Are you ready to uncover the best things to do in Hoi An? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through a vibrant journey, highlighting the top attractions and experiences that make Hoi An a must-visit destination.
From our past experience of leading group trips here, we’ve discovered the hidden gems and local favorites that will make your visit truly unforgettable.
We also learned that Hoi An is a captivating blend of rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. With its ancient temples, serene beaches, and bustling markets, this charming Vietnamese town offers a wide range of activities to suit every traveler’s taste.
Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, or a food enthusiast, Hoi An has something special in store for you.
So, let’s embark on a journey together and discover the best things to do in Hoi An, a destination that will capture your heart and leave you longing for more.
5 Facts about Hoi An
- Hoi An offers a diverse range of activities, from exploring ancient temples to lounging on pristine beaches.
- The Old Town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its well-preserved architecture and vibrant markets.
- Visitors can enjoy a unique cultural experience by participating in lantern-making classes and watching traditional water puppet shows.
- Hoi An’s surrounding areas provide opportunities for exciting adventures like snorkeling tours to Cham Island and cycling through picturesque landscapes.
- The Golden Bridge and Ba Na Hills offer stunning mountain views and thrilling amusement park rides, making them popular day trip destinations from Hoi An.
Best Things to Do in Hoi An
1. Walk Around Old Town
Step back in time as you meander through the ancient streets of Hoi An’s Old Town. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a labyrinth of narrow alleys, adorned with charming yellow buildings and intricately carved wooden facades.
Lose yourself in the rich history and architectural beauty of this remarkable area, and don’t miss highlights like the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Assembly Halls of the Chinese community.
- Location: Hoi An Old Town
- Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds
- Famous For: Historical buildings, cultural heritage
2. Fujian Assembly Hall
Immerse yourself in the captivating blend of Chinese and Vietnamese influences at the Fujian Assembly Hall. This ornate architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 17th century and serves as a gathering place for the Fujian Chinese community.
Marvel at the intricate details, including ornamental statues, beautiful mosaics, and the tranquil courtyard. Don’t forget to visit the Thien Hau Temple, dedicated to the goddess of the sea.
- Location: 46 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon for a quieter experience
- Famous For: Chinese architecture, cultural significance
3. Lantern Making Class
Unleash your creativity and immerse yourself in the cultural artistry of Hoi An by joining a lantern-making class. Under the guidance of skilled artisans, learn the intricate techniques of crafting traditional lanterns.
Choose vibrant silk fabrics, meticulously assemble the bamboo frame, and witness your creation come to life. Lantern making is a quintessential Hoi An experience, and your handmade lantern will serve as a unique memento of your time in the city.
- Location: Various workshops in Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Afternoon to fully appreciate the ambiance of illuminated lanterns
- Famous For: Traditional lantern making, handicrafts
4. Hoi An Night Market
Indulge in a sensory feast at the bustling Hoi An Night Market. As dusk settles, the streets come alive with vibrant stalls offering an array of goods, from clothing and accessories to local handicrafts and souvenirs.
Sample delectable street food delicacies such as banh mi, cao lau, and crispy pancakes. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, as the market buzzes with energy and the captivating glow of lanterns illuminates the night.
- Location: Nguyen Hoang Street, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Evening, from 6:00 PM onwards
- Famous For: Street food, shopping, lively atmosphere
5. Museum of Trade Ceramic
Delve into Hoi An’s rich ceramic heritage at the Museum of Trade Ceramic. Located within a beautifully restored ancient house, this museum showcases an impressive collection of pottery and ceramics that date back centuries.
Explore the exhibits and gain insight into the trading history and cultural significance of ceramic art in the region. From delicate tea sets to intricate vases, the museum offers a glimpse into the craftsmanship and artistry of Hoi An’s ceramic traditions.
- Location: 80 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Morning to avoid crowds
- Famous For: Historical ceramics, trade artifacts
6. Old House of Tan Ky
Step into the past as you enter the Old House of Tan Ky, a well-preserved architectural gem that offers a glimpse into Hoi An’s trading history. This 18th-century merchant house reflects a harmonious blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese architectural styles.
Admire the intricate carvings, detailed wooden beams, and the tranquil courtyard. Listen to the stories of the house passed down through generations, and let the rich heritage transport you to a bygone era.
- Location: 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon for a quieter experience
- Famous For: Architectural heritage, trading history
7. Quan Cong Temple
Pay homage to the revered Quan Cong Temple, dedicated to the Chinese general Quan Cong, known for his loyalty and righteousness. This temple stands as a testament to the deep-rooted Chinese influence in Hoi An.
Marvel at the intricate woodwork, ornate sculptures, and serene atmosphere. Take a moment to soak in the spiritual ambiance and offer your respects at the altar. The temple’s architectural beauty and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination in Hoi An.
