Photo: Evening in Hoi An's old town.

Things to see and do

Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Hoi An.

Beaches


An Bang Beach

Think casuarina-lined white sandy beaches, just the right balance of great restaurants and bars, green lawns, island views and year round swimming in the tropical East Sea and you’ve got An Bang Beach in Hoi ... Read more about An Bang Beach .

Cua Dai Beach

Though Hoi An doesn't really market itself as a beach getaway, there are some pleasant stretches of sand located just a hop away. Once the darling of Hoi An, known for its stunning palm-fringed white sand, views of the nearby Cham islands and lux beach resorts, Cua Dai Beach is now affected by severe coastal erosion and is rapidly disappearing. Though the erosion has been detected since 2004, the ... Read more about Cua Dai Beach .

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Hiking, walking tours and itineraries


Do-it-yourself photo tour

For the snap-happy traveller, Hoi An can make for a memory card-sapping experience. To help you make the most of the town’s photographic charms, we’ve come up with a finger-clicking bicycle route filled with year-round action and ... Read more about Do-it-yourself photo tour .

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!
T: (0912) 694 301

To use a cliche, the food of Hoi An is a melting pot of cuisines. From its roots as a 15th century international trading port to the recent influx of Vietnamese from elsewhere in the country, each group has added an ingredient or two to the culinary stockpot. Finding the true taste of Hoi An has become a challenge, but one that Gourmet Adventures Hoi An meets ... Read more about Gourmet Adventures Hoi An .

Hoi An by foot or by bike

If you want to see the best locations in and around Hoi An you don’t need a tour guide. These three do-it-yourself tours can be done on foot or by bike — I’d definitely recommend a bicycle or motorbike for the last two, as 14 kilometres is a long hike in the searing heat or constant rain of the flood season. Bicycles can be hired either at your hotel or just outside from a vendor for 20,000 ... Read more about Hoi An by foot or by bike .

Swim Vietnam
Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
T: (84) 01223451674

One child drowns every 45 seconds in Asia. For Vietnam, the estimated daily death rate sits anywhere between 10 and 32 children a day, making drowning one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of 10; for the under fives, almost 90 percent of drownings take place within 100 metres of their ... Read more about Swim Vietnam .

Coconut Tours
T: (0905) 411 184

Hoi An’s street food tour industry has been rather dominated by the $60-plus, cram ‘em in, feed ‘em up style half-day trips. Though fun and informative, they can be a big dent in the money belt for a solo traveller and a hard sum to swallow for a family. So we thought we’d try a cheaper trip with Phuoc from Coconut Tours, who promised a US$35 street food crawl heavy on interaction, but ... Read more about Coconut Tours .

Bicycle tours

Renting a bicycle has always been a good way to explore Hoi An and its surrounds: it’s cheap, they’re never banned from the streets (other vehicles are forbidden at various times of the day), they provide a lot of freedom and you get to feel like you’re compensating for that last portion of wontons. I spent every day on a bike on my last visit and, apart from getting sunburned on the back ... Read more about Bicycle tours .

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Historic attractions


The Ba Le Well
45 Phan Chau Trinh St, Hoi An

Of the 80 or so ancient wells located in Hoi An, Ba Le Well is possibly the most talked about — along with being the most difficult to find. Water from the well, thought to have been built in the 10th century by the Cham people, is famed for its use in the town’s famed cao lau noodle. An entire mythology has blossomed around the well, including stories of mystical connections to fairies and a ... Read more about The Ba Le Well .

The Hoi An culture tour

One ticket costs 120,000 VND, and allows access to five of the 21 attractions which include: a) Three communal houses; b) Four museums; c) Five old houses; d) Three assembly halls; e) The handicraft workshop and traditional music concert; and f) Either the Japanese Bridge or the Quan Cong Temple. You can hire a guide at the ticket office for 70,000 VND, which is certainly worthwhile ... Read more about The Hoi An culture tour .

Japanese Tombs

The tombs (there are three of them) are located in the rice fields at signposted intervals along Hai Ba Trung Street, 1.5 kilometre north of the intersection with Nguyen Tat Thanh (the name of the road changes to Ly Thuong Kiet on the west side of Hai Ba Trung). Coming from Hoi An you will spot the yellow concrete signs marking the turn-off into the fields to the right. The tombs are of ... Read more about Japanese Tombs .

