Hoi An is undoubtedly one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations and for good reason. The riverside town is home to quaint and colorful lantern-lit streets, historic houses, and cozy cafes. Walking around the town you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The town is unlike any other place in Vietnam and is well worth a visit.
8 things to do in Hoi An
Here are the top 8 things to do in Hoi An.
Walk around Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entire area dates back to the 15th century. It has some wonderfully preserved ancient houses with lots of shops and restaurants geared towards tourists. You can walk around the town, shop for souvenirs and sample the local cuisine. You can even get your own tailormade bespoke suit here since Hoi An is known for its textiles, particularly its silk. A special occasion you should not miss out on is the 14th of every lunar month. On this day, the locals celebrate the Full Moon Festival and lanterns are lit all over the town giving the town a magical glow.
Go boating at Hoi An river
One of the best ways to get a feel of Hoi An is by boat, especially on a traditional boat. This is also one of the best ways to view the sunset unobstructed and is a popular activity among tourists. The boat ride is even better at night when the river lights up with floating lanterns. Another plus point is that you can also get a view of the popular Hoi An riverside with its busy cafes and restaurants.
Take a photo at the Japanese Covered Bridge
The iconic Japanese Covered Bridge is the symbol of Hoi An and a visit to Hoi An is incomplete without visiting the bridge. It is an ornate covered bridge constructed by the Japanese community in the 1590s over the Thu Bon River as a symbol of peace between the Japanese and Chinese merchants. The ornate monument is a blend of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese architecture and is one of the most photographed places in all of Hoi An.
Eat food at Hoi An Night Market
Hoi An Night Market is a lively market in the center of town. Overlooking the river, the market is the best way to get a taste of the local cuisine and nightlife. The market has several food stalls that offer regional foods that you can try like White Rose dumplings, Cau Lau noodles, Quang noodles, and the Vietnamese-style pancake Banh Xeo. You can also browse through the shops of various local vendors selling handicraft products, souvenirs, clothes, etc. The market is also adorned with colorful lanterns during the 1st and 15th days of the lunar month giving it a fairytale-like atmosphere.
Join a class
Being a historic town, Hoi An provides plenty of opportunities to learn more about the town. There are handicraft villages in Hoi An where you can take classes on weaving and learn about the various textiles available in the region. There are also free classes on Han Nom calligraphy available on the 14th of every lunar month. You can also find classes on traditional paintings. A popular class among tourists is the cooking classes, where you can learn more about how to cook Vietnamese cuisine. You can even attend coffee making and tasting classes. There is also a lantern-making class where you can learn how to make Vietnamese lanterns.
Relax at An Bang beach
An Bang beach is one of Hoi An’s most popular beaches. It is located 7km away from the town and is a great place to take a walk, go for a swim, and relax. You can also participate in several water sports such as water skiing and parasailing. There are even yoga classes that take place on the beach in the morning along with plenty of spas to help you relax and enjoy your holiday.
Tour the Old House of Tan Ky
The historic Old House of Tan Ky was built in 1741 and is a lasting reminder of the old world of Hoi An. Seven generations of the Le family, the family who owned the house, have lived and preserved the building to date. The architecture of the house is a mix of three Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese styles. One of the characteristics of the house is that no nail has been used in the building. Inside you’ll find many artifacts including unique antiques that once adorned the house during its heyday.
Visit Hoi An Silk Village
The Hoi An Silk Village was established 300 years ago and is still going strong today. Here, you can meet artisans and learn more about the precious art of silk-making. There is also a display of different fabrics you can buy. There is even a restaurant where you can sample the local cuisine. Silk products are sold here and you are encouraged to buy some souvenirs to support the local artisans.
The history, culture, and food make Hoi An one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam. It should definitely not be missed out on your Vietnam trip. The town’s central location makes it a great pitstop between South and North Vietnam. However, in order to visit Hoi An, you will need to apply for a visa through the Vietnam embassy or consulate in your home country or online using a government-approved visa company like BDATrip. If you are a citizen of Austria, you can directly apply for a visa here.