Hoi-An is one of the most beautiful towns in Vietnam, and you shouldn’t miss it. Hoi An is exceptionally well preserved as a Southeast Asian trading port. And spending some time in this small town will take you back in time, so here is our 3-day travel guide for Hoi An, Vietnam.
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5 things to do in Hoi-An, Vietnam
There are so many beautiful things to do here. For this Hoi An Travel Guide, we will focus on the top 5 things to do.
1. Explore the old town of Hoi-An.
Hoi An is a beautiful old town that is especially magical at night. As the sun goes down, the streets fill up with people excited to see the street lantern lights turn on. The Old Town is filled with many small shops and many local restaurants serving traditional cuisine.
The best way to get around the Old town is by bicycle or by walking because no cars are allowed inside. We prefer using bicycles, which can easily be rented from many of the hotels in the area or from the locals.
➔Find Some Great Mapped Routs here: Cycling In Hoi An: Self-Guided Routes
❥ Also Read: Is Vietnam Safe? Things to look out for
Japanese covered bridge
This is one of Hoi An’s most iconic attractions. It was built by the Japanese community when they were situated in Hoi An.
This bridge was built to reach the Chinese quarters, and it includes a sculpture of a dog and a monkey. These represent the Chinese years, indicating that the construction of the bridge started in the year of the dog and ended in the year of the monkey.
Shop at Hoi-An Old Town
Hoi An Old Town is filled with many small shops and restaurants. This is the place to find amazing food, beautiful clothes, souvenirs, or anything else you’re looking for. It’s the perfect night out.
Get here around sunset and watch the lanterns turn on. Have an amazing meal at one of the local restaurants, and then do some shopping in the markets under the stars and the lanterns.
2. Relax at a beach in Hoi-An
Hoi-An has some of the best beaches in Vietnam. Two beaches that are close to the town are An Bang Beach and our favourite Cua Dai Beach.
An Bang Beach is the most popular beach in Hoi An. You can rent some beach chairs from the locals. Cua Dai Beach is our personal favourite because it isn’t as popular as An Bang Beach but also beautiful.
➔Our Tip: Pay attention if you ride a scooter to where you park. Some of the locals will try to wave you down and charge you a lot of money for parking. Just drive a little bit further, and you might get cheaper parking or even get free parking.
❥Also Read: Top 10 things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam
3. Hoi-An Night Market
This night market is located on Nguyen Hoang Street and opens every day from 18:00 until late. It’s most popular for the colourful lantern shops. These shops make for beautiful pictures, however, to capture your beautiful picture, you will have to pay the store owners some money.
This is the perfect place to buy hand-made lanterns that will be unique and one-of-a-kind. Other local vendors sell a variety of local snacks, clothing, jewellery, and accessories. There are also many restaurants and bars in the area. Hoi-An is one of the most beautiful towns in Vietnam.
Hoi An Night Market’s opening hours are from 16:30 to 22:00 daily.
4. Get something tailor-made
Get a suit or a dress custom-made here in Hoi An. There are hundreds of tailors in the town, and they don’t just provide good quality; they are also very cheap. If you ever want to get something made that’s perfectly designed to fit your style and your body type, this is the perfect place to get it done.
It’s so affordable, and you can even get your outfit sent to your home via Vietnamese post. Hoi-An is well-known throughout Vietnam for getting stuff tailor-made.
➔Find the best Tailors here: Tailoring in Hoi An – We Find The Best
5. Take a day trip to Da Nang
Da Nang is a small coastal town that’s just an hour outside of Hoi-An. The main attractions in Da Nang are the Dragon Bridge and Marble Mountain. Da Nang also has a beautiful beach known as My Khe Beach.
❥ Also Read: 5 Beautiful Things to Do in Mui Ne, Vietnam
How to get to Hoi-An?
Aeroplane: (fastest option and sometimes cheaper than the train)
Hoi-An doesn’t have an airport. The closest airport to Hoi An is in Da Nang, which is about 45 minutes away. You can fly from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang and then take a shuttle bus or minivan from Da Nang’s airport to Hoi An. The flight from Hanoi is about three hours and 30 minutes, and from Ho Chi Minh City, it’s about an hour and 20 minutes.
