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Hoi An

Things to see and do

Beach

  • An Bang Beach
    4 stars

    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 An. ... read more

  • Cua Dai Beach
    4 stars

    Though Hoi An doesn't really market itself as a beach getaway, there are some pleasant stretches of sand located just a hop away. Hoi An's main beach is Cua Dai, located at the end of predictably named Cua Dai Road. Some of the beach is given over to high-end resorts, but the public section is the ... read more

Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

  • Do-it-yourself photo tour
    3.5 stars

    To help you make the most of Hoi An's photographic charms, we’ve come up with a finger-clicking bicycle route filled with year-round action and vistas. 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, ... read more

  • Gourmet Adventures Hoi An
    4 stars

    Gourmet Adventures isn’t the cheapest food tour in Hoi An. But then again, it’s a a bicycle trip, cooking class and market tour all rolled into one. We checked out the Ocean, Field and Town tour by Gourmet Adventures Hoi An, led by Australian chef Sarah and her wise-cracking husband Pete. ... read more

  • Hoi An by foot or by bike
    4 stars

    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. ... read more

  • Coconut Tours
    3.5 stars

    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 ... read more

  • Bicycle tours
    4 stars

    Hoi An's flat countryside makes it an ideal location to jump on a pushbike and explore by yourself. Maps are readily available and roads easy to negotiate; if you stick to the areas between the old town and beaches you will be rewarded by some beautiful countryside, vast paddy, rivers, temples and ... read more

Historic Attractions

  • The Ba Le Well
    3 stars

    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. ... read more

  • The Hoi An culture tour
    4 stars

    An oddity of Hoi An is the bizarre cultural tour ticket system where, in order to see all the museums, old houses, assembly halls and so on you have to buy several tickets. One ticket costs 120,000 VND, and allows access to five of the 21 attractions which include: a) Three communal houses; b) ... read more

  • Japanese Tombs
    2.5 stars

    There isn't much here except for an overgrown tomb with an inscription, but it's a fine spot to visit in conjunction with a walking or cycling tour. 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 ... read more

Temples

  • Van Duc Pagoda
    4.5 stars

    Van Duc is one of the largest pagodas in Hoi An and is home to hundreds of friendly monks who are very happy to give you a guided tour of the pagoda and its grounds. 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 ... read more

  • Chuc Thanh Pagoda
    3 stars

    This is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hoi An, originally built in 1454. 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 ... read more

  • Phuoc Lam Pagoda
    3.5 stars

    Phuoc Lam is home to a large group of monks. It's a beautiful and elaborate temple with many different renderings of the Buddha, including a gold-covered "Buddha as a boy". 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 ... read more

Markets

  • Hoi An Cloth Market
    3.5 stars

    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 month ... read more

  • Hoi An night market
    3.5 stars

    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. ... read more

Shopping

  • Souvenirs
    4 stars

    Kitsch is easy to find in Hoi An, but you may want some extra guidance when it comes to finding the more unusual and special 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 ... read more

  • Hoi An tailor shop scams: Part 1
    3.5 stars

    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? ... read more

  • Getting shoes made in Hoi An
    3.5 stars

    Hoi An has got a bit of a reputation as a place to shop, and one area it excels in is shoes. ... read more

  • Getting jewellery made in Hoi An
    3.5 stars

    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 jewelry is a very safe and surprisingly affordable option. ... read more

  • How to haggle - or avoid haggling - in Hoi An
    3.5 stars

    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 ... read more

  • Is Hoi An hell if you don't shop?
    3.5 stars

    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 ... read more

  • Hoi An lanterns
    3.5 stars

    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 dir ... read more

  • Finding a good tailor in Hoi An
    3.5 stars

    Hoi An is home to possibly the world’s highest concentration of tailors per capita, who will stop at nothing to get you to buy clothing you think you need. ... read more

  • Shopping
    4.5 stars

    First and foremost, Hoi An is the place to come for tailored clothes at cheap prices, at least by Western standards. 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 ... read more

General Activites

  • Things to do with kids
    4 stars

    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 vacations. Of all the beaches around Hoi An, An Bang is the easiest with kids. From the old town, it’s a ... read more

  • Getting a hair cut in Hoi An
    3.5 stars

    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 ... read more

  • Ticket required to walk Hoi An's old town
    3 stars

    On April 17, 2014 Hoi An officials opened new ticket booths at each entrance into the old town and introduced a new rule: to enter the old town you must now buy a 120,000 VND (about US$6.00) ticket. ... read more

  • Rainy day activities in Hoi An
    4 stars

    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 few. ... read more

  • Tourist etiquette in Hoi An
    4 stars

    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. ... read more

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

    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. ... read more

  • Photography tour
    3.5 stars

    Hoi An can be a beautiful place from behind the lens so if you'd like to improve your skills, why not take a photography tour? 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 ... read more

