THE 15 BEST THINGS TO DO IN HOI AN

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The town of Hoi An is located in central Vietnam, just a few kilometers south of the modern thành phố of domain authority Nang. The name Hoi An translates literally to "a peaceful meeting place" và the reason for this dates back lớn the 15th century when Hoi An was known as a strategic trading post between ancient Southeast Asian societies. It attracted merchants from Japan, Laos, Thailand, và numerous other ethnic groups from inside what is now known as Vietnam.

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Hoi An is a UNESCO world heritage site, which is a các mục of protected locations và landscapes that have great cultural importance. This badge of honor has also been given khổng lồ the Taj Mahal & the Great Pyramids of Egypt among others. While the these landmarks are grand in design and gesture, Hoi An is quaint và cozy so holidaymakers can easily immerse in its rich history & culture.

What is Hoi An known for?

Hoi An is known internationally for its frozen-in-time examples of ancient Vietnamese và foreign culture that is displayed around every corner, in the architecture of buildings và bridges, and in the local cuisine. Present-day travelers will find Hoi An khổng lồ be packed full of clues khổng lồ its vibrant ancestry.

Some of the most notable things khổng lồ see and do are:

Visit the historical 300-year-old Japanese covered bridgeWander through the enchanting old town on foot or by bicycleCruise along the Thu Bon River on a lantern decorated boatTake a trip to the nearby majestic Marble MountainsRelax on the beach in utter tranquilityDay trip into domain authority Nang thành phố for a taste of modern Vietnam

How many days bởi you need in Hoi An?

The number of days needed lớn see & enjoy Hoi An can be anywhere from just 2 days on a whirlwind weekend trip or 2 weeks at a slower pace. The liveable nature of the town has meant it wouldn"t be hard lớn find tourists there who have become residents, and for expat communities, Hoi An is a đứng top destination.

See for yourself in Hoi An

There are several fascinating things khổng lồ see when you visit Hoi An, Vietnam. Many of these experiences are just steps away from your Hoi An hotel, while some require a day trip. First, here are the best things you can see from within Hoi An.

Discover the Hoi An old town

What to lớn see:Well preserved examples of life in Vietnam from centuries ago

Where:Bach Dang road is the hub of the old Town

Also known as the Hoi An ancient town, the old town of Hoi An was historically the cultural center of Vietnamese merchants và noblemen going back 2-3 hundred years. This heritage can be seen in the unique buildings that feature bright yellow stone walls and ornamental wooden carvings. Bridges in the old town are especially picturesque are decorated in traditional Indochinese lanterns and patch together the cobbled streets between the Thu Bon river and the Hoi An canal system. It is this particular area that puts Hoi An on the UNESCO world heritage site các mục with most of the must-see things contained within just a few hundred square meters.

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Lantern Coffee siêu thị
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

A walk through the Hoi An old town is even more enchanting at night when the streets come alive with food stalls selling traditional Vietnamese fare, & cyclo bikes peddle people around the riverside. It"s so charming, especially for couples và families. Solo-travelers can find solace in the fact that there lively bars và cafes along the river teeming with like-minded adventurers. Areas of the ancient town are pedestrianized during the evening, so take your time and let the waves of culture wash over you!

Cross the Japanese covered bridge

What to see:A beautiful and ornamental bridge steeped in history.

Where:On Tran Phu street next lớn the river.

Inside Hoi An"s old town is the famous Japanese bridge with an architectural kiến thiết dating back 300 years. Careful preservation has meant the bridge is still operational and enchanting lớn this day. You may have seen this Japanese bridge proudly printed on the 5000 VND Vietnamese note, or on the Instagram of your travel-savvy friends. It exhibits two large statues of a monkey & two of a dog representing the Chinese years during which many Japanese Emperors were born and also denoting when the bridge was built.

