Hoi An is a small town located at the estuary of Thu Bon river in the Centre of Vietnam. This busy trading port in the 16th and 17th century has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1999 for being one of the best-preserved ancient commercial ports in the Southeast Asia. The streets of Hoi An Ancient Town are also lined with shop houses and makeshift stalls selling handicrafts, traditional apparel, and shoes while its central marketplace is filled with locals bargaining for fresh produce and foodstuffs. Hoi An will be the great destination in 2018 for those who love peace and countryside. Now, we will provide you with detailed recommendations for your whole tour in Hoi An: things to do in Hoi An, Hoi An street food, Hoi An tours, Hoi An homestay and shopping in Hoi An.
1.Which is the best season for a trip in Hoi An?
We wil suggest you 3 options:
- February to April: Around this time, the weather in Hoi An is especially cool and pleasant. It is suitable for those who want to come here to relax.
- May to July: This is near the end of dry season in Hoi An, the weather is great for you to go to sea and Cham island. This is also the ideal time to travel around Hoi An, the weather is suitable for sightseeing activities.
- October to December: If you want to experience a boat ride in An Hoi ancient town, come here at this time. Because this is the beginning of the rainy season in Hoi An and the old town is submerged in water, so that people have to travel by boat. But if you go this time, make sure to know that your travel plans are blocked by the rain. So you think carefully before you go there this time.
2.How to travel to Hoi An?
- Cars and airplanes: there are the two main means of transport that will take you to Hoi An. However, if traveling by plane, you will have to go to Da Nang airport, then take the bus, motorbike or taxi to Hoi An. It will take you about 1 hour from Da Nang airport to Hoi An. You can use the shuttle bus from the airport. For travel around, you can contact Mr Chau (Tel: 0932.864.368)- the local guide in Hoi An. Price of 4-seat car is around 220.000VND/person, 7-seat price is about 270.000VND/person and 320.000VND/person for 16-seat car
- Da Nang – Hoi An bus: Around 20 minutes, there is a bus to Hoi An from Da Nang bus station. Last line is 5.50 pm, fare is around 20.000 / person.
3.Transportation in Hoi An
You can visit Hoi An by taxi, motorbike, bicycle, cyclo or walk. If you use a motorbike, make sure that you know clearly about the street which is prohibited in some certain time. In the evening you can take a walk or cyclo along the Thu Bon river to see the beauty of Hoi An at night. But according to travel experience Hoi An savings, it is best to walk, just for enjoy the scene and night street food.
4.Hoi An hotel and homestay
Nowadays, more and more people coming to here including domestic and foreign tourists. Therefore, there is no shortage of accommodation in Hoi An. Even, many various kind of accommodation develop day by day for meeting the increasing demand.
Resort- luxury place for couples:
With some couples are considering which places are suitable for their honeymoon, resort is a good idea . Needless to say, Hoi An Beach Resort is one of the most beautiful resorts located in central position- 1st Cua Dai. It can be seen as a gold position because it has a unique view that tourists will totally satisfy when coming here.
The second choice is The Palm Garden Resort Hoi An Beach. This is also a luxury accommodation in Hoi An. It is located on the tropical garden with about 5ha. This garden has more than 400 palm trees with romantic bungalows .It is located on Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An Town, Quang Nam province with 3 types of rooms . All have enough modern equipment designed by natural materials of Vietnam. With these separated bungalows and luxurious amenities, combined with modern design to a high standard, the resort will become the best choice for rich tourists.
Hotel- a popular choice for young people
In general, this hotel is good with a reasonable price. The price is between 250000 VND / double room and 500000 VND / double room. Green Field hotel is also a great choice with less than 500000 VND. This hotel has enough equipment for you to use. Moreover, Southern Hotel & Villa has a little higher price because it has a beautiful swimming pool .