- Location: 24 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon for a peaceful experience
- Famous For: Chinese temple, cultural heritage
8. Hoi An Silk Village
Embark on a journey to the Hoi An Silk Village, where the ancient art of silk production comes to life. Witness the entire silk-making process, from silkworm cultivation to spinning and weaving the fine threads.
Gain insights into traditional dyeing techniques and the intricate patterns that adorn exquisite fabrics. Browse through the charming shops offering a wide range of silk products, from garments to accessories, and take home a piece of Hoi An’s silk heritage.
- Location: 28 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Morning to witness the various stages of silk production
- Famous For: Silk production, traditional craftsmanship
9. Water Puppet Show
Immerse yourself in the ancient art form of water puppetry by attending a captivating water puppet show in Hoi An. This traditional Vietnamese performance brings legends, folklore, and daily life scenes to life with the help of intricately crafted wooden puppets that gracefully dance across a water stage.
Be mesmerized by the skillful puppeteers and the enchanting music that accompanies the show. The water puppetry is a unique cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Hoi An.
- Location: Hoi An Lune Center, 77 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Evening performances for the full ambiance
- Famous For: Traditional water puppetry, Vietnamese culture
10. Cua Dai Beach
Escape the bustling streets of Hoi An and unwind at the pristine Cua Dai Beach. With its soft golden sands and clear turquoise waters, this beach offers a serene retreat for sunseekers and beach enthusiasts.
Bask in the sun, take a refreshing swim, or simply relax under the shade of an umbrella. Cua Dai Beach is also known for its water sports activities, including snorkeling and diving. Enjoy the idyllic coastal scenery and let the soothing sound of the waves rejuvenate your senses.
- Location: Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon for a quieter experience
- Famous For: Scenic beach, water sports activities
11. An Bang Beach
For a tranquil beach experience, head to An Bang Beach, a hidden gem nestled just a few kilometers from Hoi An. With its powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters, this beach offers a serene and relaxing atmosphere away from the crowds.
Take a leisurely stroll along the shore, soak up the sun, or simply unwind with a book under the shade of a palm tree. An Bang Beach is also dotted with charming beachfront restaurants and bars, where you can savor delicious seafood and refreshing drinks while enjoying the breathtaking ocean views.
- Location: An Bang Beach, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon for a peaceful ambiance
- Famous For: Serene beach, beachfront dining
12. Golden Bridge & Ba Na Hills Day Trip
Embark on an unforgettable day trip from Hoi An to the Golden Bridge and Ba Na Hills, an otherworldly mountain resort. The Golden Bridge, with its unique design featuring giant stone hands, offers panoramic views of the surrounding lush landscapes.
Take a cable car ride to Ba Na Hills and explore the French village-inspired architecture, beautiful gardens, and thrilling amusement park rides. Don’t forget to visit the Linh Ung Pagoda and the Fantasy Park, where adventure and stunning views await.
- Location: Golden Bridge and Ba Na Hills, near Da Nang (accessible from Hoi An)
- Best Time to Visit: Early morning to avoid crowds
- Famous For: Iconic Golden Bridge, stunning mountain resort
13. Snorkeling Tour to Cham Island
Embark on a snorkeling adventure to Cham Island, a pristine archipelago just off the coast of Hoi An. Dive into the crystal-clear waters teeming with vibrant marine life and explore the colorful coral reefs.
Marvel at the underwater world as you encounter tropical fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating creatures. Cham Island is also home to pristine beaches, where you can relax, sunbathe, and enjoy the untouched natural beauty. Immerse yourself in this aquatic paradise and create unforgettable memories.
- Location: Cham Island, accessible by boat from Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Dry season (March to September) for optimal visibility
- Famous For: Snorkeling, marine biodiversity
14. Tra Que Village
Escape the city and immerse yourself in the peaceful countryside charm of Tra Que Village. Known for its organic farming practices, this village offers a unique opportunity to learn about traditional Vietnamese agriculture.
Take part in hands-on activities like planting, harvesting, and cooking using organic produce. Engage with the friendly local farmers and gain insight into their way of life. Don’t miss the chance to savor authentic Vietnamese dishes made with fresh ingredients straight from the farm.
- Location: Tra Que Village, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon to witness farming activities
- Famous For: Organic farming, local culinary experiences
15. Basket Boat Ride Along Thu Bon River
Embark on a unique adventure as you hop aboard a traditional basket boat and navigate the tranquil waters of the Thu Bon River. These round-shaped boats, made from woven bamboo, offer a thrilling and immersive experience.
Cruise along the river, marvel at the picturesque landscapes and interact with the local fishermen who use these boats for their livelihood. Learn the art of paddling and try your hand at catching fish or crabbing.
