in Da Nag.
9. Explore the Paddy Fields & the Countryside
If you want to get out of the bustling city life. Then Hoi An has that covered also. Hoi An has a countryside where you get to see the lush green landscape it offers.
One way to see the countryside is by renting bicycles. This way, you get to take in the wonderful views of the rice paddies, hills, and elegant villages.
There is a vast choice of tours you can do, such as cycling or trekking tours, where you will get to find pretty beaches, mountain passes and much more.
10. Try the local barbecue
I love barbecues but did not know that Hoi An is known for is its barbecue food. Shame I missed trying out this, but I don’t want you to miss out on trying it.
The best place to try this in Hoi An is the North bank of the Thu Bon River. The best time to go is at night for dinner, where you will see dozens of small charcoal grills selling barbecued skewers.
You can choose from a heap of options such as pork, prawns, or chicken and they are also served with rice paper wrappers to wrap the meat in.
11. Old house of tan ky
The Tan Ky House is a historical building in Hoi An Old town. The home was built in the 18th century and was assumed to belong to a family of merchants.
The architecture is a mix of Japanese, Chinese, and traditional Vietnamese design. You can now take a tour of the incredible home.
You can see the original furniture and memorabilia in the house. It shows you what it was like to live in the old days in Hoi An.
12. Nightlife in Hoi An
Hoi An has you covered again. If you looking for a night out than Hoi An is that also.
Head over the central footbridge, and that will take you to An Hoi islet where it is Hoi An strip of cafes serving beers and other drinks.
Hoi An has a local beer that you need to try, and it is called Bia Hoi. The best places to go are:
- Q Bar- The best cocktail bar in Hoi An
- White Marble win Bar- Has the most extensive win selection.
- Mango – Has a rooftop bar that places live music after dinner.
13. Shop at the Lantern Market
Hoi An comes to life at night when the streets are lit up with lanterns and transforms the streets into a sea of colors.
The Lantern market is located in Nguyen Hoang Street and is 300-meters-long of Lanterns for sale, which is open every night. They just don’t sell lanterns; as vendors, they also sell handmade jewelry and clothes to snacks.
The thing that steals the show at the market is the hundreds of colorful lanterns. If you’re looking for a true Hoi an experience, then you need to go there.
14. Get Vietnamese coffee
Vietnam is famous for its coffee, so why won’t you try. Worldatlas says Vietnam is the second-biggest producer of coffee and produce, 650,000 metric tons (3,637,627,000 pounds) a year.
I did not try their coffee when I was there, as I don’t like coffee, but my brother and friend I was with loved Vietnamese coffee and said it was the best they ever had. One of the best things to do in Hoi An.
The venders in Hoi An handpick the beans, to bring you the freshest cup of coffee, so you have the best-tasting coffee.
15. Fujian Hall Assembly Hall
One of the most wealthy buildings in Hoi An is the Fujian Assembly Hall that dates back to the 17th century. It was built by the Fujian Chinese community in Hoi An so that the Fujian residents can have a place meet up and socialize.
The main hall is covered in carved figures. There is a large courtyard, and people say that if you pray in the Assembly Hall than you will be lucky when it comes to conceiving children. This is to do with the 12 Midwives who are carved statues that are on the grounds of the hall.
Bonus: If you want to read more about the culture of Vietnam, check the following article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Vietnam