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Japanese covered bridge
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

Become enchanted with Hoi An"s lantern culture

What to lớn see:Hanging lantern displays

Where:All along the street of the old town. Souvenirs can be bought on Nguyen Hoang street

As Hoi An has been an ancient melting pot of various south-east Asian nations, there are many residual traditions and customs mix in Hoi An"s cultural DNA. A good example of this is the brightly colored lanterns that hang lượt thích vines from house to lớn house. Influenced by the Chinese và Japanese equivalents, Vietnamese lanterns feature flowery patterns và artistic natural landscapes on silk fabric. They can be purchased from local sellers with the best location being in the night market on Nguyen Hoang street.

If you"re heading lớn Hoi An but can"t make the festival, kiểm tra out our guide to Hoi An’s famous lantern festival.

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Beautiful lantern in Hoi An
Alessia Galimberti / Unsplash

Wander through Hoi An"s local markets

What khổng lồ see:Bustling markets offering anything from local produce to tailor-made suits

Hoi An night market

Where:Nguyen Hoang street

The night market is located inside the Hoi An old town. Here tourists can find anything from delicious street food lớn designer fashion labels at discount prices (products may or may not be genuine). This local market is a one-stop-shop for trinkets & gifts for friends back home. In addition, it"s a great training ground lớn sharpen your negotiating skills with most sellers expecting to lớn broker đơn hàng with savvy tourists. After doing business, take a break on the riverside where numerous food stalls and restaurants offer traditional Vietnamese food and nightly entertainment.

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Street food at night market
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is AwesomeHoi An central market

Where:Between Nguyen Hue và Tran Phu street

The Hoi An central market is a focal point of everyday life for fishermen, farmers, and shoppers alike. This little center of local trading is one of the best things to lớn see in Hoi An. On the surface, visitors will see a huge offering of fresh produce ranging from homegrown vegetables to lớn well-preserved condiments like pickled garlic và chili.

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Hoi An local market
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

Further beyond the threshold, you will find anything you could imagine possible. Bounties of fresh fish are displayed along the side of the river while local fishermen haggle a deal for their catch. Seamstresses offer tailor-made suit or dress services for very affordable prices, based on your bartering skills. When energy levels are low, cửa hàng around at the food stalls that sell delicious spring rolls và other awesome Vietnamese cuisines.

Relax along Hoi An"s beautiful beach

What khổng lồ see:Picturesque tropical beaches & crystal clear waters

Where:Anywhere along the coastline, especially An Bang beach

Hoi An sits on the eastern coast of Vietnam & enjoys a beautiful stretch of coast that runs all the way up to domain authority Nang. With the sun rising in the east, early birds will get a great sunrise view from anywhere on the beach.The most popular beach is An Bang beach.This is at the over of Ha tía Trung street, just a short 10-minute bike ride north of Hoi An. Parking & other food & beverage services are available và this is also a popular location for hotels.

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An Bang beach is very popular in domain authority Nang
SURAWONG WONGPRAT / Getty Images

As you head south from An Bang beach, other spots are worth checking out. These are known asAn Bang south beach, Hidden beach, & Cua dẻo beach. Though these beaches are less crowded, space is very thin due lớn coastal erosion. This is why there is less commercialism & services are more sparse. They are still worth the visit, anda tour of all these beaches by bicycle is highly recommended.

Hire a vintage bicycle khổng lồ see iconic Vietnam in style

What lớn see:Rice paddies, traditional village life, beaches, và more!

Where:Head north towards the coast

A top recommendation is lớn rent a bicycle, this can be from your khách sạn or any local agent. Once you"re on a bike, must-see things come thick and fast. Nearby beaches, villages, rice paddies, & the old town are at your fingertips. A popular loop is lớn head out of town on Ha tía Trung street towards the beach. Within moments you will be whizzing between gorgeous rice paddies và the traditional village communities that tend khổng lồ them. After a quick stop off at the beach, return via Lac Long Quan and Cua dẻo street for the full loop.

