As a result of being an international trading port and commercial center in three centuries, Hoi An’s culture and architecture reflect both indigenous and foreign influences. Once tourists get a chance to visit this unique heritage site, there are plenty of activities worth trying, below our top 30 best things to do in Hoi An.
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Hoi An is so attractive with ancient houses, souvenir shops, tailor shops, cyclo drivers, street vendors, lantern-sparkled nights, performances of folk songs, and arts. You can see all the above attractions of Hoian just by walking. Every time visitors walk on the streets of Hoian, they will have different impressions. Each time come here is like a new time. Some people are especially interested in old buildings here. Old architectural houses with moss-grown walls, deeply plain roofs, old furniture in their pristine past arrangement create the endless charm of Hoian. The majority of them were constructed from the 15th to 19th centuries and are still well-preserved nowadays.
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Wandering around Hoian
Hoi An food is superior in that they have several unique dishes that are well-known all over the country. Local Hoi An people really pay attention to every detail in order to make a perfect dish. With the main purpose to create a great food tour for you, we would recommend that first of all, when you come to Hoi An, it would be a miss if people do not mention Cao Lau. Cao Lau includes rice noodles, meat, greens, bean sprouts, and herbs. The meat used is usually pork, which can be chopped or sliced. Rice noodles are made from rice soaked in lye water. The broth is made by boiling pork bones with onions or shallots.
Cao Lau is often served with lettuce, bean sprouts, and some fresh herbs such as mint, chives, perilla, lemon basil, Vietnamese coriander, cilantro, water mint, mustard greens, chrysanthemum greens, common knotgrass, and heartleaf, etc. Thanh Cao Lau Restaurant, Ty Ty Restaurant, Cao Lau Khong Gian Xanh restaurant are among the best restaurants in Hoian serving Cao Lau.
Besides, trying chicken rice is another best thing to try in Hoi An. The chicken is carefully selected from the young chicken, making the meat soft, but firm. Hoian people cut or tear the chicken into smaller slices, seasoned with spices like salt, pepper, chili, and Vietnamese coriander. Other important parts of the chicken rice in Hoian are the golden rice, chicken broth. The full dish is served with sliced mint leaves and onions and chili sauce. Com Ga Ba Nga, Com Ga Hoian Xi, Huong Com Ga are the most popular restaurants in Hoian where you can try the best Hoian chicken rice.
You can get all the taste by joining our Hoi An food tours.
Hoi An food tour
There are more than 50 cooking classes in Hoian which you can sign up for. Most cooking classes involve visiting a local market to buy the main ingredients for the class, cooking under the instruction of the chefs, and tasting the dishes you have cooked. Some cooking classes are combined with basket boat tours, cycling to the local farming villages where you work such as a farmer. Cooking in Hoian can be a great experience for you, where you are taught how to cook the famous dishes in Hoian, learn more about the life of local people, and interact with them. Some famous cooking classes for you to choose from are Hoian Eco Cooking Class, Red Bridge, Green Bamboo cooking school, Tra Que Water Wheel Organic Farm Cooking Class.
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Cooking class in Hoian
Hoian is a fabric paradise where you can easily get your suit tailor-made. There are a variety of tailor shops in Hoian where you can get your suit made, Bebe Tailor, Yaly Couture, A Dong Silk, Cloth Shop Su are among the best shops. They can make quality suits at a reasonable price. A suit costs from 90 USD to 280 USD, and it takes about four to five days to be done. You can choose express service where the price is a bit higher if you're short on time. If you stay a few more days in Vietnam, you can ask the shop to ship the suit to your hotel.
Staff in YalyCouture tailor shop in Hoian
You will probably have to walk a lot in Hoi An because all the fun and exciting activities are quite a within walking distance. It’s convenient, but after a long day, you will feel tired, so what’s better than getting a massage after an exhausting day? You can find a massage place in every corner on Hoi An Street, from a normal to a lavish one, from a foot massage to a full body massage treatment, from Thai Massage, hot stone massage, to bamboo massage, etc. One tip for you is that even sometimes the price is listed, it’s still negotiable, so don’t be afraid to ask for a good deal. Some spas are reviewed to have high-quality services are Citrus Spa (180 Ly Thai To), La Luna Spa (700 Hai Ba Trung), etc.