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Temples


Van Duc Pagoda

The best time to visit is in the evening when the whole thing including the gates and gardens are lit up with candles and lanterns -- it's quite breath-taking. On full moons and auspicious Buddhist celebrations like Buddha's birthday, monks travel for miles to come and pray at the pagoda. If you turn up at around 19:00 on these occasions you'll be met by monks weaving their way down through the ... Read more about Van Duc Pagoda .

Chuc Thanh Pagoda

The original ancient gateway is still standing, but a large modern gate has been built in front of it and on the left you'll see three newer pagodas. There's also an extensive cemetery plot to the right that you can wander through. To get here, take Hai Ba Trung north and turn left (west) on Nguyen Tat Thanh. About 100 metres down, take a right to the north on Tran Van Du. The pagoda is at ... Read more about Chuc Thanh Pagoda .

Phuoc Lam Pagoda

There's plenty to wander around and look at here, but if you really want to understand it all, we recommend going with a good guide. If you're going on your own, we found it's best to visit just before 11:00 when the monks are finishing up their lunch (they've been up since 04:00 and this is their last meal of the day), after which they line up and circle through the temple, chanting midday ... Read more about Phuoc Lam Pagoda .

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Markets


Hoi An Cloth Market
Bach Dang Street, Hoi An

Hoi An cloth market has moved to the main local market building further along Bach Dang Street towards Hoang Dieu while the old cloth market building is renovated. The traders were moved in June 2013, expecting the renovation to be complete in three months, but over a year later the old site is still a pile of rubble. ... Read more about Hoi An Cloth Market .

Hoi An night market

A few years ago market traders and food stalls were pushed out of Hoi An‘s old town in a bid to clean up the streets, leaving traders relocating outside the guarded boundaries of the pedestrian-ised zone. Then the Quang Nam authorities cleared the old central market and provided a new “cleansed zone”, in which a number of the family-run food stalls relocated to serve both locals and ... Read more about Hoi An night market .

Hoi An -- Walking over the dragon

Hoi An on Vietnam's central coast is a town that time forgot, writes John Rowell. We're halfway over Hoi An's famous covered Chua Cau bridge before we realise that we are treading carefully. Legend has it that an underground dragon stretching from India to Japan caused earthquakes by lashing out when in a really bad ... Read more about Hoi An -- Walking over the dragon .

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Shopping


Souvenirs

A stroll around the faded facade of Hoi An’s old town casts a magical spell on even the tightest of purse strings; baggage allowance may be forgotten and bags soon crammed with iconic Hoi An kitsch. If what you are after is tourist tat, then let Hoi An be your guide; we won’t be held responsible for that tailored skinny fit brocade suit, the last minute Laboutins and those half-dozen ... Read more about Souvenirs .

Hoi An tailor shop scams: Part 1

If we were to tell you that upon almost every purchase made in a Hoi An tailor shop, 40 percent of the price you pay goes straight out the door into a third party’s pocket, would you be a little bit shocked? Or that the average price on cutting and sewing a man’s suit is just ... Read more about Hoi An tailor shop scams: Part 1 .

Getting shoes made in Hoi An

Hoi An has got a bit of a reputation as a place to shop, and one area it excels in is shoes. Cobblers are lined back to back just outside the old town, each one displaying an arousing selection of dusty, dirty, badly glued pumps and sneakers, sandals and the odd bejewelled, eight-inch stacked heeled number — a few hours here and suddenly a pair of Louboutin rip-offs become top of your must-have ... Read more about Getting shoes made in Hoi An .

Getting jewellery made in Hoi An

Hoi An may very well be most known for its tailors but if you really want to get something designed that’s going to last longer than the first wash then jewellery is a very safe and surprisingly affordable option. Scattered among all the tailors, shoe makers and spas you will find a multitude of tiny silver shops packed full of conical hat shaped earrings, sampan pendants and trays of blinging ... Read more about Getting jewellery made in Hoi An .

How to haggle - or avoid haggling - in Hoi An

Hit the streets of Hoi An for anything from a tailored suit through to a banh mi and you will be thrown into a state of confusion over what really is a fair price. With very few traders working to a fixed price it’s not too uncommon to sometimes feel like you’ve been had. Ask any expat and they will grumble on about a three-tiered price system: locals, expats and tourists. Multiply each tier ... Read more about How to haggle - or avoid haggling - in Hoi An .

Is Hoi An hell if you don't shop?

