13 best things to do in Hoi An

Last updated - January 26, 2024
13 best things to do in Hoi An

Hoi An is a beloved travel destination in Vietnam, known for its charming lantern-lit streets and picturesque location nestled along the river bank. The street scene is a unique blend of Japanese, Chinese, and French influences, with traditional old wooden and yellow colonial buildings standing side-by-side. And let's not forget the delicious baguettes sold on every street corner - they're simply irresistible!

As a UNESCO world heritage site, Hoi An has perfectly preserved its rich history, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and culture enthusiasts alike. If you're planning a trip to Hoi An, be sure to check out these top things to do in the area. With so much to see and explore, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience in this beautiful part of Vietnam.

These are 13 best things to do in Hoi An


Discover the Old Streets and Ancient House of Hoian

If you're planning a trip to Hoi An, make sure to add visiting the ancient houses to your itinerary. This is an experience that you won't want to miss! These homes have a unique architecture that reflects the cultural influences of Vietnam and other Asian countries. Despite the passage of time and natural disasters, many of these houses have managed to remain intact thanks to their sturdy construction and high-quality materials.

Exploring the Hoi An ancient town is an unmissable activity when travel to Hoi An

Out of the 1068 ancient houses in Hoi An, there are three that stand out as the most famous and distinct: the Tan Ky Ancient House, the Quan Thang Ancient House, and the Phung Hung Ancient House. These houses are definitely worth a visit, as they offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Hoi An.

The Tan Ky Ancient House is particularly special because it has been preserved by seven generations of the same family. You'll be able to see how the family adapted the house to suit their changing needs over time. The Quan Thang Ancient House is another must-see, as it is one of the oldest houses in Hoi An. Finally, the Phung Hung Ancient House is known for its stunning architecture and beautiful decorations.

The option package tours to experience deeply Hoi An.

Enjoy nightlife of Hoian with the Light of Lanterns on the Hoai River

Hoi An, an old town in Vietnam, is a sight to behold at night. The lantern lights give the town a nostalgic and charming feel, making it a popular destination for many tourists. The narrow streets and tranquil surroundings provide a sense of peace that's hard to come by in other bustling cities.

Lantern on the Hoi River in Hoi An town

One of the main attractions of the old town is the Hoai River. It's a crucial part of the town's history and culture, and it's a popular destination for many visitors. One unique experience that many tourists enjoy is releasing flower lanterns on the Hoai River. This activity adds to the already breathtaking view of the town at night, making it an unforgettable experience for many travelers.

Note: The perfect date for this activity in on 14th of every lunar month

Day trip Snorkeling at Cu Lao Cham Island

Cu Lao Cham Island, situated just 15 km from Hoi An ancient town, is an absolute must-visit destination for travellers seeking an authentic experience. Despite the limited development of tourism services, Cu Lao Cham has managed to preserve its rugged and natural character.

Scuba diving to admire the beauty of the sea in Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An

Visitors can partake in a variety of activities, including snorkelling and scuba diving to view the vibrant coral, making campfires, staying in homestays, and indulging in fresh and delicious seafood that is both nutritious and inexpensive. Cu Lao Cham is a hidden gem that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those who venture to explore it.
Don’t hesitate to ask our expert to arrange a snorkelling tour on Cham island.

Shopping at Hoian Market

Visiting and Shopping at Hoi An market is a favorite activity

One should not miss out on the opportunity to immerse themselves in the bustling local life of Hoi An by visiting the Hoi An Market. This market offers an array of products ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, spices, baskets, to meat and fish. The morning rush at the market is a must-experience, with its intense crowds and the constant beeping of motorbikes.

Another attraction in the vicinity is the Hoi An Tailor Market, where one can find numerous tailor shops. Here, you can have a bespoke suit or dress made to fit you perfectly, and at a very reasonable price if you are comfortable with bargaining. Don't miss out on these unique experiences while in Hoi An.

Wander down the Hoian Night Market

The Hoi An Night Market is a must-visit destination for tourists in Vietnam. With hundreds of lanterns illuminating the area, the market offers a unique shopping experience that is different from the daytime market. Located on the other side of the bridge, the Night Market is focused on catering to tourists with vendors selling clothing and various other items.

Colorful lanterns at Hoi An night market

It is arguably the most popular market in Vietnam and tends to get busy after sundown. The market opens at 5 PM and closes at 10 PM, giving visitors ample time to explore its offerings. Whether you're looking for souvenirs or simply want to immerse yourself in the local culture, the Hoi An Night Market is definitely worth a visit.

Explore Japanese Bridge

Exploring the Japanese bridge is one of the best things to do in Hoi An

The Japanese Bridge in Hoi An is a well-known landmark that draws visitors from all over the world. Constructed in the late 16th century during the influx of Japanese immigrants, this bridge is a must-see attraction in Vietnam. Its architectural beauty and well-preserved structure make it a popular spot for tourists to admire during the day or at night when it is beautifully illuminated.