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Spa & Massage in Hoi An
Instead of suggesting you have a normal tea break, we would like to give you information about a more meaningful place that you can visit. Reaching out teahouse is a special teahouse where all the staff is deaf. Customers order by using gestures, and you can see a friendly and devoted attitude from staff when taking orders. People come here not only to enjoy tea, coffee, fruit juices, biscuits, bread, pie, jams… but also enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, feel the beauty of silence. The teahouse is surrounded by countless clothing stores, leather goods, and other food stores, but inside the house is a quiet and relaxing space. You can choose a table facing Tran Phu street, or a green corner if you love nature and open space. There are tables in the small yard if you want to chat with others.
Have a relaxing tea break
After a long day wandering in Hoian, or whenever feeling tired, stop at a coffee shop, grab a coffee to see how it differs from coffee in other parts of Vietnam. People come to a coffee shop not only for coffee, but they can order other drinks like avocado banana coffee smoothies (sinh tố cà phê), sapodilla coffee shakes (sinh tố cà phê sapoche), mango lassi, and iced tea. Faifo Coffee on Tran Phu street has the best view, a famous rooftop overlooking Hoian. The Espresso Station on Tran Hung Dao street has the best unique coffee, in which ‘Ice Cube Coffee’ is among the most innovative coffee offerings. Sound of Silence Coffee Shop in Nguyen Phan Vinh street is hidden among the palm trees, overlooking the tranquil ocean. They are among the best coffee shops in Hoian.
A coffee shop in Hoian
Trying Mot Tea is absolutely one of the best things to do in Hoi An. Mot Tea is served in 150 Tran Phu, Hoi An, in a house that is not as fancy and glamorous as people imagine, but it definitely has its own aesthetic. Lotus pots and herbs that are contained in ceramic bowls make the place seem really cool and aesthetic. The amazingly famous signature Mot Tea that makes thousands of people get in line to order is created with only lemongrass, lemon, ginger, herbal tea, and traditional medicine An Thai Ong Thay Tai, served in a glass that is decorated elegantly by a lotus leaf. It does not only help you to detox, but it’s also a really cheap option. You can have a glass of Mot Tea for only 12,000 VND.
Queue patiently to try the unique herbal Mot Tea
If you visit Da Nang during the Mid-Autumn festival, you are in luck. You will have a chance to experience one of the best things to do in Hoi An. The street is filled with bright, cheerful, and vibrant colours, with hundreds of types of fun toys and traditional decorations. At night, it is lit up with colourful light, and there will be a lot of fun activities like dragon dance performance, eating moon cake, etc., young adults will dress up in beautiful customs to hang out. If you come at this time, the ideal place to enjoy full moon night is Hung Vuong Street or Asia Park.
Join the twinkle full moon night
Imagine how beautiful it is to see colourful lanterns highlight the whole magical black sky at night. It’s indeed magnificent, that’s why Hoi An has its own lantern streets. Some people call Hoian the city of lanterns as lanterns are everywhere in Hoian. They are hung in the trees throughout the city, decorated in almost all hotels, around the streets at night. Lanterns are in different sizes, with different designs, and colours. You can also see a lot of times that they put a light-up lantern on the boat to decorate, it creates a dreamy scenery that is perfect for an ideal picture.
A Vietnamese girl taking a photo in lanterns market
Along Nguyen Thai Hoc or Le Loi street, you can easily find a bar or a pub to chill out. Tasty drinks, live music, beautifully decorated with lanterns, you may find new friends after a few drinks. Bars and clubs in Da Nang are pretty fancy and sophisticated, while in Hoi An, because the local bars are mostly operated for foreigners, they follow a more chill and comfortable style, with more entertainment like pool tables, dart games, etc.
