Uncover the 15 most amazing things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam, and fall in love with Vietnam’s most beautiful city.
Hoi An, a picturesque town located on the central coast of Vietnam, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved ancient architecture, lantern-lit streets, and rich cultural heritage. Stepping into Hoi An feels like stepping back in time, as the town exudes a charming and nostalgic ambiance. With its fascinating blend of influences from Chinese, Japanese, and European cultures, Hoi An offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.
Here are 15 captivating things to do in Hoi An.
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15 Best Things to Do in Hoi An, Vietnam
Explore the Ancient Town
Exploring the ancient Old Town is one of the most captivating things to do in Hoi An. It is a captivating destination that transports you back in time. As you stroll through its narrow streets, you’ll be enchanted by the well-preserved architecture, traditional houses, and vibrant cultural heritage. Stroll around and see The Japanese Covered Bridge, The Assembly Halls, and more! Be sure to also explore ancient houses, like the Tan Ky House and Phung Hung House, offers a glimpse into the lives of prosperous merchants from centuries past.
A boat ride along the Thu Bon River reveals another dimension of Hoi An’s beauty. Marvel at the picturesque views, observe the local fishing activities and capture stunning photos of the ancient town reflected in the tranquil waters.
Throughout your journey in Hoi An’s Old Town, you’ll be captivated by its timeless allure, charming ambiance, and rich tapestry of history and culture woven into every street and building. It’s an experience that immerses you in the magic of the past while offering a glimpse into the vibrant present of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Enjoy the Thriving Coffee Culture
Hoi An is not only known for its ancient architecture and rich history but also for its thriving coffee culture. Coffee lovers will find many delightful experiences to indulge in while exploring this enchanting town. One of the best things to do in Hoi An is delve into the rich and diverse coffee culture the city offers.
Start your day by visiting one of the many charming coffee shops scattered throughout Hoi An’s streets. From trendy and modern establishments to quaint and traditional cafes, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Take a moment to savor a freshly brewed cup of Vietnamese coffee, known for its rich and intense flavor. Whether you prefer the classic drip coffee (ca phe sua da), a unique sweet coconut coffee, or the strong and aromatic egg coffee (ca phe trung), you’re in for a treat.
While enjoying your coffee, immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of the coffee shops. Some offer serene garden settings, while others provide rooftop views of the town. Relax, read a book, or simply watch the world go by as you savor the flavors and aromas of Vietnamese coffee.
Hoi An’s thriving coffee culture offers a wonderful blend of tradition, innovation, and sensory delights. So, whether you’re seeking a tranquil moment with a cup of coffee, an educational experience, or a chance to sample unique flavor combinations, Hoi An’s coffee scene is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you with a deeper appreciation for the beverage that plays a significant role in Vietnamese culture.
Take a Boat Ride on the Thu Bon River
Taking a boat ride on the Thu Bon River is one of the most memorable things to do in Hoi An. This picturesque river winds its way through the heart of the town, offering a tranquil escape and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Hop aboard a traditional wooden boat and embark on a leisurely cruise along the Thu Bon River. As you drift along the calm waters, you’ll be treated to scenic vistas of lush greenery, charming riverside villages, and iconic landmarks.
Marvel at the unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage that the river showcases. You’ll pass by colorful fishing boats, local fishermen casting their nets, and women in traditional conical hats tending to their riverside gardens. This glimpse into the local way of life provides a deeper appreciation for the region’s rich culture.
The boat ride also offers a different perspective of Hoi An’s ancient town. Admire the architecture of centuries-old buildings, with their vibrant colors reflected in the river’s surface. Capture postcard-worthy photographs of the Japanese Covered Bridge and riverside temples as you glide by.
Eat Traditional Vietnamese Food
When in Hoi An, you’re in for a culinary treat as the city is renowned for its vibrant food scene. Indulging in the local dishes is one of the best things to do in Hoi An that shouldn’t be missed.
Here are some traditional Vietnamese dishes you must try while exploring the culinary delights of Hoi An:
- Cao Lau
- White Rose Dumplings (Banh Bao Vac)
- Mi Quang
- Banh Mi
- Banh Xeo
- Hoanh Thanh Chien
- Banh Dap
Take a Cooking Class
Learn the art of Vietnamese cuisine by joining a cooking class. Visit a local market to select fresh ingredients and then prepare and enjoy traditional dishes under the guidance of experienced chefs. Hoi An is a culinary haven, and taking a cooking class in this charming town is an excellent way to delve into the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. This is one of the best things to do in Hoi An for travelers of all kinds.
Explore the Night Market
The night market in Hoi An is a vibrant and bustling attraction that comes alive as the sun sets. The atmosphere is lively and complete with colorful lanterns illuminating the streets and the aroma of street food wafting through the air. The market offers a wide array of goods to browse and purchase, including handicrafts, souvenirs, clothing, accessories, and traditional Vietnamese items. Indulge in mouthwatering dishes from the numerous food stalls, savoring local specialties like Cao Lau and White Rose dumplings.
Admire the beauty of the lanterns that adorn the streets, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere with cultural performances. Bargaining with vendors is common, adding to the interactive experience. Take leisurely strolls, people-watch, and soak in the local culture and everyday life of Hoi An. A night market is a place where shopping, dining, and cultural experiences come together, creating unforgettable memories of your visit to this charming town. Exploring the night market is one of the top things to do in Hoi An.
