Hoi An - Things to do
1. Walk around the ancient town
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 Hoi An 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.
Wandering around Hoi An
2. Try the taste of Hoi An with a food tour
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. 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.
Hoi An food tour
3. Join a cooking class
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 as a farmer.
Cooking class in Hoi An
4. Get a classical tailor-made suit
Hoi An is a fabric paradise where you can easily get your suit tailor-made. There are a variety of tailor shops in Hoi An 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.
Staff in YalyCouture tailor shop in Hoi An
5. Lose your body and soul with Hoi An Massage experiences
You can find a massage place on every corner of 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.
Spa & Massage in Hoi An
6. Have a relaxing tea break
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 the staff when taking orders.
Have a relaxing tea break
7. Wake yourself up with Hoi An coffee
After a long day wandering in Hoi An, or whenever feeling tired, stop at a coffee shop, and 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.
A coffee shop in Hoi An
8. Queue patiently to try the unique herbal Mot Tea
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.
Queue patiently to try the unique herbal Mot Tea
9. Join the twinkle-full moon night
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 colors, with hundreds of types of fun toys and traditional decorations. At night, it is lit up with colorful light, and there will be a lot of fun activities like a 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 a full moon night is Hung Vuong Street or Asia Park.
Join the twinkle-full-moon night
10. Take a picture with Hoi An Lanterns at night
Imagine how beautiful it is to see colorful 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 Hoi An the city of lanterns as lanterns are everywhere in Hoi An. They are hung in the trees throughout the city, decorated in almost all hotels, and around the streets at night. Lanterns are in different sizes, with different designs, and colors. 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 a lanterns market
11. Chill in a local bar in Hoi An
Along Nguyen Thai Hoc or Le Loi street, you can easily find a bar or a pub to chill out. With tasty drinks, live music, and 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
12. Have a Hoi An handicraft-making lesson
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.
Have a Hoi An handicraft-making lesson
13. Buy authentic local products as souvenirs or gifts
Your trip to Hoi An can last for a long time and you need to move to another city as there are many things waiting for you to explore. Hoi An trip 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.
Handicrafts shop in Hoi An
14. Visit Hoi An’s Old Houses with special fusion architecture
A trip to Hoi An is incomplete without a visit to the ancient house. Tan Ky is one of the oldest and most beautiful old houses in Hoi An. 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 architecture in building Hoi An commercial port which was once flourished.
Tan Ky house, Hoi An
15. Shop and try local street food at Hoi An Market
Trying local street food is a way to learn about somewhere’s culture. Hoi An Market is a place where you can try lots of tasty dishes. Throughout Vietnam, there is nowhere we can find a better Banh Mi than it is. Banh mi Hoi An is just fabulous. Five different tastes “sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy” which are similar to the 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 Hoi An.
Shop and try local street food at Hoi An Market
16. Spend a day experiencing the farmer life in Cam Thanh Village
Not far away from Hoi An, 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 5 km to the southeast of Hoi An. There are a lot of tours from Hoi An 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.
Spend a day experiencing the farmer's life
17. Try basket boat rides in Bay Mau Coconut Forest
Bay Mau Coconut Forest is located in Cam Thanh Commune which 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, and how people fly under the coconut trees.
Try basket boat rides in Bay Mau Coconut Forest
18. Visit the famous Tra Que Vegetable Village
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
19. Enjoy sunbathing and go swimming on quiet peaceful beaches
Hoi An 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, etc. in Hoi An ancient town. Cua Dai beach is about 5 km from Hoi An 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 Hoi An 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 Hoi An have free shuttle buses there, or you can borrow a bike from the hotel.
Cua Dai beach
20. Watch Hoi An Memories Show
Some people might not know, Hoi An Memories Show is the biggest outdoor performance in Vietnam that consists of more than 3,000 seats , 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 from 13 USD for children and from 24 USD for adults, depending on the type of seats.
Hoi An memories show
21. Enjoy a boat tour on the poetry Hoai River
The peaceful Hoai River is iconic in 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 to around 30,000 VND - 100,000 VND.
Enjoy a boat tour of the poetry Hoai River
22. Take a free biking experience throughout Hoi An’s outskirt area
You can use a cycle, either borrow it from the hotel or hire it from the shops near your hotel. Signing up for a cycling tour may be the best option. It is not expensive, and it saves you a lot of time. Use your valuable time in Hoi An for other interesting activities. Go further into the countryside to see the rural life, visit pottery village, Tra Que, or Cam Thanh village, all can be done on your bicycle.
Take a free biking experience throughout Hoi An’s outskirt area
23. Explore further with a day trip to My Son Sanctuary
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.
My Son sanctuary
24. Spend one night in Hoi An Silk Village and learn how to make silk
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.
Spend one night in Hoi An Silk Village and learn how to make silk
25. Remember your ancestors and make a wish with floating lanterns
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. Lanterns are everywhere. The whole city is sparkling at night.
Remember your ancestors and make a wish with floating lanterns
26. Admire the unique architecture of the Japanese Covered Bridge
Japanese Bridge is a sanctuary for the local people, and a symbol for Hoi An. The covered Bridge or Japanese Bridge, built in 1593, is a combination of designs from different countries like China, Japan, and Vietnam. 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.
27. Learn more about the ancient town’s history at Hoi An Museum
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.
Learn more about the ancient town’s history at Hoi An Museum
28. Spend time visiting as many Hoi An temples as you can
For travelers 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, and 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.
Spend time visiting as many Hoi An temples as you can
29. Take a boat tour to Cam Kim Island
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.
Take a boat tour to Cam Kim Island
30. Enjoy diving and snorkeling at Cham Island
Hoi An is an ancient town, and a world heritage site, and it is also a paradise for beach lovers. If you are a big fan of water sports like snorkeling, Hoi An is a true destination for you. Snorkeling in Hoi An is often on Cham island which is about 20 minutes by speedboat from Cua Dai pier in Hoi An 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 snorkeling. Snorkeling here, you can observe the colorful coral reefs and colorful fish. June, July, and August are the best months for snorkeling on this beautiful island. Cham island is also a great choice for scuba diving.
Enjoy diving and snorkeling 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 to contact us.
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