  • Thanh Ha Pottery Village
    4 stars

    Thanh Ha is definitely worth a visit, especially on your way to My Son if you're going under your own steam. 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 ... read more

  • Tra Que Vegetable Farm
    3 stars

    If you're looking for an informative tour, book one in town, but it's a beautiful spot to visit on your own. 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 ... read more

  • Cam Kim Island
    4.5 stars

    Cam Kim Island can be visited by taking a ferry from the pier just to the east of the market along Bach Dang. Departures are frequent — a lot of people live on the island and this is their only way to and from Hoi An town. Locals pay 3,000 VND, but foreigners get charged more — be sure to ask ... read more

  • Teenage adventure activities in Hoi An
    4 stars

    Hoi An isn’t only about shopping and old stuff -- there’s a host of activities that will have teenagers leaping out of bed at dawn; this is our guide to the best. ... read more

Boat trips

  • Hoi An Kayak Centre
    4 stars

    Hoi An Kayak Centre provides both guided tours and kayak hire for those wishing to mess around on the Thu Bon river. Having heard good things about Hoi An Kayak Centre's eco-river tours, we signed up for two hours of lazy paddling. Run out of beautiful cafe-cum-antique shop Nam Tran Art and Craft ... read more

  • Castaway fishing tour
    3.5 stars

    Tempted to try your hand at cornering a coracle? Casting a line like a local? Castaway is run by an enterprising local family, headed up by smooth talking ex-tailor Ms Lan and her brothers Truong and Dung. The fishing lessons on offer start at 50,000 VND for beach line and net fishing, where either ... read more

  • Boat trips on the Thu Bon river
    4 stars

    Getting out of the touristy old quarter and into Hoi An's picturesque countryside is a must. One of the best ways to do this is by hiring a boat to take you on a cruise of the Thu Bon river. You could do this the posh way by jumping aboard one of many tourist boats, but we recommend hopping in one ... read more

  • The Pink Flamingo
    4 stars

    It's not exactly a boat trip and it's more of an experience than just a meal -- the Pink Flamingo offers an open kitchen on its moored boat where you can tuck into a great Vietnamese meal. Hoi An's Pink Flamingo river boat is a brilliant and cheap floating dining experience that is quite a long ... read more

Day trips

  • Train to Lang Co
    4 stars

    An adventure that is cheap, filled with local colour (and flavours) and remains relatively unexplored is Hoi An to Lang Co by train. Pre-book your return train tickets, a service that is well worth the $1 charge from most agencies. The best (and cheapest) for the short but scenic journey are in the ... read more

  • How to overnight on the Cham islands independently
    4 stars

    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 it! ... read more

  • Riding Thanh Nam Island, Hoi An
    4 stars

    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 ... read more

  • The best way to visit My Son
    4.5 stars

    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. Here is a better way. ... read more

  • The Hai Van Pass
    4.5 stars

    Seeing the cast struggle with the Hai Van Pass also put achieving it on the top of my must-do list and I have now: six times to be exact, and I’d do it again at the drop of a hat. ... read more

  • My Son
    3.5 stars

    Quang Nam's efforts to market My Son as the "Angkor of Vietnam" are a little misguided but that's not to say it isn't well worth seeing. 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 ... read more

  • The Ho Chi Minh Trail with Hoi An Motorbike Adventures
    4 stars

    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. It's also where Top Gear did the most famous stretch of ... read more

  • Ong Vang charity bike ride
    4 stars

    Jump on a mountain bike and explore the surrounds of Hoi An in the capable hands of enthusiastic local volunteers wanting to break into the tourism industry -- and all money raised goes to helping locals in need. Cycling around Hoi An is the one activity we’d usually suggest you don't need a ... read more

  • Cham Island
    4.5 stars

    If you're pressed for time and need to choose between My Son and Cham Island -- no contest, go to Cham Island. Tours of Cham Island can be over-hyped if you are looking for anything more than stunning white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and some great snorkelling. Some tours talk about visiting ... read more

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 ... read more

Yoga

  • Yoga
    4 stars

    Hoi An offers several styles of yoga classes, from the relaxed to fancy. Here's a round up of what's available. ... read more

Festivals and events

  • Full moon lantern festival, Hoi An
    3.5 stars

    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 la ... read more

  • Mid-Autumn Festival in Hoi An
    3.5 stars

    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 w ... read more

  • Co Tu hilltribe harvest festival
    3.5 stars

    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 Vietnam. ... read more

Cooking classes

  • Cooking classes
    3.5 stars

    Morning Glory and Red Bridge get particularly well rated when it comes to cooking classes, but if you're after something more intimate and cheaper, find a restaurant you enjoy that offers classes. And if they don't offer classes try asking for a lesson as it's sometimes possible to arrange one -- ... read more


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