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Hoi An - The Ancient Town of Vietnam

The ancient town is actually a complex of various buildings, including pagodas, Vietnamese wooden shop-houses, Japanese bridges, Chinese temples, French-colonial houses. 

Tranquil, beautiful, and cozy are how people say about Hoi An – one of the best ancient towns in Vietnam. Coming to Hoi An, you will never forget the butterflies in your head when standing beside Hoi An riverside at night when lanterns are lit up.

Hoi An night view

Also known as “Hai Pho” (means Seaside Town), Hoi An was founded by a Nguyen lord in 1595 and grew into the most significant trading port in the South China Sea.

Hon An can be considered as a living museum of Vietnamese old-town architecture, being a major Southeast Asian post in the 16th and 17th centuries once long ago. The unique town has been successfully restored and preserved its charm, which attracts tourists from all over the world, not to mention being declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in December 1999.

With ships coming from many countries such as America, Britain, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Hoi An was a vital link in the trade routes between Japan and India, China and Europe. Foreign colonies sprung up as traders left behind representatives for other rich lands, which includes a Japanese settlement separated from the rest of the town by the covered bridge.

Hoi An Town

Hoi An Town

Top recommended attractions in Hoi An

  • Hoi An Ancient Town: Tranquil, beautiful, and cozy is how people say about Hoi An Ancient Town– one of the best ancient towns in Vietnam. Coming to Hoi An, you will never forget the butterflies in your head when standing beside Hoi An riverside at night when lanterns are lit up. Nightlife in Hoi An is such a special experience for any travelers who come for the first time. Beautiful lanterns with various shapes and colors are lit up at night, covering the old yellow houses, which makes Hoi An sure does look like paintings.
  • Japanese Covered Bridge: Japanese Covered Bridge’s image is always included in Hoi An’s album of anyone who has ever visited the beautiful ancient town. Being as little as it is, the bridge carries precious cultural and historical values. Surrounding by the beautiful ancient houses decorated with lanterns, the Japanese Covered Bridge is definitely a must-come spot for those who seek for cultural values of Vietnam's ancient history.

Japanese Cover Bridge Hoi An

Japanese Cover Bridge

  • Tra Que Village: If you are visiting Hoi An and looking for an experienced tour to locals’ farming gardens, then coming to Tra Que Village will be a good choice of yours. Situating between De Vong river and Tra Que alga pond, the village has become a famous tourist attraction thanks to the unique experience Tra Que brings about.

Hoi An Culture

Welcoming tourists from all over the world every day, Hoi An people are so friendly and hospitable. Travelers may find every local smiling and greeting wherever you go, from street vendor sellers to market storekeepers. The locals are nice enough to actively help you out when you are in trouble or in need of translation.

There are many festivals throughout the year, which you might feel fascinated to be lucky enough to visit the place at the right time. The Full Moon festival is considered to be the most beautiful time of the year in Hoi An when lanterns maximize their best beauty during such festive season.

Hoi An Ancient House

Hoi An Ancient House

Weather in Hoi An

Season in Vietnam differs dramatically from North to South. There are 4 seasons in the North, with extreme coldness in Winter and Spring then coming extreme heat in Summer. Therefore, tourists usually prefer traveling to the North in Autumn for more comfortable weather.

On the other hand, the South seems to be more gentle with only 2 main seasons: rainy season and dry season. If you want to enjoy a beautiful sunny trip, remember to book your flight between April to September.

Having the most beautiful long beaches across different cities, the middle area of Vietnam unfortunately often receives storms in rainy seasons. Therefore, it is better for travelers to be aware and check-in at good times.

Hoi An Transportation

Famous for the crazy crowded traffic, you should definitely not riding any bikes, even when you are comfortable with motorbikes. Here is a list of local transportation to get you around.

Walking in Hoi An Ancient Town

Walking in Hoi An Ancient Town

  • Cyclo: A bicycle rickshaw that gives you a full view of the city that you are wandering around. Cyclo riders can usually speak basic English since riding cyclo is only for foreign tourists. Cyclo tours organized by tourism or hotels can give you a more comfortable experience with more fluently English-speaking riders and considerable prices. The only disadvantage is that it is slow, not suitable for a busy day.
  • Xe Om: A motorbike taxi that gives you a real Vietnamese local ride. There are many Xe Om around tourist areas, they often ask whether you want a ride even before you recognize them. However, remember to ask for the price (and maybe bargain) before jumping on their bikes. Nevertheless, you can book a Grab bike for transparent cost and clear location pick-up/ drop-down points.
  • Bicycle: Hoi An is too small to take a taxi around. All you need is a rental bicycle for a whole day wandering around all corners.

Travel Tips

  • The traffic system is simple: Hoi An is a walkable city without cars or motorbikes allowed during 8:30 AM – 11 AM and 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM. So remember to check the traffic schedule if you are in need of motorbike or car transportation.
  • Hoi An locals are “sleepy”: Most stores often close or stop working between 12 PM to 2 PM. Trying to get reasonable prices, a wake-up call while they’re snoring won’t help.

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