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Hoi An Street with cyclo
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

A lot of areas of the old town are closed for motorized transport in the evening so a xe đạp tour is the best way to get around in style. They usually come with a handy little basket on the front, và they are very economical too, only a few dollars for the day!

Take a cooking class

What lớn see:Cooking classes instruct how lớn make delicious & vibrant Vietnamese food.

Where:Many culinary schools operate in the old town with Gioan Cookery being a favorite.

If you are a keen chef or want lớn take trang chủ a taste of Hoi An, Vietnam, then join a cooking class. From informal demonstrations in your khách sạn to more serious instruction in a school, cooking classes are available for all levels. Established culinary schools offer bespoke classes that include guided tours of the local market to gather ingredients for a thực đơn that you choose. After only a few hours, students will be able khổng lồ recreate some of the most signature dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. A little training in Vietnamese cooking is one of the best souvenirs you can take trang chủ for everyone.

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Cao lau - one of the signature dishes in Hoi An
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

Get a tailor-made wardrobe at the source

What to lớn see:Beautifully tailored clothes ranging from traditional to office wear.

Where:Tailors are around every corner with blue Chic Tailor being a favorite.

Vietnam is known as one of the world"s biggest textile producers, & Hoi An is considered the center of fine fabrics and professional workmanship in the whole Southeast Asian region. Tourists and locals alike travel here for all their wardrobe needs. Tailors can be found on every street, alleyway, and market with services ranging from world-class to lớn affordable.

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Hoi An Tailor shop
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

With the ability to pick your style on the fabric of your choice, those interested in a custom-made suit or dress have just entered paradise. The average turnaround time from measurement khổng lồ delivery is about 3 days, so get measured up early enough lớn allow time for adjustments và the like.

For more detail, click here.

Partake in ancient Vietnamese fashion

What to see:The traditional and contemporary clothes of Vietnam

Where:All along Tran Phu street

Hoi An is the best place to buy a traditional Vietnamese dressknown in Vietnamese as an "ao dai". Featuring grand designs on smooth silk fabric, ao dai is worn by Vietnamese people for all kinds of customary and religious reasons, in addition to lớn being the standard school uniform, usually for girls. Many domestic tourists take a trip to lớn Hoi An specifically to have an ao dai custom made, & numerous variations of the Ao dẻo can be bought off-the-shelf. Men usually wear Ao dẻo for weddings where they are considered the pinnacle of handsomeness.

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Ao dẻo in Hoi An town
venusvi / Canva Pro

Jump on a lantern boat for a tour of the Thu Bon River

What to lớn see:All the spectacular scenery of the old town from unique viewpoints.

Where:Boats depart from Bach Dang road.

An excellent way lớn see Hoi An from a different perspective is by lantern boat. Simply a wooden rowboat dressed in candles và lanterns, tourists can jump aboard & cruise past some of the most iconic landmarks of Hoi An, including the Japanese bridge, the central market, và rows of gorgeous-looking stone houses. A trip can take 30 minutes khổng lồ over 1 hour depending on the tour itinerary and is breathtaking at night with all the lantern light khiêu vũ on the water.

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Tourist on lantern boat in Hoi An
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

Take a trip outside the city

Staying in Hoi An provides a great base for activities that are further afield. Day trips out of Hoi An are easy with private transport available through ride-sharing apps such as Grab, or simply hire a scooter for $5 a day.

Explore the marble mountains

What lớn see:A stunning network of caves và pagodas nestled in limestone mountains

Where:Along the Truong Sa highway with entrances on Huyen Tran Cong Chua street

The marble mountains are located 30 minutes north of Hoi An towards domain authority Nang. Made up of five huge limestone và marble monoliths, Vietnamese folk law holds that they are the remnants of a long egg. When it hatched it bore a beautiful girl. Now, being a holy site, a complex of temples và pagodas have enveloped the mountains with several contingents of monks leading prays và ethereal chants for pilgrims.