Visit the Assembly Halls Hoi An
Hoi An is home to several beautiful assembly halls, which are historically significant and architecturally impressive. Visiting and viewing the assembly halls is one of the top things to do in Hoi An. Here are some notable assembly halls you can explore in Hoi An:
- Quang Trieu Assembly Hall: Built in the late 19th century, the Chinese community established this assembly hall in Hoi An. It showcases vibrant Chinese architectural elements and serves as a place of worship for the goddess Thien Hau.
- Trieu Chau Assembly Hall: Also known as the Chaozhou Assembly Hall, it was constructed by the Chaozhou Chinese community. The hall is dedicated to worshiping their ancestors and the deity Thien Hau.
- Phuc Kien Assembly Hall: This assembly hall was built by the Fujian Chinese community and is dedicated to worshiping the deity Thien Hau, as well as other deities from the Fujian province.
- Quang Dong Assembly Hall: Established by the Cantonese Chinese community, this hall pays homage to several deities, including Thien Hau and the Sea Goddess Mazu.
- Cam Pho Communal House: While not strictly an assembly hall, the Cam Pho Communal House is a significant cultural and historical site in Hoi An. It serves as a meeting place for the local community and is dedicated to the worship of the village’s guardian deity.
Rent a Bike to Explore
Renting a bike in Hoi An gives you the freedom to explore the town and its surroundings at your own leisure. It’s an eco-friendly and enjoyable way to experience the charm of this historic town and immerse yourself in the local culture. It is one of the most popular things to do in Hoi An to see and explore the city at your own pace. So grab a bike, pedal through the streets, and create unforgettable memories of your time in Hoi An.
Go on an Evening Lantern Boat Ride
Experience an enchanting Lantern Boat Ride on the Thu Bon River and enjoy one of the most amazing things to do in Hoi An. An evening lantern boat ride in Hoi An is an unforgettable experience that encapsulates the town’s romantic and timeless allure. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, embrace the beauty of lanterns, and create lasting memories of your visit to this captivating destination. The price
Visit the Central Market
Explore the bustling Central Market of Hoi An, where you can find fresh produce, spices, and local delicacies. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and try some of the local street food. The Central Market in Hoi An offers a diverse and captivating shopping experience, allowing you to explore the local flavors, discover unique handicrafts, and engage with the local community. It’s one of the top things to do in Hoi An!
Get Tailor-Made Clothing
Hoi An is known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant street life, but it’s also famous for its excellent tailoring services. Visitors to Hoi An can experience the thrill of having custom-made clothing designed and created for them in just a few days. Tailor-made clothing in Hoi An is a popular choice for those who want to have unique, high-quality clothing made to fit their body perfectly.
The process of getting tailor-made clothing in Hoi An is simple. Visitors can browse through a vast selection of fabrics and styles, choose their preferred design, and have their measurements taken by skilled tailors. The tailors then create a pattern for the garment and start sewing the fabric together. Once the garment is complete, the customer tries it on for a final fitting to ensure the perfect fit.
The prices for tailor-made clothing in Hoi An vary depending on the style and fabric chosen, as well as the tailor’s experience and reputation. This is one of the top things to do in Hoi An for a unique and custom souvenir.
Relax on Cua Dai Beach
Cua Dai Beach offers a picturesque coastal escape from the historical charm of Hoi An. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, take a dip in the sea, or simply enjoy the scenic beauty, Cua Dai Beach provides a serene and idyllic setting for a memorable beach experience.
Admire the Lanterns in the City
Lanterns are an iconic symbol of Hoi An, capturing the town’s charm, cultural traditions, and enchanting beauty. Whether you admire them during the Lantern Festivals, take part in lantern-making workshops, or simply enjoy the sight of lanterns adorning the streets, lanterns in Hoi An offer a captivating and magical experience that will stay with you long after your visit. Admiring the endless lanterns is one of the top things to do in Hoi An.
Go for a Basket Boat Ride
Basket boat rides in Hoi An offer a blend of cultural immersion, scenic beauty, and adventurous exploration. It’s a chance to connect with local traditions, enjoy the serenity of the waterways, and create unforgettable memories of your visit to this charming Vietnamese town. Join a local guide and enjoy one of the most unique and exciting things to do in Hoi An.
Spend an Evening in the Old Town
An evening in the Old Town of Hoi An offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and charm. With its lantern-lit streets, bustling night market, riverside beauty, and captivating ambiance, it’s an experience that will leave you with lasting memories of this magical Vietnamese town.
Where to Stay in Hoi An
When to Visit Hoi An
The best time to visit Hoi An largely depends on your preferences and the type of experience you’re seeking. Here’s a breakdown of the different seasons in Hoi An to help you decide:
- Dry Season (February to April): This is considered one of the best times to visit Hoi An. The weather is generally sunny, dry, and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F). It’s a great time for exploring the town, enjoying outdoor activities, and visiting nearby attractions.
- Hot Season (May to August): During these months, Hoi An experiences high temperatures and occasional rainfall. Temperatures can soar above 30°C (86°F), and humidity levels can be quite high. If you don’t mind the heat, this is still a viable time to visit, especially if you plan to spend time at the beach.
- Wet Season (September to January): Hoi An experiences its rainy season during this time. While the rainfall can be significant, it usually comes in short bursts rather than continuous downpours. The temperatures are cooler, ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). This season is quieter in terms of tourist crowds, and you may find better deals on accommodations and activities.
- Full Moon Lantern Festivals: If you want to witness the magical Lantern Festivals in Hoi An, it’s essential to plan your visit around the lunar calendar. The festivals take place on the 14th day of each lunar month when the town is beautifully adorned with lanterns. Check the festival dates in advance to ensure you don’t miss this unique experience.
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