Most sights in Hoi An can be found in the old town that you can easily explore on foot. But there is more to see and do than walk through the old center. So you have beautiful rice fields in the area, beautiful beaches, islands and craft villages.
The best thing about Hoi An is that there is also a lot to do. So you can cycle through the area, take a boat trip on the river, have clothing made, take a cooking class or take a day trip to the ruins of My Son. To make clear what to do and see, check out this list of top 10 attractions in Hoi An and the most popular activities.
1. Walk through the old city
Hoi An offers a breathtaking mix of ornate Chinese temples, a Japanese-style bridge, wooden shop buildings, French-colonial houses and old canals. Most of the old shops have been carefully converted into modern businesses for tourists, including countless tailors, souvenir shops, art galleries, restaurants and cafes. The best way to explore this city is on foot. Visit the city both during the day and in the evening, when the lanterns illuminate the old town.
The most famous sights in Hoi An are the Japanese bridge, Cantonese Assembly hall, Fujian Assembly Hall and the Chuc Thanh Pagoda.
2. Explore the countryside by bike
The rice fields in Vietnam are extremely popular. Those you find around Hoi An may be less spectacular than the rice terraces in northern Vietnam, but they are much more accessible. The best thing is to do a bike ride in Hoi An to cycle along narrow paths along the rice fields. From the center it is only 10 minutes by bike to the countryside. You see locals with water buffalos walking the land and when you are in the right season they are nice and green. You can also use the bike to cycle to the nearby beaches and other places of interest in Hoi An.
3. Take a cooking class
Hoi An is the most popular place in Vietnam to take a cooking class. A cooking class in Hoi An is often more than just learning to make dishes, but there are often many other activities that you do, such as a visit to a local market, boat trips, cycling and visiting craft villages.
4. Relax on the beach
If you have been walking around for a whole day to see all the sights in Hoi An, you might be ready to relax the next day. Fortunately there are a number of beaches in Hoi An and in the area. The two most popular are An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach. You can easily reach these beaches by bike from the center. With a scooter or taxi you can still go to the beaches of Da Nang.
5. Take a boat trip
Hoi An offers plenty of opportunities to get on the water. Enjoying some of the many river roads in the city is a must – rent a boat, go paddling or take a tour where you see life on and along the water. You can walk to the river from the old town where you will be flooded by boat trips on the Thu Bon river. You can also go to Cam Thanh Village where you can paddle through the forest of coconuts with a basket boat.
Pro tip: If you are looking for a more active activity in Hoi An, go kayaking and paddle through the many waterways around the city.
6. Have clothing made
Once an important port on the Silk Road, the perfectly preserved 15th-century trading history of the city continues to flourish today, where the tailors in Hoi An use their magic to produce high-quality clothing at a bargain price for the seemingly endless passing trade. There are many tourists who have clothing made in Hoi An and why not? It will certainly be worth your money and it will be a great souvenir and a reminder to take home.
7. Visit the markets
One of the most popular sights is the markets in Hoi An. Markets are also one of the best places to see the local life. In the middle of the city next to the river you will find the central market where you can really find everything. Every night there is a Night Market. The 300-meter-long Nguyen Hoang Street changes into a sea of color, while vendors set up stalls selling everything from handmade jewelry and clothing to delicious snacks. This market is illuminated by hundreds of different colored lanterns that decorate the street and illuminate the stalls.
8. Visit craft villages
What you should definitely not miss is a visit to one of the craft liquorice around Hi. Kim Bong Carpentry Village is a special place where carpenters work to produce furniture and other items for remarkable buildings. TraQue Herb Village, a vegetable village, shows you the agricultural techniques of the local population, ranging from plowing the soil, sowing, watering, harvesting vegetables and other agricultural activities. You also have Thanh Ha Pottery Village and Phuoc Kieu Bronze Casting Village.
9. From Hoi An to Hue
The route from Hoi An to Hue is very impressive and is already an activity in itself, with the highlight being the Hai Van Pass. This mountain pass is known for the TopGear TV program and offers great views of the sea, mountains and beaches. You can drive a scooter over this mountain pass yourself, you can hire an Easy Rider on the back of the motorcycle or rent a car with driver. When you go with an Easy Rider or car you often visit other sights on the route such as the Marble Mountains and Lang Co Beach.
10. Take a day trip
What’s also great about the city is that there are not only many places of interest in Hoi An, but also beyond. You can visit these places in the middle of day tours or by scooter yourself. These are the most popular day trips from Hoi An:
- My Son: A collection of ancient Hindu temples built by Champa people, which are now ruins. This is the most popular day trip from Hoi An and takes half a day.
- Cham Island: On this island you will find the most beautiful beaches in the area, with palm trees and clear water. A day trip to Cham Island includes lunch and snorkeling.
- Marble Mountains: Between Hoi An and Da Nang you will find the Marble Mountains, limestone mountains with a series of caves and religious sites. You can visit them, but there are also opportunities for climbing and abseiling from these mountains.
- Son Tra: The Son Tra peninsula is at Da Nang. You will find different viewpoints, deserted beaches, mountains and rare monkeys here.