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Marble Mountain
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

Now visitors can take a tour of this historic site to have a first-hand experience of the breathtaking pagodas, grand cave sanctuaries, and stunning viewpoints. A tour, self-guided or organized through a tour company, usually takes around 2-4 hours at the cost of a few dollars.

Enjoy a basket boat ride

What to see:Navigate river ways engulfed in jungle by traditional basket boat.

Where:Along Vo đưa ra Cong street before the Cua dai bridge

A few clicks east of the city in Cam Thanh district is where tourists can find an array of opportunities khổng lồ get on the water. Where the mouth of the Thu Bon river fragments into little mangrove forests, travel companies have set up siêu thị offering basket boat rides through the jungle. Floating by, visitors get a great view of traditional fishing village life & even get the chance to hop off for an exclusive cooking class or train to harness the power of your own buffalo to lớn work the rice fields.

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Street view basket boat
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

Day trip to da Nang

What to see:Perfect beaches, và fashionable restaurants at the foothills of the Son Tra peninsula.

Where:Around 30kms north of Hoi An. A 45-minute xe taxi will cost roughly $10 - $15.

The modern thành phố of da Nang is only a mere 30 kilometers away from Hoi An và has several famous attractions itself with most travelers planning at least one day there to lớn explore. Some of the best things about this thành phố are the beautiful trắng sand beaches, the easy access to lớn spectacular mountain roads, and the 5-star casinos, hotels, và golf courses.

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Son Tra peninsula in Danang thành phố
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Explore the My Son Sanctuary

What to see: Stone-built temples & historical artifacts of a lost society.

Where:In Duy Xuyên district. About 40km west of Hoi An.

The My Son temples, also another UNESCO world heritage site, are evidence of an ancient civilization that inhabited much of Vietnam between the 4th & 14th centuries. Akin to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, but smaller, visitors can roam through the ruins & discover up-close the cryptic sculptures & inscriptions of the lost Champa society.

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My Son Sanctuary
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

When is the best time lớn visit Hoi An?

Hoi An is set slightly inland from the coast in central Vietnam. The weather is consistently tropical with only two distinct seasons being the dry and the wet season.

The Dry Season

The dry season in Hoi An, Vietnam, is generally from March khổng lồ September. During this time, the hottest months are from June to lớn August with temperatures in the 30s (degrees Celsius). This is also peak tourist time và all services and hotels will be open.

The Wet Season

From October to March, tourists can expect heavy rain & the odd typhoon. While the sky may be gray, temperatures are still hot, & the vibrant colors of Hoi An keep the experience cozy. In the later months of the season, January to March, rain is less likely và temperatures hover around 25 degrees celsius.

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Nice building on the river
Alan Brownbridge / Vietnam Is Awesome

How can I get to lớn Hoi An?

Plane/train:If you are flying into the region by plane you will arrive at the da Nang đô thị airport. If you want lớn travel by train, the main station is on hải phòng street, not far from the airport. From either of these locations, you can book a taxi or use a ride-share app lượt thích Grab to travel the 50-minute journey over to Hoi An. The xe taxi should cost around $10-15.

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Coach/minibus:Tourists can arrive from other nearby cities in Vietnam such as Hue in the north, or Nha Trang in the south. Coaches usually have sleeping berths for long-haul comfort & will terminate in domain authority Nang, whereas minibuses can drop off tourists directly at the door of their khách sạn in Hoi An.

That concludes our guide lớn the best things to lớn see in Hoi An & the surrounding area. When in Vietnam, make sure a trip to lớn Hoi An is đứng top of your list. Though there truly are some magical places in Vietnam, Hoi An is undoubtedly a centerpiece of culture, history, và beautiful architecture. As you get ready for you trip there, make sure you also check out our comprehensive listing of Hoi An"s vị trí cao nhất attractions!