Hoi An is a quaint historic colourful town located on Vietnam’s central coast. Hoi An is so beautiful and one of the most picturesque places you’ll find in Vietnam. Not only is Hoi An rich in culture and fascinating history, but the historic streets are lined with colourful buildings covered with flowers and light up with lanterns. When traveling to Hoi An you really feel immersed into the Vietnamese culture. There’s so much to see and do in Hoi An, you’ll find yourself loving every minute.
WANDER THE STREETS OF THE OLD TOWN
Hoi An is a well preserved UNESCO Heritage Site that was once a major South Eastern Asian trading port in the 16th & 17th century. As you wander through the streets you’ll find a lot of colourful painted buildings, flowers blooming, plenty of stores, restaurants, markets & temples. My suggestion is to wander though the streets without any particular plan and see what treasures you can find.
VISIT THE TEMPLES
There are a number of temples located within the old town. Most of the popular ones will require a pass that allows you access into up to 6 sites. You can find the pass at the visitor centre located in the middle of the main street. The most popular temples to check out are the Quan Cong Temple and the Pháp Bảo Temple.
GET SOME CLOTHES TAILOR MADE
Hoi An is probably most well know for getting custom made clothing at a very low price. There are lots of stores to choose from, just wander along the streets and you’ll like pass a lot of them. Go in with an idea of what you would like made then pick out your fabric and they will take your measurements and custom make clothing to fit you perfectly. You can also go in with clothing you already own if you’re looking for an alteration or for it to be mended.
VISIT THE NIGHT MARKET
The streets of the town become alive with people and street vendors for the night market. Lanterns that are hanging all throughout the streets are lit up around sunset and the rivers are filled with floating lanterns and beautiful lantern covered boats. Hoi An is especially beautiful at sunset and at night with all the beautiful colours and lights. During the night market you can try lots of different foods, shop for local handcrafts and delicacies, and of course shop for some lanterns.
TRY THE LOCAL FOOD
Food truly is the best part of traveling! Vietnam has so much delicious food to try, but Hoi An is particularly my favourite because they offer a few dishes that can only be found in this specific region. I highly suggest trying a dish called Cao Lau which is a dish that you can only find in Hoi An. Go to any Vietnamese restaurant or the locals street carts to find the best food. Experiment with new foods and you’re sure to find something you love.
VISIT THE BEACHES
Outside the old town you’ll find some beautiful golden sand beaches along the coast. The most popular beach that you’ll likely hear is An Bang beach. While it is a nice beach it is a lot more touristy filled with lots of beach chairs and vendors. My personal favourite beach that I visited was Cua Dai beach. This is the closest beach to Hoi An old town which is a lot quieter and filled with palm trees. Between Cua Dai and An Bang you can find a number of other quiet beach locations, the best way to find them is by riding your bike and exploring along the way.
INDULGE IN HAPPY HOUR
My favourite thing to do in Hoi An would have to be to indulge in the happy hour deals. You can find happy hour throughout the town or likely even at your hotel. The beers are so incredibly cheap that its easy to take advantage of the happy hour specials. The hotel I stayed at offered happy hour every day between 4-6pm for 15,000VND ($0.90AUD / $0.64USD) per beer! And it was especially sweet enjoying the beers poolside. Most local restaurants will offer happy hour deals or just cheap beer so have a look around to see what deals you can find. Cheers!
Have the best time in Hoi An. It truly is a special place to visit. If you have any questions leave it in the comments below.