The basket boat ride is a delightful way to connect with the local culture and enjoy the serene beauty of the river.
- Location: Thu Bon River, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon for pleasant weather
- Famous For: Traditional basket boat ride, river scenery
16. Explore My Son Sanctuary
Embark on a journey back in time as you explore the ancient ruins of My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This archaeological complex, dating back to the 4th century, was once a thriving center of the Champa Kingdom.
Marvel at the impressive brick temples and towers that showcase the intricate craftsmanship of the Champa civilization.
Learn about the historical and religious significance of the site as you wander through the ruins surrounded by lush greenery. My Son Sanctuary is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and those seeking to uncover the mysteries of Vietnam’s past.
- Location: Duy Phu Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province (accessible from Hoi An)
- Best Time to Visit: Morning for cooler temperatures and fewer crowds
- Famous For: Ancient ruins, Champa architecture
17. Shopping for Lanterns
No visit to Hoi An is complete without indulging in the charming tradition of shopping for lanterns. Wander through the streets of the Old Town and discover a plethora of shops offering a dazzling array of lanterns in various shapes, sizes, and colors.
From delicate silk lanterns to intricate handmade creations, you’ll find the perfect piece to add a touch of magic to your home.
Don’t miss the nightly Lantern Festival, where the Old Town illuminates with thousands of lanterns, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of light and color.
- Location: Old Town, Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Evening for the Lantern Festival atmosphere
- Famous For: Traditional lanterns, vibrant night market
18. Enjoy Nightlife in Hoi An
As the sun sets, Hoi An transforms into a vibrant hub of nightlife, offering a wide range of entertainment options. Experience the lively atmosphere at the riverside bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy live music, sip on creative cocktails, and savor delectable Vietnamese cuisine.
Join a pub crawl and explore the local nightlife scene, hopping from one trendy bar to another. For a more relaxed evening, take a leisurely sunset cruise along the Thu Bon River and admire the city’s illuminated charm.
Hoi An’s nightlife offers something for everyone, ensuring unforgettable evenings in this enchanting destination.
- Location: Various venues in Hoi An
- Best Time to Visit: Evening and night for the vibrant nightlife ambiance
- Famous For: Riverside bars, live music, pub crawl experiences
19. Cycling in Hoi An
Discover the picturesque landscapes and immerse yourself in the local way of life by embarking on a cycling adventure in Hoi An. Rent a bicycle and pedal your way through the charming streets, scenic countryside, and along the banks of the Thu Bon River.
Explore the outskirts of the town, where you’ll encounter lush rice fields, traditional villages, and friendly locals. Stop by local markets, temples, and pagodas, and witness the daily activities of the residents.
Cycling in Hoi An allows you to connect with the authentic essence of the region while enjoying the freedom and tranquility of two wheels.
- Location: Hoi An and its surroundings
- Best Time to Visit: Morning or late afternoon for pleasant weather
- Famous For: Scenic cycling routes, local encounters
20. Explore Hoi An Old Town
No visit to Hoi An is complete without immersing yourself in the charm of the Old Town. Step back in time as you wander through the narrow, winding streets lined with ancient buildings, colorful facades, and ornate architecture.
Marvel at the well-preserved Japanese Covered Bridge, a symbol of Hoi An’s cultural heritage. Explore the vibrant markets, where you can find everything from handicrafts to fresh produce.
Indulge in the local cuisine at the countless street food stalls and restaurants, offering a delectable array of Vietnamese delights. As you explore the Old Town, you’ll be captivated by the fusion of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences that have shaped this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Location: Hoi An Old Town
- Best Time to Visit: Anytime during the day, but evening for the magical ambiance
- Famous For: Ancient architecture, street markets, cultural fusion
Best Time to Visit Hoi An
The best time to visit Hoi An is during the dry season, which runs from February to August. The weather during this period is generally warm and sunny, perfect for exploring the city’s attractions and enjoying outdoor activities.
The months of February to April offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds, making it an ideal time for sightseeing. May to August is the peak tourist season, with warmer temperatures and occasional rain showers.
However, this period also coincides with the Lantern Festival, adding a magical ambiance to the city. It’s advisable to avoid the rainy season from September to January, as heavy rainfall and occasional floods can affect travel plans.
How to Get to Hoi An
- By Air: The nearest airport is Da Nang International Airport, which is well-connected to major cities in Vietnam and other countries. From the airport, you can take a taxi or arrange for a private transfer to Hoi An, which is approximately a 30-minute drive away.
- By Train: Hoi An does not have a train station, so the closest option is to take a train to Da Nang, which is around 30 kilometers away. From Da Nang, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Hoi An.
- By Bus: Hoi An is accessible by bus from various cities in Vietnam. There are regular bus services connecting Hoi An to Da Nang, Hue, and other nearby towns. Buses offer a convenient and affordable option for traveling to Hoi An.
