You may also like: Top 10 things to do in Vietnam for the first-time visitors
Things to Do in Hoi An You Can’t Miss
Explore Hoi An Ancient Town
Used to be an international port during the 15th to 17th centuries, Hoi An witnessed a peaceful cultural fusion between Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. Nowadays, travelers coming to Hoi An still can see the shreds of evidence of this era in the ancient quarter of the town with architecture, cuisine, and culture.
Hoi An ancient town is a must-see destination, recommended to everyone who’s planning to Hoi An.
Hoi An Museum of History & Culture
Tan Ky Old House
Tan Ky Old House at no.101 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street is a brilliant example of the architecture of the 18th merchant’s residence in Hoi An. The name “Tan Ky” expresses the wish of the owner for a more prosperous business just like any merchant that used to live on the streets of this town. House’s decoration represents an oriental philosophy with a triple-beam structure, five-round blocks, and many distichs….
Fujian Assembly Hall (Hoi Quan Phuc Kien)
Built by merchants from Fujian, an assembly hall is a gathering place of the Chinese community in Hoi An back in the day. Just look at how grand and colorful the architecture and decoration are, you can easily imagine the merry, busy atmosphere of the hall during its heyday. Typical mythological figures of Chinese culture in the very impressive courtyard will catch your eyes from the very first moment.
Nowadays, local people come to Fujian Assembly Hall to wish for children. There are also 12 ‘midwives’ figures on the ground of the Hall.
The Japanese Covered Bridge
Dated back to the 18th century, the Japanese Covered Bridge is the iconic construction of Hoi An which was featured on the 20,000dong. Built by the Japanese merchants living in Hoi An back in the day, the bridge was made to connect the Japanese quarter with the Chinese quarter. The most important features of Japanese Covered Bridge are the sculptures of two dogs and two monkeys, representing the birth years of prominent Japanese Emperors.
Photo: Richie Chan
To visit the town’s attractions (assembly halls, old houses) you should buy a package ticket:
Get Tailor-made Clothes
Join Cooking Class While in Hoi An
One of the things worth doing in Hoi An is joining a local cooking class where you can learn to cook and taste traditional Vietnamese home-cooked dishes. Tra Que Vegetable Village is a great place to join a cooking class. Not too far from Hoi An, come to Tra Que, your cooking experience is absolutely safe with all the organic herbs and vegetables planted and nurtured by local farmers.
Other cooking classes inside Hoi An Town include Green Bamboo Cooking School, My Granma’s Home Cooking, Taste Vietnam – Ms. Vy’s Cooking Classes….
>>> See our Hoi An cooking class tours: Hoian – Classic Half Day Cooking Tour – from $33/pax
Hoi An Nightlife – What to Do in Hoi An at Night
Hoi An at night is just magical and atmospheric as it can be, especially on the 14th night of the lunar month when all the electric lights are turned off and the lanterns are lit. The reflections of the river set the whole town aglow.
Enjoy the Delicious Food at Hoi An
Stroll the streets of Hoi An, you can easily find vendors and stalls selling food on the sidewalks. Or come to the night food market of Hoi An which is located right next to the Japanese Covered Bridge. It’s the perfect place to enjoy both the delicacies and the bustling atmosphere of Hoi An.
Your Hoi An Food List includes Cao Lau, Spring Rolls, Wonton, Chicken Rice, Quang Noodles, Xi Ma, Kem Ong, and Corn Sweet Soup. The prices for these dishes are cheap.
Stroll Hoi An’s night market
On An Hoi island, the night market of Hoi An is the highlight of Hoi An’s nightlife. Hosting bog crowds of both locals and tourists, the night market is the place for shopping and trying Hoi An’s delicacies. All kinds of products are displayed on the trolleys and tables along the sidewalks such as handicraft items, clothes, accessories, bracelets, necklaces, and especially lanterns.
Ride a Boat on Thu Bon River and Put the Flower Lanterns Down on the Water
This activity is a favorite thing to do for many travelers to Hoi An which you can experience nowhere else in Vietnam. When the night falls, you can walk along the glimmering streets of the old town and find the little girls holding baskets full of flower lanterns. One flower lantern costs between 5,000VND and 10,000VND. You can just light and hold the lanterns and come near to the riverbanks to put them down on the river. Or pay 20,000VND to sit on a small boat paddling along the river. Don’t forget to make a wish after releasing the lanterns.
Bars/Pubs/Live Music in Hoi An Town
Hoi An might not be as active as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City at night but it has its own charms with quite a number of atmospheric bars and lives music restaurants for you to enjoy the drinks and music from local artists. There is a long list of places to enjoy the night:
Things to Do around Hoi An
Relax at The Blue Pristine Beaches – An Bang Beach & Cua Dai Beach
one of the beachside restaurants.
Biking Tour in the Countryside
Tra Que Vegetable Village should be a must thing to do if you’re traveling with family. Tra Que is a traditional village where you can find the green color of organic plants. The village supplies organic veggies for the whole town of Hoi An and even nearby areas.
>>> See our Hoi An Cycling Tour to Countryside
You can bicycle your way from Hoi An to Tra Que in just 15 minutes. Once you’re in the village, things you can do are try the works of farmers like watering the plants and join a cooking class in Tra Que Village. They’re also a foot massage service here to enjoy.
