Hoi An is definitely worth a visit during your trip through Vietnam. The cozy streets with many colorful lanterns and cheerful decoration make it a very attractive city where you can easily stay for a few days. Here I really relaxed during my Vietnam itinerary. Hoi An has some quite nice sights, but mostly there are plenty of fun activities in Hoi An to keep you entertained for a few days!
Check out my cool Southeast Asia itinerary in 3 months here.
10 things to do in Hoi An
1. Ancient town
Hoi An’s old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Many buildings have been very well preserved. In the center there are a number of buildings and sights, including the famous Japanese bridge. For a price of 120,000 dong you can visit 5 different buildings.
2. Workshop lantern making
The many colorful lanterns are a well-known street scene in the town. One of the best activities in Hoi An is to learn how to make a lantern yourself. How cool is that? There are several shops in the city where you can do such a workshop and often for a small price! You can even take them home with you.
Another fun activity in Hoi An is taking a yoga class. You will find several yoga studios where you can take yoga classes. It’s a very nice and relaxing activity and at least provides relaxation while traveling. Some yoga studios even have a yoga retreat or training to become a yoga teacher.
4. Cat cafe
Cuddling with kittens in Hoi An? That’s possible at Jack’s Cat Café. Here dozens of cats are walking around, all of whom have been rescued from the street and love to come and stroke them or sleep on your lap. Entrance is 100,000 dong per person with a drink included. With your entrance you support the organization and care of the cats.
5. Cooking class
Cooking classes are great fun and most definitely in Hoi An. I didn’t find Vietnamese cuisine very special, but I certainly learned to appreciate it more thanks to an instructive cooking course. There’s enough offer for fun cooking courses where you make different dishes. For example, you will learn how to make traditional Pho soup, spring rolls and Banh Xeo, a delicious rice pancake.
6. Street food tour
In Hoi An there are many places where you can eat delicious street food. A street food tour is the best way to become familiar with the street food that Hoi An has to offer. With a group and a local guide, you will visit several street food restaurants and stalls. For example, taste the traditional Cao Lau, Bahn Mi and Bahn Bao.
Street food tours can be booked at most hostels.
7. Night market
The nightmarket is located in the south of the city in Nhuyen Hoàn Street. Here you can stock up on souvenirs and try some delicious street food. The many photogenic stalls with colorful lanterns provide a cozy atmosphere. You will not find a lot of variety in souvenirs here. Many stalls sell pretty much the same thing.
8. Tailoring clothes
Hoi An is known for the many tailors that are located there. Having clothes made is something that many tourists do here. There are many tailors in the local market, but there are also many specialized shops in the city. The quality can vary a lot, just like the price, so visit some shops and check some reviews on TripAdvisor for example. Negotiating about the price is certainly recommended.
Do you want to have your clothes shipped home? Then take high shipping costs and any import levies into account. If your garment is not too big and you still have space in your backpack / suitcase, I advise you to bring it yourself to save a lot of money.
In Hoi An it’s full of massage parlors and spas where you can even relax. Choose a spa between the rice fields or a cozy massage parlor in the center. For already about 380,000 dong you can enjoy an hour of massage in a good massage parlor.
10. Beach of Hoi An
Hoi An is located near the coast and has two beaches: Cua Dai Beach and An Bang Beach, the latter of which is the most fun and therefore the most visited. There is a lot of waste on Cua Dai Beach and this beach is not worth it in my opinion. An Bang Beach is much cleaner and there are a number of beach clubs here, some of which have a swimming pool.
An Bang beach is easily reached by bicycle. This is the best cycling route from the center through the rice fields:
The good image of the city also ensures that it is very busy with tourists. It can get very busy in the afternoon and evening, especially around the night market and the Japanese bridge. I never expected it to be so busy in Hoi An.
Accommodation Hoi An
Hoi An is quite big and there’s a lot of choice of accommodation, from very cheap hostels to very expensive hotels.
How to get to Hoi An
Hoi An is easily accessible by bus from various cities. These buses are almost always sleeper buses and can be booked at your guesthouse or hostel.
- Hue – 4 hours
- My Son – 6 hours
- Phong Nha – 9 hours
- Nha Trang – 12 hours
- Da Lat – 2 hours
- Mui Ne – 6 hours
- Hanoi – 6 hours
Hoi An can also be reached by plane. The nearest airport is Da Nang. From the airport it is about 45 minutes by taxi.