However, to cross the ancient bridge, visitors must have the Hoi An old town ticket. This requirement ensures that the bridge remains protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy. So, if you're planning a trip to Hoi An, make sure to add the Japanese Bridge to your itinerary and take in its majestic beauty for yourself.

Experience the slow life at Reaching Out Tea House

The Reaching Out Tea House located in Hoian is operated by individuals who experience hearing and speech impairments. Despite the challenges they face, the tea house is a charming and peaceful place that should be on your must-visit list when in Hoi An.

Enjoying tea at the Reaching Out of Tea House

The environment is incredibly serene, with silence being respected, and communication being facilitated through the use of speech cubes and body language. The tea, coffee, and biscuits served in the tea house are exceptional, and the experience of supporting a good cause through tourism is truly rewarding. By patronizing this tea house, you are helping to make a positive impact on the lives of those who run it.

Add: 131 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An

Tasting the local cuisine of Hoi An

Hoi An is renowned for its delectable cuisine, particularly its street food vendors situated around the Hoai River. Among the must-try dishes are Banh Mi, Quang Noodles, and White Rose dumplings, each boasting a unique blend of spices, herbs, and fresh ingredients that will tantalize your taste buds.

Do not miss a chance to enjoy the local cuisines in Hoi An

Apart from savory dishes, Hoi An is also home to a variety of sweet treats that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Indulge in the sweet soup or traditional rice cake, both of which are perfect for rounding off a meal.
To truly immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine, make sure to include a stop at one of Hoi An's local restaurants or street food stalls in your itinerary. The flavors of Hoi An's cuisine are not to be missed and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Banh Mi is our recommendation of incredible Vietnamese take on a sandwich.

Escape to An Bang Beach

An Bang beach in Hoi An

An Bang beach offers a plethora of water activities to its visitors, including but not limited to swimming, surfing, and kayaking. However, if you're looking for a more laid-back experience, the beach is also an excellent spot to unwind and bask in the sun.

The surrounding area is adorned with verdant trees and cozy restaurants, providing an ideal escape from the frenzied pace of city life. An Bang beach is the perfect amalgamation of natural beauty and comfort, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Hoi An.

Learn to row a Thung Chai

How to row the basket boat in Hoi An?

Embark on a leisurely river journey aboard the traditional Vietnamese basket boats known as Thung Chai. These round, bamboo-made boats are a must-try experience while in Hoi An. However, be prepared to navigate the boat yourself, as its shape makes it nearly impossible not to spin in circles. Fortunately, there are many options available to learn this ancient craft and spend an entire morning or afternoon indulging in the experience. So, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and enjoy the scenic views along the river.

Tam Quan gate at Ba Mu Pagoda

The beauty of Ba Mu pagoda in Hoi An

Another attraction worth visiting is the Ba Mu pagodagates, also known as Tam Quan. This stunning three-gated Pagoda, built in 1626, has only recently opened its doors to the public. The pagoda and its beautifully colored complex feature a round open circle flanked by two large doors, exemplifying the typical style of Vietnamese architecture. A visit to this old pagoda is a must for anyone interested in exploring the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam.

Cycling to the countryside

Enjoy biking in the Hoi An countryside

In an effort to improve their English language skills, Vietnamese students have taken to organizing complimentary biking tours. These tours offer a unique opportunity to explore Hoi An from a local's perspective, as participants cycle through the rice fields, learn to prepare traditional foods, and visit lesser-known parts of the city. This is an excellent way to experience the culture and customs of Hoi An while also practicing conversational English with native speakers. Whether you're a language learner or simply looking for a new way to explore the city, these free biking tours are not to be missed.

Visit Quan Cong Temple

The Quan Cong temple, also known as the Quan Cong Pagoda, boasts a striking decor of bright gold and red, which is a common feature of Chinese temples. The temple's vibrant colors stand out against the yellow buildings and serve as a prime example of the cultural influences that have shaped it.

Visitors can enjoy a sense of serenity in the inner courtyard while also being mindful of the signs that remind them to remove their shoes when standing in front of the sacred statues.

Quan Cong temple in Hoi An

The Quan Cong temple is a testament to the rich history and traditions of Chinese culture. Its intricate design and vibrant colors are a feast for the eyes, and its peaceful atmosphere offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As with any sacred site, visitors are encouraged to show respect and reverence for the temple and its traditions. By doing so, they can fully appreciate the beauty and significance of this remarkable cultural landmark.

Hoi An is a captivating destination that enchants visitors with its tranquil and picturesque charm. The town's signature hues of yellow walls, red lanterns, and colorful rows of confetti make it truly unique. To enhance your visit to Hoi An, Ama Journey recommends a range of activities that are sure to make your trip even more memorable. Follow our expert tips for an unforgettable experience in this charming town.

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