Day Trips from Hoi An
Cham Island (Cu Lao Cham)
Come to Cham Island, you’ll absolutely love the coral reefs which make diving and snorkeling the activities you can’t miss.
My Son Sanctuary
Come to My Son, visitors get lost in the holy land of a ruined Kingdom of Champa. The tower temples were built without any glue and this is still one of the secrets of My Son.
Just 30 minutes driving away, Da Nang is the best day trip with a completely different charm to the old town of Hoi An. With a modern lifestyle and beauty, Da Nang still doesn’t lack a cultural appeal to it with the Linh Ung pagoda and Marble Mountain. Click here to know more about what to do in Da Nang.
Above are the best things to do in and around Hoi An – one of the best destinations to visit in Vietnam and among the top cities in Asia. To experience Hoi An to the fullest and with the most authentic moments, let our travel experts arrange your trips to Hoi An with the best itinerary and most reasonable price.
When is the Best Time to Visit Hoi An
The best time to visit Hoi An is the dry season because the rainy season can bring floods to the town. The dry season in Hoi An lasts from February to May with mild weather, moderate temperature, low humidity, less rain and warm sunshine. For those who love to enjoy swimming and sunbathing on the beaches of An Bang and Cua Dai, June will be the best time for you to do so.
July and August can still offer decent weather with sunny days, blue skies, and high temperatures with sudden rains to help calm down the heat. September witnessed an increase in rain and from October to January is the rainy season with the possibility of floods happening and the lowest temperature.
What to Eat in Hoi An
Hoi An is no doubt one of the best places to enjoy Vietnamese traditional dishes, including some very famous ones like Banh Mi which Anthony Bourdain used words like ‘a symphony inside a sandwich’ too describes. Not only Banh Mi, but you can also find plenty other dishes in Hoi An in our list below where to find it:
A very common and famous dish in this little town. Cao Lau and Mi Quang are two dishes you can find at any restaurant and Hoi An market. The dish is noodle-based and can be topped with pork, chicken, or even seafood, herbs, bean sprouts…
The noodle of this dish is so special that it can only make in the water in Ba Le well in Hoi An town. The water will make the noodle thick, much more like the Udon noodle.
Banh Xeo (Sizzling Pancake)
If you are a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, you must have tried Banh Xeo before since it’s one of the most recommended for travelers coming to Vietnam. Come to Ba Le Well Restaurant in Hoi An to taste the best Banh Xeo in town. The crispy pancakes here always have prawns, sliced pork, and bean sprouts. You eat it by placing a piece of the pancake on rice paper and lettuce, rolling it, and dipping it into a bowl of dipping sauce.
Bale Well Restaurant: 45/51 Tran Hung Dao Street, Minh An, Hoi An
Mi Quang (Quang Noodle)
It’s easy to be mistaken Mi Quang and Cao Lao for each other. Mi Quang is another noodle-based soup originally from Quang Nam which makes the dish one of Hoi An’s specialties. Mi Quang uses more toppings than Cao Lau, including quail eggs, slices of pork, prawns, peanuts, and spices. The noodle is made from rice or wheat, soaked in the broth made from boiling pig’s bones. This is just good stuff to eat at every time of day.
The dish is everywhere in Hoi An, from restaurants to street stalls, you can easily sit down and enjoy slurping for a good 30 minutes.
Mui Quang is generally cheap, about 15,000 – 25,000 VND per bowl. Some places to find Mi Quang:
Banh Mi can be found anywhere in Vietnam, yet Hoi An has the best Banh Mi thanks to Anthony Bourdain – this is something many eaters agree about. The two legendary places that have to make Hoi An’s Banh Mi so popular are:
The common thing of the two places is that their Banh Mis have various fillings from fried eggs, grilled pork, pate, sausages and a lot vegetables and herbs. The sauce which enhances the taste of a whole Banh Minh is the secret that makes Vietnamese Banh Mi so different from other sandwiches. This dish is a must-try for travelers visiting Hoi An.
White Rose Dumplings are made at White Rose restaurant ( 533 Hai Ba Trung) and the water to make the dish, again, has to come from the mystic well of Ba Le. However, you can enjoy this dish from other places with cheaper prices. The dumplings are served with a heavenly tasted dipping sauce. Don’t miss this dish out on your Hoi An food checklist.
Com Ga (Chicken Rice)
Com Ga is such a sweet experience in Hoi An. The dish is simple yet easy to eat and can make you full for a long time. Boiled chicken will be torn into small pieces, put on top of the rice cooked with chicken broth, with a dash of fresh turmeric to give it a glossy yellow color. The dish is served with mint leaves, opinion…
* Best Eateries in Hoi An:
1. Nu Eatery
How to Get to Hoi An
– Getting to Da Nang,
– And getting from Da Nang to Hoi An.
You should see how to get to Danang first for more information.
Hoi An doesn’t have an airport, the closest airport is Da Nang International Airport which is located 30km from Hoi An. And since both Da Nang and Hoi An are famous destinations, this airport is often overloaded.
By train, you’ll get to Da Nang easily, the rest of the story goes the same way as traveling by airplane – take a taxi or a xe om to Hoi An. Negotiate the prices carefully before going.
Are you temped to visit Hoi An? Why not let us arrange your perfect tailor-made trip to Hoi An and Vietnam? Tell us your own ideas and requests by mailing to email@example.com or by filling the form in Customize Tour.