If you have a proper look around Hoi An you can’t fail to notice that the tailor shops win hands down in terms of numbers, with restaurants coming in a close second, shoes third and sneaking in at number four a whole new wave of spas. It would seem that this is a town for the ladies — though not all, of course, while some men are going to go gaga over the shops too. It’s no wonder fresh ... Read more about Is Hoi An hell if you don't shop? .

Hoi An lanterns

After an evening stroll through the old town its fairly likely that you’ll fall in love with the iconic Hoi An silk lanterns that set an ambient glow outside every restaurant, tailor shop and hotel; if that doesn’t get you, then a quick glimpse in the direction of the night market will. And just like that old must-have souvenir, the Spanish donkey of the 1970s, it’s likely to be top of your ... Read more about Hoi An lanterns .

Responsible shopping and eating in Hoi An

What comes to mind when you think of Hoi An? Beautiful ancient buildings? Fabulous hotels? An overwhelming number of tailor shops? An abundance of dining options? Let me add one more that should be on that list: socially responsible businesses. For some reason, Hoi An has attracted quite a wealth of restaurants and shops that cater to those of us who like to feel a bit better about ... Read more about Responsible shopping and eating in Hoi An .

Shopping

An absolutely ridiculous number of shops are scattered throughout town, with most of them concentrated in the area between Hai Ba Trung, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoang Dieu and the riverside. Competition keeps the prices down, but also means that tourists are subjected to the constant badgering of touts and salespeople -- after a few days of this, you may be ready to flee. You'll want to know which of ... Read more about Shopping .

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General activities


Things to do with kids

With Hoi An’s close proximity to some of Vietnam’s best beaches and countryside plus its mostly traffic-free centre, the central coastal town is a deservedly popular choice for family ... Read more about Things to do with kids .

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

Hoi An is well ahead of the hot toc (barber) phenomenon curve, offering in addition to trimming that handlebar moustache or highlight refresher extras such as nasal hair burning and technical ear cleaning. Women are well served too. Here’s a rundown on where to get a buzzcut or wash and blow dry in ... Read more about Getting a hair cut in Hoi An .

Ticket required to walk Hoi An's old town

UPDATE, April 23: The Hoi An people’s committee has addressed the press with clearer details on the ticket. Each ticket is valid for 10 days and costs 120,000 VND for foreign tourists or 80,000 VND for domestic visitors. 85% of the proceeds are to be reinvested in the old town, the money paying for renovations, upkeep, staff and the families that open their ancient houses for viewing. The ... Read more about Ticket required to walk Hoi An's old town .

Rainy day activities in Hoi An

If you pass through Hoi An during the wet season from October till December you’ll more than likely wake up to the pitter patter of raindrops. Luckily, Hoi offers up a stack of rainy day activities though — here’s a ... Read more about Rainy day activities in Hoi An .

Tourist etiquette in Hoi An

Getting to grips with the right or wrong way to go about things in any country is always a minefield of ever-changing goal posts. In Vietnam, luckily the people are largely very forgiving of our faux pas and a little bit of common sense and humility goes a long way in bridging the gap between cultures. In a tourist-reliant town like Hoi An, understanding the basics really does make a difference. ... Read more about Tourist etiquette in Hoi An .

Photo essay: Getting lost in Hoi An's old town

If there ever were a destination worth throwing away your map for, Hoi An’s old town is the place to do so with gay abandon. For most visitors a wander through town consists of shoving out their elbows and trawling their way up and down the main drag, ticket in hand while muttering “No, I don’t want to come to your shop,” over and ... Read more about Photo essay: Getting lost in Hoi An's old town .

Lifestart Foundation, Hoi An
Workshop address: 77 Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An
T: 03 9331 2540, 0402 132432

The Lifestart Foundation is one of few charities based in Hoi An working with people suffering disabilities due to the lingering, horrific effects of dioxins used around this area during the American ... Read more about Lifestart Foundation, Hoi An .

Photography tour
Hoi An Photo Tour
T: (0905) 671 898

Budding photographers overwhelmed by the myriad photo opportunities and magical light in Hoi An will be pleased to know French expat Ettiene offers various tours to take you to the best locations, with lessons in camera handling, settings and angles offered too. Ettiene has built up a good relationship with the local community, which should help you avoid taking unwanted character portrait ... Read more about Photography tour .

