21 Best Things to Do in Hoi An, Vietnam

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21 Best Things to Do in Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, an old Southeast Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th century, is charming in many ways. Visiting Hoi An ancient town, you can see both indigenous and foreign influences that combined to create this unique heritage site. With its alluring beauty, historical and cultural values, hospitable locals, and exciting activities, Hoi An attracts many tourists coming to discover.

More than an ancient town, Hoi An offers various attractions to see and activities to do for you. So, let’s discover 21 best thing to do in Hoi An!

1. Cycle Around to Explore the Ancient Town

Cycling around Hoi An
source: @hip-editor-thailand

With beautiful white sandy beaches, lush rice fields and the gentle Thu Bon River, Hoi An is a perfect place for you to jump on a bicycle and cycle around this ancient town. There are many different places to cycle in Hoi An: the old town for a relaxing morning, Cam Kim Island and Tra Que Vegetable Village. And if you want to experience the traditional Vietnamese way of life, we would recommend you to cycle a short distance into the countryside. While cycling around, you can explore the historical sites, do some shopping, and sample some delicious Vietnamese food.

2. Have a Boat Trip

If you want to discover the town in a different way, instead of cycling around as most other tourists, Hoi An provides you with ample opportunities to discover it on a boat. The boat trip usually takes an hour or two to cruise along the Thu Bon River. You will sit on a coracle to row the boat with the local or a tour guide in small rivers and canals. If you don’t know how to row, don’t worry, they will show you.

This activity gives you a chance not only to enjoy Hoi An poetic landscape but also to understand the cultural features. The boat trip is more fun than you expected as you will join in other activities in Hoi An like catching fish and finding out the normal life of the locals here.

3. Order a Tailor-Made Suit

Order a tailor-made suit in Hoi An
source: Lavender vines

Not only famous for its colonial buildings, Hoi An is also famous for the tailoring history that dates back to the silk route. So, it would be great if you can buy a high-quality suit in this ancient city as a gift or for yourself.

You can look for a good shop at TripAdvisor and check out all the high rated shops. And, before you get fitted for a suit, remember to agree on a price first. The price will vary depending on the quality of materials. After that, they will get your measurements and you may return the next day for fitting and adjustments. Though it takes one or two days, a tailored-made suit is worth your time.

4. Buy Local Handicrafts

In addition to grandiose architecture, adventurous activities, mouthwatering cuisine, Hoi An also offers a world-class shopping experience.

If you want to buy a souvenir for your friends or family, you should consider buying local handicrafts such as silk lanterns, pottery, leather goods and many tailored clothes. You can search for these gifts in street vendors. Because this small town is well known for its fabulous shopping scene, you have many options to choose from when shopping in Hoi An. So, you can look for the best bargains and goods to buy in Hoi An.

5. Visit Japanese Covered Bridge

Japanese covered bridge in Hoi An
source: citypassguide

Hoi An’s Japanese Covered Bridge, dating back to the 18th century, is one of the most iconic attractions in Vietnam. It is a beautiful historical piece of Japanese architecture which features the sculptures of two dogs and two monkeys (the Chinese years in which many Japanese Emperors were born). It is about 60 feet in length, colorfully painted in red with a wooden pagoda roof. You can find the bridge at the west end of Tran Phu Street which is easily reached from the town center.

6. Check out Ancient Weaving Techniques in Hoi An Silk Village

Not far from the bustling center of Hoi An ancient townHoi An Silk Village boasts for breathing new life into the long history of the Silk Road. Surrounded by horticulture farms, lotus ponds, and mulberry gardens, it has a serene atmosphere which carries you to the old days. There are a dozen artisans working here. They manufacture and weave silk into tapestries and various garments by using ancient looms. Visiting the village, you have a chance to experience silk weaving process, feel the original silk threads, and understand the difference between fake silk and the pure silk fabric.

7. Visit Tan Ky Family House

Tan Ky Family house
source: travelnotes

Located at 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc street and built nearly 200 years ago, Tan Ky family house is one of several oldest houses in Hoi An. It is considered a great example of a merchant’s residence in 18th century in this major commercial port town. You can see the ingenious combination of 3 architectural styles in this house, including Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese style. The house was built from traditional materials such as wood, bricks, and stones which were bought from different provinces in Vietnam. Tan Ky Family house is a special house which used to welcome leaders of Vietnam and other international countries to visit. Visiting the house, you will understand why it is so unique.

8. Take a Coffee Break

The late morning, when Hoi An roads get more crowded, it is a good time to take a coffee break. As the town is home to many cafes, you don’t need to walk far to get a great cup of coffee. In some cafés in Hoi An, they even roast their own Vietnamese single origin beans so its taste becomes more special and memorable. If you are interested, the staff will explain how they source and roast their coffee as well as their different brewing methods. It would be your exciting experience to enjoy a cup brewed in the traditional stainless steel filter called “phin”.

9. Sunbathe and Swim at An Bang Beach

Sunbathe and swim at An Bang beach
source: discoveryindochina

An Bang beach, 3 km to the east of Hoi An, is an ideal beach for sunbathing and swimming. It is voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia by TripAdvisor readers for the fourth consecutive year. The beach is famous for being one of the few white-sand beaches in Vietnam that hasn’t been spoiled by the beach tourism. That’s why many tourists have chosen this place for sunbathing and swimming. The best time for these activities in Hoi An lasts from May to September.

10. Taste Cao Lau

Cao Lau (Cao Lầu Hoi An vermicelli) is a traditional dish in Hoi An that visitors to Hoi An always remember. “Cao lau! Cao lau!”, noodle vendors call out continuously to invite visitors try the dish. There are many restaurants selling “Cao Lau” in Hoi An. It is a combination of yellow noodles with shrimp, pork and raw vegetables. Its special feature is the yellow noodle which is mixed with cajuput firewood ash taken from Cu Lao Cham. This typical Vietnamese dish contributes to make the culinary soul retaining the old features of Hoi An street. So, you should not miss this dish when visiting Hoi An.

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