Chill in a local bar in Hoi An
Have you ever wondered how to make a lovely unique lantern? Lanterns are a signature touch of Hoi An, so they also offer some lantern-making lessons for those who are curious about them. It’s one of those fun activities in Hoi An that you should try. Normally, you will have to choose if you want to learn Express Class or Full Class. For Express Class, you will learn in 1.5 hours and the craft class will prepare bamboo sticks ready for you while Full Class will last for 2.5 hours and you will learn everything from scratch. You can design your own lantern with your favorite shape, size, type of silk, and color. Teas will be served during the lecture. The lantern you make is foldable, you can bring home as a souvenir to give to your family or friends as a gift.
Have a Hoi An handicraft-making lesson
Your trip to Hoian can last for a long time and you need to move to another city as there are many things waiting for you to explore. Hoian trips may end in a local market where you can buy a gift for your beloved. Make sure that you do not have to buy more weight for your luggage. What can you buy in the local market? Clothes, Souvenirs, Handicrafts. Taste some delicious food at the food cart if you do not have time to do it before. The Tiger Market – Cho Tan An, Ba Le market, Hoian night market, Thanh Ha Market, or An Bang market are among the typical markets in Hoian which you should visit once during your travel time in Hoian.
Handicrafts shop in Hoian
A trip to Hoian is incomplete without a visit to the ancient house. Tan Ky is one of the oldest and the most beautiful old houses in Hoian. Tan Ky House is the place where 7 generations of the Le family have lived. The house is a combination of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese architectural styles. Coming to visit this house, you will have an opportunity to ascertain much more about typical architectures in building Hoian commercial port which was once flourished. The house is open for visitors from 8:00-18:00 every day, you should dress politely when visiting this house.
Tan Ky house, Hoian
Trying local street food is a way to learn about somewhere’s culture. Hoi An Market is a place where you can have a taste of lots of tasty dishes. Throughout Vietnam, there is nowhere we can find a betterBanh Mithan it is. Banh mi Hoian is just fabulous. Five different tastes “sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy” which are similar to five elements of the universe “earth, wood, water, fire, and metal” are included in each Banh Mi. With only 1 USD, you can enjoy Banh Mi almost everywhere in Hoian.
There are a lot of bread stands in Hoian. Banh Mi Phuong, Banh Mi Lanh, Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen are among the best in Hoian. Bear in mind that you need to be in a long queue for this delicious find of food. Besides, grilled mixed rice paper salad is a good snack while you are in the night market. Lots of stalls along the riverfront sell it for a low-cost price. This Vietnamese Pizza is made with grilled rice paper with eggs, butter, scallions, pork, sausage, beef jerky, chili sauce, and shallots. It’s incredibly delicious and fulfilling for a snack.
Shop and try local street food at Hoi An Market
Not far away from Hoian, ancient towns are farming villages where you can experience farming life. One of these villages is Cam Thanh village which specializes in making coconut paintings. Cam Thanh Village is 5km to the southeast of Hoi An. There are a lot of tours from Hoian center to this village each day. In the village, you can dress like local people, work on a farm, and do all the jobs which local people do. They can be learning fishing techniques, learning how to paddle Vietnamese bamboo basket boats, picking coconuts from the coconut trees, taking a cooking class from locals, etc.
Spend a day experiencing the farmer life
Bay Mau Coconut Forest is located in Cam Thanh Commune that we just mentioned above. The place is poetic with green pure water and beautiful coconut trees in the forest. A basket boat or a coconut boat is a special boat in Vietnam. It is a small, but useful boat for fishermen. Nowadays, people use the basket boat for a tour around the river. On the basket boat, tourists will see how local people traditionally catch fish. It can be catching fish with a large net or some other tools. The tour guide on the basket boat will tell you the story of Vietnam during the war, how people fly under the coconut trees. You will be taught how to make animals from coconut leaves. You can also experience singing karaoke on a coconut boat in the middle of the water. It is a fun and interesting tour. For something more adventurous, sit on the basket boat when the rider rides a paddle to shake the boat. This game is not for people who have heart disease, so think about it when you try this game.