Thanh Ha Pottery Village

Head west out of town on Tran Hung Dao and then turn right onto Hung Vuong. The road forks after three kilometres. For Da Nang (and My Son) take the right fork and for the pottery village take the left fork along the water. Several pottery outfits operate in the area, but we found the easiest to reach on your own was right at the end of that road, about a kilometre from the fork. A ticket booth ... Read more about Thanh Ha Pottery Village .

Tra Que Vegetable Farm

There's a ticket booth just after the rice fields end as you go out of town on Hai Ba Trung, on the right hand side. It is rarely manned and if it is you can cycle straight past without raising an eyebrow. We just wandered in for a look around. The best time for a visit is after 14:00 when all the tour groups have left and the farmers come out to tend their allotments. Lots of conical hats ... Read more about Tra Que Vegetable Farm .

Cam Kim Island

Locals pay 3,000 VND, but foreigners get charged more — be sure to ask the price and haggle down to no more than 10,000 VND. You can take a bicycle or motorbike with you (for which you pay more) and this is highly recommended if you plan to do anything more on the island than visit the wood-carving shops. Once you get off the pier on Cam Kim, follow the pier road and turn right to find the ... Read more about Cam Kim Island .

Teenage adventure activities in Hoi An

Travelling with teenage kids in tow can be a bit like going on holiday with excess baggage and unless you are blessed with the few joyous exceptions to this rule there will come a point when those grumpy, sulky teenagers are going to wish that rather than excess, they were lost. Fortunately Hoi An isn’t only about shopping and old stuff — there’s a whole host of activities that will have ... Read more about Teenage adventure activities in Hoi An .

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Boat trips


Hoi An Kayak Centre
Nam Tran Cafe, Ngo Quyen St, An Hoi Islet, Hoi An
T: (0905) 505 6640

With what can be described as a shaky relationship at best with Hoi An’s Thu Bon river boats (yes, it is possible to fall in), the warning: ‘Bring clothes you don’t mind getting wet in, shoes you can swim in and a real sense of adventure,’ tend to put us off a boat trip. But having heard good things about Hoi An Kayak Centre’s eco-river tours, we signed up for two hours of lazy ... Read more about Hoi An Kayak Centre .

Castaway fishing tour
Cam An Beach, Hoi An (near the Boutique Resort)
T: (0903) 578765

Tempted to try your hand at cornering a coracle? Casting a line like a local? You can! Or rather you really, really should — when we tried it it was the most fun we’ve had beachside in ... Read more about Castaway fishing tour .

Boat trips on the Thu Bon river
Start from Bach Dang riverside street

Cheesy though it may sound, a cruise down the Thu Bon river is one of the best ways to idle away an hour or two when in Hoi An, and although you can do it the posh way by jumping aboard a tourist boat, it’s far better to go local; and by local I mean grab a ... Read more about Boat trips on the Thu Bon river .

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

Hoi An’s Pink Flamingo river boat is a brilliant and cheap floating dining experience that is quite a long way from your typical Southeast Asian dinner river cruise. For starters, you don’t go anywhere — you’ll just eat on board the moored ... Read more about The Pink Flamingo .

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Day trips


 Train to Lang Co

Many daytrip destinations from Hoi An require a motorbike, private car or hooking up with a bus load of fellow travellers on a guided tour ticking off sights you may have visited before. An alternative adventure that is cheap, filled with local colour (and flavours) and remains relatively unexplored is Hoi An to Lang Co by ... Read more about Train to Lang Co .

How to overnight on the Cham islands independently

Travellers to Hoi An looking for a little beach time typically end up on the same kilometre of nearby coast: Cua Dai, with those in-the-know tracking down the not-so-secret An Bang beach. Those curious enough to enquire about a trip to the Cham islands are given a choice between dive and snorkelling boat trips. But what about staying overnight there? You can do ... Read more about How to overnight on the Cham islands independently .

Riding Thanh Nam Island, Hoi An

Thanh Nam fishing village, a short bike ferry from Cua Dai harbour, is a popular stop-off for early morning bicycle tour groups and you can see why: as the sampans park laden with the day’s catch it’s a vibrant, bustling backdrop of conical hats, pyjamas and of course, fish. Fabulous for photographers, it’s well worth a visit for that alone, but for those brave enough to dump their tour ... Read more about Riding Thanh Nam Island, Hoi An .