Where to Stay in Hoi An
- Anantara Hoi An Resort: Nestled along the banks of the Thu Bon River, Anantara Hoi An Resort offers a tranquil retreat with its blend of traditional Vietnamese architecture and modern comforts. The spacious rooms and suites are elegantly designed, providing a peaceful haven after a day of exploration.
- Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai: Experience luxury at its finest at Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai. Set on a pristine stretch of beach, this exquisite resort offers lavish villas and private pools, allowing guests to indulge in the ultimate relaxation. Impeccable service, world-class dining, and a serene spa create a truly unforgettable experience.
- La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa: Located in the heart of Hoi An, La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa is a boutique hotel that exudes charm and hospitality. The rooms and suites are tastefully decorated, combining traditional Vietnamese elements with modern comforts. Guests can enjoy a range of facilities including a swimming pool, spa, and rooftop bar with panoramic views.
Where to Eat in Hoi An
- Morning Glory Restaurant: Morning Glory Restaurant is a culinary gem in Hoi An, offering a delectable array of authentic Vietnamese dishes. Run by renowned chef Ms. Vy, the restaurant specializes in traditional recipes passed down through generations. From flavorful noodle dishes to succulent grilled seafood, each dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and showcases the rich flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.
- Mango Mango Restaurant: Perched along the banks of the Thu Bon River, Mango Mango Restaurant offers a unique dining experience with its fusion of Asian and Western flavors. The menu features a creative blend of dishes inspired by local ingredients and international culinary techniques. From mouthwatering seafood creations to innovative cocktails, every dish at Mango Mango is a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
- Cargo Club: Located in a historic building in Hoi An’s Old Town, Cargo Club is a beloved dining establishment known for its delectable pastries, cakes, and fusion cuisine. Start your day with a scrumptious breakfast or indulge in a delightful afternoon tea accompanied by freshly brewed coffee or tea. The menu also offers a wide range of international and Vietnamese dishes, all made with high-quality ingredients.
Travel Tips & Suggestions
- Explore the Old Town in the early morning or evening to avoid the crowds and enjoy the atmospheric charm.
- Rent a bicycle to navigate the narrow streets of Hoi An and discover hidden gems off the beaten path.
- Sample local street food at the Hoi An Night Market for an authentic culinary experience.
- Take a lantern-making class to learn about the traditional craft and create your own beautiful lantern.
- Plan a day trip to the nearby My Son Sanctuary to explore the ancient ruins of the Cham civilization.
- Pack comfortable shoes as walking is the best way to explore Hoi An’s Old Town and its surrounding areas.
- Don’t forget to negotiate prices when shopping at the markets and street stalls for a better deal.
Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Hoi An
In conclusion, Hoi An offers an enchanting tapestry of experiences that truly define the best things to do in Hoi An. From exploring the ancient temples and vibrant markets of the Old Town to lounging on pristine beaches, this charming Vietnamese town captures the essence of a dreamy getaway.
Immerse yourself in the rich history, indulge in mouthwatering cuisine, and embrace the warmth of the local hospitality. Whether you’re seeking cultural immersion, natural beauty, or simply a relaxing escape, Hoi An has it all.
So pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and create unforgettable memories in this captivating destination.
FAQs – Best Things to Do in Hoi An
What are the best attractions to visit in Hoi An?
When in Hoi An, don’t miss the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, the historic Fujian Assembly Hall, and the beautiful Quan Cong Temple. These architectural marvels showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage.
What are some unique experiences to have in Hoi An?
Engage in a lantern-making class, take a basket boat ride along the Thu Bon River, and watch a captivating water puppet show. These activities offer a glimpse into Hoi An’s traditional arts and crafts.
Are there any beautiful beaches in Hoi An?
Absolutely! An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach are two stunning coastal gems where you can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy crystal-clear waters. They are perfect for beach lovers.
What is the best time to visit Hoi An?
The best time to visit Hoi An is during the dry season, which spans from February to August. This period offers pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to participate in festive events like the Lantern Festival.
Are there any day trips from Hoi An worth taking?
Yes, a popular day trip is to the Golden Bridge and Ba Na Hills, where you can enjoy breathtaking views, explore the French-inspired theme park, and experience thrilling rides.
Where can I find the best local food in Hoi An?
For an authentic culinary experience, head to the Hoi An Night Market and sample a variety of mouthwatering street food. Don’t forget to try the iconic Cao Lau noodles and the local specialty, White Rose dumplings.
How do I get around Hoi An?
Hoi An is a compact town that can easily be explored on foot or by renting a bicycle. You can also hire a motorbike or take a taxi for longer distances. The Old Town is pedestrian-only, allowing you to leisurely wander through its charming streets.
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