Try basket boat rides in Bay Mau Coconut Forest
Tra Que Vegetable Village is a small peaceful, quiet, pure, and greenish village that is famous for producing the best veggies applied with unique techniques that do not produce toxic or harmful chemicals. There are about 41 different types of vegetables and herbs grown in this village. It’s just about 3km to the north of Hoi An. Coming here, you will have a special opportunity to take part in a cooking class where you can pick the ingredients in the garden, ride a buffalo, learn farming techniques, and take a bicycle to go sightseeing.
Visit the famous Tra Que Vegetable Village
Hoian is home to a lot of beautiful beaches. Some people even do not know about this because they get lost in tailor shops, food stalls…in Hoian ancient town. Cua Dai beach is about 5 km from Hoian ancient town and is on the list of 18 most beautiful beaches in Asia. An Bang beach with the same distance is a pristine beach and still unspoiled by tourism development. Besides, tourists coming to Hoian can relax at other beaches like Cham island, Binh Minh or Ha My beach. For close beaches like An Bang or Cua Dai, most of the hotels in Hoian have free shuttle buses there, or you can borrow a bike from the hotel.
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Cua Dai beach
Some people might not know, Hoi An Memories Show is the biggest outdoor performance in Vietnam that consists of a more than 3,000 seats theatre, over 500 professional artists, and a 25,000 m2 stage. The show comprises 5 parts which are Life, Wedding, Lamp and Sea, Trading Port, and Ao Dai, and this will tell you a story of the foundation and development of Hoi An from the start. It lasts for 1.5 hours every night except for Tuesday with a ticket price of 300,000 - 400,000 (children), and 600,000- 900,000 (adults) depending on the type of seats.
Hoi An memory show
The peaceful Hoai River is iconic of the old town that has been with local people for many generations. You can choose to take a boat ride in the morning to observe the pure atmosphere and sunrise on the river, or at night to watch the mysterious beauty of the views that have been lit up by lanterns. Generally, a boat ride will last for 30 minutes, and the price will come around 30,000 VND - 100,000 VND.
Enjoy a boat tour on the poetry Hoai River
You can use a cycle, either borrow it from the hotel or hire it from the shops near your hotel. Signing for a cycling tour may be the best option. It is not expensive, and it saves your time a lot. Use your valuable time in Hoian for other interesting activities. Go further to the countryside to see the rural life, visit pottery village, Tra Que or Cam Thanh village, all can be done on your bicycle. Enjoy the fresh atmosphere and the peaceful view of the countryside but remember to bring a hat, sunscreen, bottles of water, and long sleeves as it can be hot in Hoian.
Take a free biking experience throughout the Hoi An’s outskirt area
These ruins would be a great place for people who are interested in ancient civilization or Champa architecture. My Son ruins is a temple complex built between the 4th century and the 14th century. It was the central worshipping center for the Champa people. From Hoian ancient town, you can take a half-day tour to My Son. It is recommended to come early in the morning to see the sunrise over the temples and avoid the heat and crowd after that.
My Son sanctuary
Located at 28 Nguyen Tat Thanh, Hoi An, Hoi An Silk Village is a wonderful place for visitors who are interested in buying luxury suits and dresses, handmade lanterns, and so on. The price here is definitely higher but worth the time and cost because of the perfect quality. Going here, you will have a chance to pay a visit to a silkworm breeding house, learn information about how silk is made, observe the workers do the process, learn techniques to feed the silkworms, and how to unravel silkworm cocoons in an authentic traditional way. After finishing the whole process, you can go to the showroom to see the final result of the product. Don’t think too much, go to Hoi An Silk Village for a one-of-a-kind experience that you will never forget.
pend one night in Hoi An Silk Village and learn how to make silk
For a romantic experience, walk to the Hoai river where you see little boats. Hire one of them, buy the lantern, lighten it up with a candle, and release it to the river. Locals believe when releasing the lanterns into the river, your wish will become true. The river is more crowded during the lanterns festival which is on the 14th day each month in the lunar calendar. During the festival, you will see a lot of traditional shows & games activities like music performances, chess competitions, folk games, play card games, masquerade dances, lion dance, folk singing, regular Vietnamese martial performance, and magic street performance, etc…Lanterns are everywhere. The whole city is sparkling at night.