An Hoi Hotel- 2-star hotel with low price
Being a 2-star hotel with a total of 29 beautiful rooms, An Hoi hotel is equipped with full amenities: two-way conditioning, private bathroom, TV, hair dryer, free wifi, fridge,…Besides, An Hoi Hotel is the first choice for the people who seeking for Hoi An hotels with pool. It also serves many convenient services: outdoor pool, bicycle rental, organized tours to visit Hoi An one day with enthusiastic tour guide, breakfast, 24-hour receptionis,..Only with these conditions, An Hoi Hotel has well deserved as the most beautiful and cheapest hotel for most of tourists.
Sun River Hotel Hoi An
Sun River Hotel Hoi An is located on the waterfront of Hoi An. From the hotel, you can collect the whole beauty of Hoi An River, Old Town and exciting activities, the busiest of Hoi An and the sights . You can rent a bicycle to visit the hotel’s tourist attractions. Along the way you can shop and enjoy the rich culinary diversity of Hoi An.
Hoi An River Sun Hotel has 30 rooms which are all 3 star standard. They have modern furniture, full equipment, more liquor cabinet for vip room, free snacks … The most attractive things in Hoi An River Sun Hotel services are an outdoor pool, pool side bar, restaurant, cafe, garden, spa and massage…
Anh Duong hotel
We can say that Anh Duong Hotel is one of the most beautiful and cheapest hotel in Hoi An. Not only the prime location, beautiful views, 36 spacious rooms, Anh Duong hotel also has good balconies and full amenities and services you need. Especially, Anh Duong Hotel also makes tourists happy with a spacious outdoor pool. They also have excellent spa services; romantic cafes. The restaurant can accommodate 60 people which serve all dishes and specialties from Europe. Service attitude and the quality of staff is also an outstanding points of this hotel. They are very friendly, enthusiastic, dedicated and proficient in English.
Homestay- staying with local resident?
Homestay is a type of “green tourism” ideal for young people who love exploring in other countries. Also, homestay is cheap accommodation for tourist’s choice .They will be at the home of local people and have a chance to have a close perspective and understand the way of life and culture of those people here. They can eat with local family and enjoy some traditional food. There are some famous homestays in Hoi An. You can contact Ms. Chau at No. 09, opposite to Vinh Hung resort, close to the night market. This family has many rooms with full equipment with reasonable price.
5.What is the most attractive things to do in Hoi An?
Try to become a real chef by learning a cooking class
There are dozens upon dozens of cooking classes available in Hoi An and which one you should choose simply depends on preference. Several of the strongest cooking classes are attached to popular restaurants, such as: Seatrek cooking class, Vy’s Market Restaurant & Cooking School , Red Bridge, Green Bamboo
Explore the countryside
Hoi An is surrounded by lush, green countryside. It would be a shame not to venture out of the city during your stay. Numerous cycling and trekking tours are on offer in Hoi An, which take participants out to rice paddies, hills, Tra Que villages, and pristine beaches.
Visit the Lantern Market
The next in Hoi An must do things list is wandering the lantern town. An Hoi, across the river from the central Hoi An, is home to one of the most beautiful night markets in Vietnam. Traditional lanterns are made of colorful paper or silk, wrapped around specially treated bamboo frames to ensure durability, avoid termites. The custom shape of the frame has many different shapes. They will place the candles in the middle which make radiate warm, shimmering, fanciful.
See the Japanese Covered Bridge
This beautiful little bridge is emblematic of Hoi An. Over the centuries the ornamentation has remained relatively faithful to the original Japanese design. The bridge is due for a complete removal for repair, so check it’s open before you travel. While wandering around, you can see this bridge and take some photos with this ancient one.
Visit some historic museum
If you are one who love history, you should make a trip to Hoi An museums, such as: Museum of folklore, Museum of Hoi An cultural history, Hoi An trade museum, Sa Huynh culture museum.
