Hoi An Town is an exceptionally well-preserved trading port from the 15th to the 19th centuries. It is also known for the most atmospheric city in Vietnam, or perhaps even in the whole of Southeast Asia. The city is full of picturesque historic houses, pagodas and cafes. It is extremely popular to buy handmade clothing. But even if you do not want to shop, Hoi An provides a relaxing destination in an otherwise hectic country. After all, a day at the beach is just a 20-minute bike ride from the city.

5 reasons to visit Hoi An

  1. Visit the most atmospheric old town of Vietnam.
  2. Cycle through green rice fields through the countryside.
  3. Relax on one of the beaches.
  4. Explore the city in the evening with lanterns illuminating the street.
  5. Take a day trip to My Son or Cham island.

Practical information

In short

Region

Central Vietnam, Quang Nam Province

Number of residents

122.000

Recommended travel days

2 – 3 days

Vietnamese name

Hội An

Best travel time

  • February to April: pleasant temperatures, low humidity.
  • From June to August: the temperatures are the warmest, up to 38 ° C
  • From September to January: the rainy season of Hoi An. October and November are wettest
  • November to January: coldest temperatures, ranging from 19 to 24 ° C

Money

ATM’s can be found everywhere in Hoi An.

Local events and holidays

  • Mid-Autumn Festival: On the 14th and 15th of the eight months of the Lunar year, Hoi An organizes traditional cultural activities such as a Mid-Autumn Party, parade of lanterns and music and singing competitions.
  • Full Moon Festival: Every month with full moon. Cars and motorbikes are forbidden in the old town, street markets with handicrafts, souvenirs and food open everywhere and all lanterns come out. Traditional plays and musical events are also performed.

What to see and do in Hoi An

Best things to do

You will find dozens of good restaurants, a nice beach, colonial streets and colored lanterns everywhere. Hoi An is nice and small and you can easily get everywhere by bike. Within 20 minutes you are out of town and you are in the middle of the green rice fields.

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. The best way to explore this city is on foot. Tip: go both during the day and in the evening.

2. Explore the countryside by bike
The rice fields in Hoi An are less spectacular than those in the north, but they are more accessible. The best part is a bike ride on narrow paths along the rice fields, only 10 minutes from the center.

3. Take a cooking class
Hoi An is the most popular place in Vietnam to take a cooking class.

4. Relax on the beach
The two most popular are An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach. You can easily reach these beaches by bike from the center.

5. Take a boat trip
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.

6. Have clothing made
High quality clothing at a bargain price. There are many tourists who have clothing made in Hoi An and why not?

7. Visit the markets
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 and every night there is a Night Market full of latars.

8. Visit craft villages
Carpentry Village is a true carpenter making furniture, TraQue Herb Village, a vegetable village, where you learn local farming techniques and Thanh Ha Pottery Village where you can bake pots.

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.

10. Take a day trip
My Son: A collection of ancient Hindu temples. Cham Island: On this island you will find the most beautiful beaches in the area. Marble Mountains: limestone mountains with caves and religious sites.

Accommodation in Hoi An

Where to stay

The Old Town – In the heart of Hoi An is the Old Town with the iconic sights There is not much accommodation right in the Old Town.

South of the old town you have the island of An Hoi, known for the famous night market and where the liveliest nightlife of Hoi An can be found.

Cam Chau and Cam Thanh are located in the countryside between the beach and the old town of Hoi An. It is approximately 10 minutes by bike to the old town and 15 minutes by bike to the beach of Cua Dai.

If you prefer to spend the majority of your time on the beach and visit the old town once or twice, An Bang Beach is a good option.

Best hotels & hostels in Hoi An

Budget hotels & hostels

  • Kiman Hoi An Hotel and Spa
  • Vietnam Backpacker Hostels – Hoi An
  • Lazy Bear Hostel
  • The Seaside Bungalow

Mid range hotel

  • Cozy Hoian Boutique Villas
  • Pham Gia Boutique Villa
  • Golden Pearl Hoi An Hotel
  • La Residencia . A Little Boutique Hotel & Spa
  • Royal Riverside Hoi An Hotel
  • Hoi An Central Boutique Hotel and Spa
  • Hoi An River Town Hotel

High end hotel & resort

  • La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa
  • Hoi An Silk Marina Resort and Spa

Food & drinking

Restaurants

Deciphering Hanoi’s street food scene can be astonishing, but it is worth keeping up and diving into. The city’s best food comes from the dozens of vendors that line the city’s sidewalks with smoking charcoal burners, tiny plastic stools and queues of locals.

1. Aubergine49 Restaurant
2. Tra Que Garden Restaurant
3. FireFly Restaurant & Bar
4. Nhan’s Kitchen
5. Restaurant & Cafe Tuan

6. Phi Banh Mi
7. Nhu Bau Resturant
8. Mr. Son
9. Am Vegetarian Restaurant
10. Purple Lantern

Nightlife

Across the river, the area known as An Hoi, is popular for backpackers. There are quite a few options for drinking. They fluctuate from night to night and are easy to find.

1. Make a walk through Hoi An to see the lanterns lit the street
2. Visit Hoi An Night Market
3. Dive Bar

4. Mango Mango
5. Dublin Gate Irish Pub
6. Tiger Tiger

Transportation

How to get there?

Plane

The closest airport to Hoi An is Da Nang International Airport (DAD), located in the heart of Da Nang. It is 30 kilometers from Hoi An. From the airport, the ride to Hoi An takes approximately 30 minutes by taxi.

Bus

Hoi An has two bus stations with buses to and from many destinations in Vietnam, such as Nha Trang (10 hours) and Hue (2.5 hours). But in Da Nang there is a larger busstation with a lot more busses and connections.

Between Hoi An and Da Nang there is a public bus that stops just outside the center of Hoi An and runs through the Da Nang center.

Train

The nearest train station is in Da Nang. Several trains a day arrive from Quy Nhon (6 hours), Hanoi (17 hours), Ho Chi Minh City (17 hours), Hue (3 hours), Nha Trang (11 hours) and Mui Ne (16 hours). At the station you have no problems finding a taxi to take you to Hoi An.

How to get around?

Hoi An is small enough to walk effortlessly through the old city. Every day from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the old town is closed to motor vehicles and is only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

With a bike you have more reach and it is a cheap option to go to the beaches and explore the countryside. Most hotels offer guests bicycles free of charge or cost a dollar or two per day.

Cyclos are a nice way to explore the old city. Expect to pay around 100,000 dong for a one-hour tour.

If you are a confident motorbike driver there are very beautiful trips through the countryside, to the many islands and further over the Hai Van Pass and the area around Lang Co.

Itinerary 2 days Hoi An

Day 1

Walk through the old town and visit the most famous sights.
Take a boat trip on the small waterways and view the local life.
In the evening you walk through the city again to see everything illuminated with lanterns. Also visit the Night Market.

Day 2

Rent a bike and ride through the surroundings of Hoi An. Explore the countryside and visit local craft villages.
Cycle to Bay Mau Coconut Forest to take a short trip in a bamboo basket boat.
Then cycle to the beach to enjoy the sea.
In the evening you follow a Vietnamese cooking class.