Remember your ancestors and make a wish with floating lanterns
Japanese Bridge is a sanctuary for the local people, and a symbol for Hoian. Covered Bridge or Japanese Bridge was built in 1593, is a combination of designs from different countries like China, Japan, or Vietnam. On the bridge you can find statues of both dogs and monkeys, symbolizing years of the Chinese Zodiac. The bridge is the place you should visit at least once during your trip to Hoian. Coming here you will know how Hoian and Hoian people are influenced by people from different countries. The bridge is beautiful during the daytime, and even more charming at night. It is a beautiful place to take photos, so do not forget to bring your camera with you on the trip to this bridge.
Hoi An Museum is situated at 10B Tran Hung Dao Street. The 880 documents and artifacts are displayed in an 800m2 area that is separated into 4 rooms: History- Culture, Revolutionary Tradition, Hoi An’s Rise from Hardship, and Paintings about Hoi An. If you decide to come here, you will gain a deeper knowledge of Hoi An’s developing history, as well as watch artistic paintings of the daily normal life of local people in Da Nang as well as the beautiful and peaceful Da Nang landscape.
Learn more about the ancient town’s history at Hoi An Museum
For travellers who are interested in spiritual destinations, it’s a good idea to explore those respectable well-known temples in Da Nang. You can not only come to pray for yourself and your family, find peace in your soul, but you also can spend time there to admire their sophisticated architecture as well as the majestic view of the surroundings. According to the reviews, we believe that some of the temples that you should absolutely visit are Cao Dai Temple, Linh Ung Pagoda, Quan Cong Temple, etc.
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Spend time to visit as many Hoi An temples as you can
Commonly, visitors' main purpose to come here is to be able to take a look at the craft craftsman wood carvers who have a reputation for taking part in the most popular public structures in Hoi An. In order to come here, you will have to experience a special experience by taking a ferry. Besides tracking down the notable homes of a significant number of expert carvers, you can also get a few woodcarvings to bring home as gifts.
Take a boat tour to Cam Kim Island
Hoian is an ancient town, a world heritage site, and it is also a paradise for beach lovers. If you are a big fan of water sports like snorkelling, Hoian is a true destination for you. Snorkelling in Hoian is often in Cham island which is about 20 minutes by speedboat from Cua Dai pier in Hoian mainland. Cham island is home to eight different islands off the central coast of Vietnam, the water is sparkling turquoise, making it a perfect place for snorkelling. Snorkelling here, you can observe the colourful coral reefs, colourful fish. June, July, and August are the best months for snorkelling on this beautiful island. Cham island is also a great choice for scuba diving.
The island has ten unique dive sites. Each site features countless types of fish (clown, trigger, lion, pipe, eel, barracuda, etc.), shellfish, octopus, corals, and other hidden creatures. Scuba diving in Cham island is for both beginners and experienced divers. The shops around the island offer various ranges of training courses for tourists who are interested in it. Hoi An Diving Centre (also known as Blue Coral Diving) is the only 5 stars PADI IDC Center in Hoi An. The centre offers courses from the introduction level ‘Try Diving’ to Divemaster and Instructor level certifications. Using this centre for your diving experience in Cham island is highly recommended.
Enjoy diving and snorkelling at Cham Island
Hope that the above 30 best things to do in Hoi An are useful for your trip. If there is anything you need to know, do not hesitate tocontact us.