Train: (second best option but could be expensive)
Hoi-An also doesn’t have a railway station, so you will have to take the train to Da Nang. You can take the train from Hanoi to Da Nang or from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang. It’s a 17-hour journey, but we would recommend taking the sleeper train. This will make the journey shorter. You will be able to sleep on the train and save some money because you don’t have to pay for one night’s accommodation.
Bus: (Cheapest option)
If you are on a very strict budget, you can take a sleeping bus. The bus isn’t that safe over such long distances and is not very comfortable, but it’s the cheapest option. From Hanoi, it will take about 17 hours to get to Hoi An, if not longer. From Ho Chi Minh City, it will take about 22 hours to get to Hoi An.
When is the best time to visit Hoi-An?
Hoi-An is a very tropical province, meaning it’s warm all year round, but it has two main seasons: a wet season and a dry season. The warmest months for Hoi An are June and July, and the coldest months are December and January. The rainy season in Hoi An is from September until January.
Even though Hoi-An is popular amongst tourists all year round, the best time to visit will be from February until May, because it’s between the coldest and the hottest months.
You don’t want to be in Vietnam during the hottest months, because temperatures can reach as high as 45°C (113°F), which is very unpleasant since it can reach 80% humidity. You also don’t want it to rain during your entire trip, so try to avoid the rainy season. We visited Hoi-An around the end of May and it was a nice time to visit but it was extremely hot.
➔Tip: Remember that these temperatures only apply to Hoi An province. Vietnam is one of the longest-stretching countries, so temperatures can differ drastically from one province to the next.
How many days in Hoi An is enough?
We would recommend that you spend between 3 and 5 days in Hoi An. The town is small, but there is so much to see and do.
If you don’t have a lot of time in Vietnam but want to spend time in Hoi An, we would recommend 3 nights here. This will give you enough time to see most of the beautiful things in the town.
If you have more time in Vietnam, we would recommend spending 5 nights in Hoi An. You will have time to see all the most beautiful things in Hoi An and do some day trips.
Hoi An Tours and Day Trips
Book a wonderful tour around Hoi An town or amazing day trips from Hoi An right here.
Is Hoi An worth visiting?
Yes, Hoi An is definitely worth visiting. It’s a beautiful town that has so much charm. We spent a whole month in Vietnam and visited 5 different towns.
Out of all 5 towns, Hoi An had by far the best food. The town comes to life at night since Hoi An is known for all the beautiful lanterns that are being sold and that are hung all over the streets.
❥Also Read: 6 things to do in Da Nang, Vietnam
Which is better, Hoi An or Da Nang?
Just before we came to Hoi An, we spent some time in Da Nang. If you have time, we would recommend visiting both Hoi An and Da Nang. Both of them have their own beautiful attractions and they are very unique.
However, if you don’t have time for both, we would recommend Hoi An just because it has a nicer nightlife, better food and better markets. Definitely do a day trip to Da Nang, the Dragon Bridge is a must-visit and the beaches in Da Nang are better than in Hoi An.
Overall they are both unique in their own way and both deserve a visit if you have the time.
What to eat when in Hoi-An, Vietnam?
Hoi-An has some of the most delicious food that we have had during our whole Vietnam trip and in this Hoi An travel Guide we have a special list of the food you shouldn’t miss out on:
1. Banh Mi (vegetarian/ Non-vegetarian options)
The Banh Mi is a Vietnamese baguette sandwich, filled with your choice of either meat or fresh vegetables. They are the perfect meal for lunch, and it’s cheap.
2. White roses (Non-vegetarian options)
This is a small rice dumpling that’s filled with shrimp or pork and served with a sprinkle of crispy fried onion and sweet chill sauce. This dish was created in Hoi-An and it’s the best place in Vietnam to try it. We prefer the shrimp one but try both and let us know which one is your favourite.
3. Broken Rice with pork chop (Non-vegetarian option)
This is a very popular meal in the South of Vietnam. It’s usually a grilled pork chop served with egg, pickled vegetables and broken rice. This dish originated when Vietnamese farmers we unable to sell the rice grains which break while being processed from the field. The farmers end up eating the rejected rice themselves which later became a very popular meal among locals.
4. Goi Cuon- Summer rolls (vegetarian/ Non-vegetarian options)
These are spring rolls that are a favourite here in Vietnam. A variety of meat and vegetable fillings are wrapped in rice paper. This specific one is fresh and not deep-fried. The deep-fry one is known as Cha Gio.