The best way to visit My Son

One of the most popular half-day trips from Hoi An is a visit to the Cham ruins of My Son, approximately 35 kilometres from the old town. Now, the hype surrounding the UNESCO-protected Champa temple complex built in the years between the fourth to 14th century, generally makes for a rather disappointing trip if you do it the standard way. This means a crack-of-dawn departure in a cramped minibus ... Read more about The best way to visit My Son .

The Hai Van Pass

As Top Gear once put it, the Hai Van Pass is “a deserted ribbon of perfection”. Every 90 degree corner of the stunning pass unveils even more spectacular views. And since they opened a tunnel allowing local commuters to bypass it, you pretty much get the whole thing to yourself – save the stop-off point at the top where you will always find about 50 coaches and hordes of Vietnamese climbing ... Read more about The Hai Van Pass .

My Son

Those who make the trip to My Son expecting to see a well preserved city on par with the one across the border will likely be disappointed to see only a few crumbling towers of stone. My Son is, however, an interesting site worth a daytrip to see. It's unique due both to its size and for its historic importance as a holy city for the Cham. Be warned that most of the My Son complex is either ... Read more about My Son .

The Ho Chi Minh Trail with Hoi An Motorbike Adventures

With almost 1,000 miles of remote backwater paths and trails, paddy, narrow mountain passes, isolated hill tribes and dense jungle, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Trail is one of the most rewarding and directionally challenging rides in the country. Unless you have a penchant for getting lost somewhere near the Lao border or breaking down on the outskirts of heavily guarded forestry land sites you’ll ... Read more about The Ho Chi Minh Trail with Hoi An Motorbike Adventures .

Ong Vang charity bike ride
Hoi An Culinary Centre, 27 Le Quy Don Street (off Tran Hung Dao), Hoi An
T: (091) 988 2783

Taking to two wheels sans motor and zipping through the countryside around Hoi An is one of the most rewarding travel experiences you can have in this corner of the country — even if your chosen $1 stead happens to be an excrutiating bone rattler with a suspect braking system and two flattish tyres. All roads eventually lead back to the old town, so it’s the one activity we’d usually ... Read more about Ong Vang charity bike ride .

Cham Island

The Cham Islands aren’t just about diving. The lure of some of the most unspoilt islands in Vietnam and the chance to camp out under the stars on an incredible stretch of beach has made the islands the perfect escape between tailor ... Read more about Cham Island .

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Performing arts


Live music

Hoi An’s live music scene may appear to be an uninspiring cacophony of bland Filipino resort bands blasting out Celine Dion over a seafood buffet, but if you know where to head, you’ll discover there’s a vibrant live playlist to suit every muso’s musical taste going off almost every night of the ... Read more about Live music .

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Yoga


No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

Hoi An offers several styles of yoga classes, from the relaxed to fancy. Here’s a round up of what’s available if you need to get some zen back while on your ... Read more about Yoga .

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Festivals and events


Full moon lantern festival, Hoi An

On the 14th day of every lunar month, the old town of Hoi An switches off its lights and closes to motorised traffic, the old town is transformed by flickering candlelight, multi-coloured lanterns and hoards of visitors who’ve come to see the full moon lantern ... Read more about Full moon lantern festival, Hoi An .

Mid-Autumn Festival in Hoi An

Hanoi and Saigon may be steaming ahead when it comes to modern development, but rural Vietnam and in particular Hoi An has kept a firm handle on its roots in tradition where generations of families still hold faith in myths, legends, fables and folklore which for thousands of years has formed the heart of the community, protecting health, the home and more importantly the ... Read more about Mid-Autumn Festival in Hoi An .

Co Tu hilltribe harvest festival
54A Phan Chau Trinh Street, Hoi An
T: (0510) 3911 390

Live music, dancing, a bucket load of moonshine… This is the basic formula for a good festival the world over, even when that festival happens to be that of an ancient hilltribe village in the Central Highlands of ... Read more about Co Tu hilltribe harvest festival .

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Cooking classes


Cooking classes

Once you see past the tailors you might just notice that Hoi An is a food lover’s paradise and once you’ve pigged out at a few of the restaurants and stalls the next thing on your list should be a cooking class. Not only will you be able to bore your friends back home with photos of old ladies in conical hats, but you can make a whole themed evening out of it with a spread of ye olde Hoi An ... Read more about Cooking classes .

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Hoi An? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.


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