Bay Mau coconuts forest- a new destination for tourists
Not far from Hoi An, it is only a few kilometers for coming to Bay Mau coconut forest (located in Cam Thanh, Hoi An City). Here, people can comfortably watch the large area of coconut trees. According to local people, there was a little coconut trees growing by themselves. Therefore, local people grew and developed the coconut forest aiming to taking the leaves to make houses. In the war, this was a safe haven for revolutionary forces of Hoi An. It is also a springboard for the army to strike sorties inner Hoi An
Sunbathing in An Bang beach- the most beautiful beach in the world
An Bang beach is about 4km length with a very natural landscape and vegetation is also diverse. The beach is like the gentleman. You can lay on a couch, close your eyes and enjoy the gentle sound of waves, sea breeze. A highlight of An Bang beach is the white smooth sand. The beachfront loungers can make the visitors more relaxing. Most of time, the beach is a little bit noisy. Foreigners are just sit quietly enjoying the fresh sea air, reading, listening to music in a very polite way.
Drop the flower lights
Still in this evening, besides observing, you can soak up the decorations for the party and the light on the waterfront. A pleasant experience that many tourists like to do is dropping flower lights on Hoai River. Your hands will drop some small twinkling lights down the river and hope the lights will bring good luck to your family. In the old part of Hoi An, colored lanterns adorn every house, and at night the soft glow of candle-light settles over the town. Every full moon, the electricity is switched off and a procession winds through the candle-lit streets to the river, where the lanterns are set free.
Diving and seeing corals
Cham island is a well-known by the biodiversity which has many rare species. However, in recent years ,the number of tourists to Cham island is increasing. This problem affects on the region’s coral reefs . It makes a slow recovery which seriously impacts to marine habitat system in Cham island. Most of Cham Island tour have snorkeling activity or diving for seeing corals. If you can walk and breath, you can SeaTrek. During the tour, fish of all shape and colours, local marine life will surround you. You will have a delicious lunch and relax at the Unique ecological Bai Chong beach of a Word Biosphere Reserved Cham islands recognized by UNESCO. Then, have a chance to experience the adventure on our VietNamese wooden boat. Moreover, it’s the best tour for snorkeling, swimming, relaxing.
Walking underwater and Snorkeling TourIn Cham Island
Try an eco tour to Tra Que Village- become a real farmer
If mentioning about things to do in Hoi An, we can not miss this activity. The local farmers will teach you their cultivation methods, and how to protect developing vegetables from the insects. You will also join the farmers in gardening activities such as raking the ground, sowing, watering greens, transplanting, and tending greens. After working on the farm you can relax a traditional therapeutic foot bath with medicinal herbs. Seatrek tour to Tra Que village is also a great choice for your experience.
Becoming a real fishermen in fishing village
Coming to Hoi An, you should try visiting a fishing village and take part in some activities of fishermen here. You will be taken out to sea in the early morning and are shown how to throw nets, catch fish and enjoy some fresh food on board. Additionally, you are also taught how to sing “Bả trạo” – a unique art form of the fishermen. All of these will bring to you a great experience in your holiday.
6.Then, which is the best food to try?
Hoi An food is really nice, such as: Banh mi, Cao Lau, Quang noodles, barbecue, tea,…Here are the famous eating places in Hoi An that we must refer to:
Cao Lau Hoi An
Many local residents living in this ancient town said that Cao Lau was appeared from the 17th century, in the time of opening the port of Hoi An, allowing many foreign traders to come. Therefore, Cao Lau was influenced by Chinese cuisine and also affected by the cold Udon noodles of Japanese. However, Cao Lau Hoi An still has its own flavor and become the unique food that tourists should not miss. The only person who sells the most delicious Cao Lau in Hoi An is Mrs.Be – next to Hoi An market.There are so many people selling this food in Hoi An an the price is very cheap. Address: Some restaurants on Tran Phu Street.
Smashing rice paper (Banh dap)
Banh Dap (also known as Banh Chap) is kind of rustic cake in Quang Nam. It is the harmonious combination between the two kinds of baked roll and wet roll with some other ingredients to create new taste. Banh Dap is combined with two pieces of crispy rice paper and wet rice paper smashed on the table. It’s meant to be eaten in pieces then dipped into a bowl of sweet fermented fish sauce and chili called Mam Nem. Banh Dap is often sold at roadside, alleys, or on a pair of small baskets to sell through the roads of the country or street corner. Address: Go through Cam Nam bridge
Sweet corn soup (Che bap)
Sweet corn soup – is a famous food in list of Hoi An food . It is a sweet and sticky dessert made with shaved kernels of corn sourced from the village and sweet glutinous rice. It can be enjoyed at warm, cold or at room temperature. When we eat, we just need little coconut milk on top to increase the fat. When a tourist finished enjoying this sweet corn soup, he must exclaim: “Hoi An Corn has been seen as a brand”. Address: As part 2.
Dumpling and cauldron cake (Banh bao- banh vac)
Dumplings and cauldron cakes- two cakes have the same ingredients and are often eaten together on a cake plate. The main raw material for processing two types of these cakes is rice. Rice must be white , grain, fragrant, and are planted in clean land. Cauldron cake is usually made from shrimp mixed with a little crushed pepper, garlic, onion, lemongrass and some special spices. Dumplings is made from pork, mushrooms, green onions and fried with some special spices. Across the streets in Hoi An, there are many restaurants serving not only for tourists but also for local residents in here. Address: White Rose Restaurant on Nhi Trung street. Here, you not only enjoy these delicious cakes but you can visually see the unique process of making these cakes.
Enjoy the best bread in the world
Phuong bread is no stranger to any food lovers, even those who have never had a chance to taste it. Even Cameron Stauch- Canadian cook Cameron, who used to cook for Canada’s president, had to give praise to this bread. That is enough to explain why a small bakery in Hoi An is so popular for all of the tourists in over the world. The menu has a lot of kinds, from typical Chinese sausages to the sausages of Western-style such as ham, pate and sausages, cheese, mayonnaise,..
7.Hoi An shopping – the paradise of everything
Make a suit by hot sewing
Garment industry is highly developed in Hoi An, including services “hot sewing” which rapidly response the needs of tourists. Hoi An’s shopping scene is legendary for its plethora of affordable yet quality tailoring services, where you can easily get your hands on custom-made dresses, suits, shirts, and shoes at a fraction of the price you’d pay for them back home. In Minh An Ward – urban areas of Hoi An, there are more than 57 fabric household and sewing shop to serve tourists. Besides, there are many stores such as Thu Thuy, Yaly, Phuong Huy, Bao Khanh, Gia Hung, Hanh Hung shop…
Shoes in Hoi An is also very rich in design such as wooden shoes, lovely slippers or luxurious shoes. The sellers are very enthusiastic and welcoming so you can find suitable shoes for yourself. In Hoi An, there are a lot of shoes shops such as: Funky Shoes at 38 Bach Dang, Cam Tu Shoes at 8 Hoang Van Thu… Especially in Hoi An, there are slide sandals looked very nice. They are sold in many shops in the streets and in the Hoi An markets.
Ancient Hoi An has been a favourite destination of tourists and art collectors, attracted by its handsomely preserved buildings and bustling art scene. But lately the bloom is off the art market.After lamp socket, shoes, clothes, the paintings in Hoi An are also very popular souvenir for tourists. Gathering a large number of artists, Hoi An can provides a lot of beautiful paintings with high prices. You can find some paintings of Hoi An in some galleries such as La Gai, Ha Ly, Vietnamese Village, Kim Chi…
Lamp socket- becomes its own culture of Hoi An
Hoi An lamp socket has become its own culture of Hoi An. It has a variety of colors and show flair and talent of Vietnam artisans. Lamp socket in Hoi An is quite nice, light and collapsibleso it is suited for tourists to buy as a gift. You can buy lamp socket in some shops on Tran Phu street such as: Tuoi Ngoc, Ngoc Thu and in other shops on Le Loi, Nguyen Hue and Nguyen Thai Hoc street …
If you still wonder about things to do in Hoi An, this article is an useful tool for you. All above are some basic share about the tourist experience. In addition, you should combine the trip between Hoi An and Danang. Next time, we will share more about whole trip in Da Nang. Wish you have a happy trip in Hoi An!